As a financial advisor, your clients expect you to provide sound counsel about the management and investment of their assets. You can also help them by listening for and identifying financial situations when a charitable gift to the community foundation would be in their interest:
Year-end tax planning identifies a need for greater tax deductions.
Estate planning identifies the possibility of significant estate taxes.
A charitably minded client is uneasy donating the principal of retirement savings.
Your client is interested in setting up a charitable foundation.
Your client is passionate about helping meet a specific community need and is ready to make a significant gift.
Your client wants to establish a scholarship for a special interest, but doesn't know how to begin.
Your client owns highly appreciated stock in a company that is about to be acquired.
Your client currently has a private foundation that may not be distributing minimum grants.
Your client has most of his/her assets tied up in a closely held company.
Your client has a substantial IRA and 401(k) assets within his/her estate.
Is My Client Right for the Community Foundation?
You can be assured that giving through the Branch County Community Foundation is right for your clients if you can answer "yes" to any of the following questions about them:
Do my clients care deeply about the greater Branch County community?
Do they give to more than one charitable cause?
Are they interested in creating a personal or family legacy in their community?
Would they like to stay personally involved with their charitable gift dollars?
Do they want to receive the maximum tax benefit for their charitable contribution?
Are they interested in creating a private foundation but not interested in the work that goes with it?
Do they place a priority on sound financial management of their contributions?
Key Benefits for Your Clients
Your clients can address a broad range of local needs. Arts. Education. Health. The environment. These are just a few areas of community life that your client can specifically address by giving through the community foundation. Every year the Community Foundation makes hundreds of grants to local agencies and programs to address a broad range of needs in our area.
Your clients' donations will work forever. When your clients donate through our endowment funds, the principal of their gift is never spent. It is carefully invested, and the earnings are used annually to address specific local causes and issues. Your clients can create a personal legacy of giving.
The Branch County Community Foundation offers a variety of options for donors to personalize their philanthropy. They may establish a named fund, and they may be involved in suggesting grants from the dollars generated by their funds. They may receive regular communication from the Foundation staff about community needs and initiatives. It's a personalized and efficient way to give.
Gift Acceptance Policies This policy covers they types of gift the Community Foundation accepts and provides guidance to prospective donors and their advisors when making gifts to the Community Foundation. For additional information or to ask about your particular situation, please contact us!
Sample Fund Agreements Fund agreement can be written to create funds that are permanently endowed, long-term (principal can be spent), or temporary. With the exception of the special project fund sample agreement, the following samples are for permanently endowed funds. Please contact us to receive a sample of a long-term or temporary fund agreement for any of the fund types you see below.
Memorial Funds We appreciate the opportunity to assist families during difficult times. We will do whatever we can to make things easier. We'll keep track of the donations and send receipts. We can provide names of those who give, so, if desired, the family may write personal notes. And we can give families time to settle other issues before having to deal with what to do with memorial gifts.
Unrestricted Funds The most flexible funds within the Foundation, unrestricted funds are those for which the donor allows the Foundation discretion in the use of the annual income for a broad range of community projects. This provides the Community Foundation the opportunity to respond to changing community needs.
Field-of-Interest Funds With field-of-interest funds, the donor directs the Community Foundation to utilize the annual income in a certain program area. The Community Foundation determines the specific grant recipients.
An educational Field-of-Interest Fund can be used for scholarships, but can also be used for other types of educational support. When deciding what type of fund to create, consider what $500 can do for one college student, and then consider what $500 could do for a 5th grade science class of 25 students.
Designated Funds Designated funds are funds in which a donor has specified the charitable recipient, or recipients, of the income at the time the fund is established.
Donor Advised Funds Donor advised funds allow the donor to actively participate in the grantmaking process by recommending to the Community Foundation the purpose and organizations that receive the annual income. Recommendations are referred to the Community Foundation's Board of Directors for approval. Many advised funds become unrestricted on the death of the donor or at the end of a specified period.
Temporary donor advised funds work just like an endowed fund with the exception that the minimum establishing gift is $1,000. Use this option for end-of-year giving to multiple charities. You can write a single check or give stock to your community foundation, get one gift acknowledgment for tax purposes, and still make gifts to several charities. For a sample agreement for this type of fund, please contact us.
Organizational Funds Other nonprofit organizations often place their endowment funds within the Community Foundation for management and investment purposes. The Community Foundation regularly distributes the annual income back to these agencies to help them accomplish their charitable purposes.
Special Project Funds These funds are created to support grassroots fund raising efforts. Groups of citizens can focus on reaching their goals and let us keep track of donations and pay expenses. Scholarships Scholarship funds are a field-of-interest funds that awards grants to individuals for tuition and education-related expenses at tax-exempt educational institutions---such as a college/university or vocational/technical institute, commercial art school, school of nursing, or other accredited institution of higher education.
The Community Foundation does not award scholarship grants to provide funds for room and board or travel expenses because these are taxable to the recipient and therefore are not charitable in nature.
Planned Giving Design Center for Advisors The Planning Giving Design Center is a national network of professional advisors. Sign up and receive valuable, up-to-the-minute information on the tools and techniques of charitable gift planning.
Council on Foundations - Foundation Basics Council on Foundation has information to assist you and your client in choosing the right option---family, independent, and company foundations or named fund or supporting organization at a community foundation.
2 West Chicago Street, Suite E1 Coldwater, MI 49036