Family Foundations & Donor-Advised Funds

Both donor advised funds and family foundations are tools that can be used to encourage multi-generational giving.

Family Foundations

In some families, when the next generation's position is assured, the question often arises "How can I encourage concern for others among my children and grandchildren?" After all, many people leave their mark on the world not just through successful ventures, but by supporting efforts to better the world for future generations.

Many families with philanthropic commitments have found that reserving some of their capital for a private family foundation reinforces humanitarian values in future generations.

A private foundation can bring order, and even mission, to one’s giving. Organizations that merit support, like St. Anne's-Belfield School, can be referred to the foundation for attention. A foundation must have a board of directors, and putting your children in those chairs will encourage them to take a lasting interest in what are ultimately family decisions. The very decision to create and fund a private foundation sends a message about the enduring importance of charitable giving to one's descendants. Such a foundation is an excellent way to foster cooperation within and between generations, as generations learn from each other about how and why to give.

Such foundations can help with your financial and tax planning, too. While foundations must usually make minimum annual distributions, contributions during high-earning years can be used for grants in future years. Salting away these funds will allow for more active philanthropy to St. Anne's-Belfield School in later years. Your tax deductions will occur when they are needed most, promoting tax-planning efficiency as well.

Donor-Advised Funds

Many of the above advantages of a family foundation can be found for a lesser outlay in a donor-advised fund. Donor-advised funds are created by transferring assets to a community foundation which manages the fund, and approves grants from it, following guidance from the donors to the fund.

The donor receives many of the same tax benefits for setting up a donor-advised fund that he or she might receive for making any contribution to a public charity. Gifts to donor-advised funds can often be deducted more completely and more easily than gifts to a private foundation. The funds can promote family philanthropic values as well, since succeeding generations can often take over the advisory role.

Also available through most community foundations are designated funds, which are perpetually earmarked for the needs of a specific non-profit organization, or field of interest funds, which address specific topics of interest or communities of need.

Any information concerning giving options or their tax benefits, on this website or otherwise, provided by St. Anne's-Belfield School is of a general educational nature only and does not constitute, or substitute for, legal advice. Please seek competent legal advice regarding how any gift to the School might affect your personal situation.