The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) increased the excise tax rates for violations of many of the private foundation rules. In most cases, the first tier taxes were doubled. These changes are effective for private foundations upon the foundation’s first tax year beginning after August 17, 2006. For private foundations with calendar tax years, this translates into an effective date of January 1, 2007. Below is a review of the changes to the first tier taxes:
Corporate Philanthropy refers to the investments and activities a company voluntarily undertakes to responsibly manage and account for its impact on society. It includes investments of money, donations of products, in-kind services and technical assistance, employee volunteerism, and other business transactions to advance a social cause, issue, or the work of a nonprofit organization. Corporate foundations and corporate giving programs traditionally play a major role in these areas.
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Many foundations may be uncertain about what’s involved when it comes to succession planning. Some wonder why they should worry about the future at all when they have so much work to do in managing their grantmaking, community leadership and development, and administrative duties.
Succession planning is more than just replacing a CEO. It’s an opportunity to evaluate what works at your foundation—and identify areas in which you can improve. It can give both the board and staff a clear picture of long-term goals, and help you set priorities and make decisions.
Question: Why do Council on Foundations membership materials and invoices state that if my foundation and corporate giving program share a membership, dues must be paid by the corporation? Is this true for other memberships as well?
Answer: IRS self-dealing rules prohibit private foundations (including company foundations) from entering into a range of financial transactions with disqualified persons, including transactions that provide a tangible economic benefit to a disqualified person.
Question: Are corporate foundations required to file electronically the 2006 Form 990 or Form 990-PF?
Can a company provide office space to the company foundation?
A parent company can always provide the company foundation with office space as long as it does so free of charge. While it is even possible for the parent company and the foundation to share the cost of office space, great care needs to be taken to structure the arrangement in a manner that does not violate the prohibition against self-dealing.
The same company representatives serve on our company foundation board of directors and our Corporate Contributions Committee. Can we hold the meetings for both programs simultaneously?
No. While it is possible to hold the meetings for the corporate giving program and company foundation board back to back, the meetings should not be held jointly. The meeting for the foundation board, for example, should adjourn before the committee meeting begins.
In light of current economy, the corporation has asked whether the company private foundation may honor grant commitments already made by the corporate giving program. Can the private foundation make these grants?
Question: May corporate grantmakers make grants to units of government such as public schools or local parks departments?
Answer: Yes, both corporate giving programs and corporate foundations may make grants to units of government as long as the grants are restricted to charitable purposes.
Question: May our corporate foundation or corporate giving program provide a grant to an organization that is not a charity?
Answer:Yes, but the process required to make a grant to a non-charity depends on the type of corporate giving vehicle used to make the grant. Private foundations must take steps to ensure that the grant is not subject to penalty taxes. Corporate giving programs may not take an income tax deduction for grants to non-charities.
Question: We are trying to decide how to structure our grants programs between our direct-giving program and our corporate foundation. Are there any general guidelines to help us?