Heard on the Web: Weighing the Best Vehicles For Philanthropic Giving

Heard on the Web: Weighing the Best Vehicles For Philanthropic Giving

News story posted in Foundations on 1 February 2011| 2 comments
audience: National Publication | last updated: 18 May 2011


Writing for The New York Times, Paul Sullivan discusses the issues and alternatives survivors face with maintaining a private foundation following the death of its founder.


"KEN NOPAR, who advises others about philanthropy, will face his own decision on charitable giving when his parents die. Should he and his brother keep their parents’ private foundation going or transfer the assets into a donor-advised fund, where they have less control over how the money is invested and given away?" [More]

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Private Foundation or a Donor Advised Fund?

I was saddened to read the closing comments of this article that stated donor-advised funds could be lost in general pools. As President & CEO of a community foundation, we hold many donor-advised funds. While the family succession generations of advisors may be limited, it is our duty to always carry out the purpose of the donor-advised fund and honor the donor intent. This often includes assuring that the fund supports charities in our community, rather than being transferred to other communities, where the donor is unknown. We work diligently to assure that "the story of the person who made that money" -- our donor & his/her legacy -- is honored in perpetuity. Sue Hammersmith, President & CEO Lenawee Community Foundation

Best Vehicles for Philanthropic Giving?

I can't resist commenting on a quote in this article, which says “With a private foundation, there is unlimited succession for control of the foundation,” Ms. Johnson said. “Some donor-advised funds have limitations on successions, and once that is reached, the fund goes into a general pool at that organization.” And while charities will still benefit, they will not know the story of the person who made that money." This is factually incorrect--Community Foundations include donor advised funds among their offerings, and once the limit is reached on successor advisors, the remaining fund assets remain in the named fund. Grants bearing the fund name are made to address local priorities through a detailed proposal process.

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