What is the Community Foundation for Muskegon County?
We are a collection of more than 900 permanently-endowed charitable funds created by individuals, families, companies, and organizations to benefit charitable organizations and causes throughout Muskegon County and beyond.
Why should I discuss philanthropy with my clients?
The Top 10 reasons are listed here.
What are the advantages to working with the Community Foundation?
How do I broach the subject of giving with my clients?
How do I know if giving through the Community Foundation is right for my clients?
Here are seven questions to consider:
1. Do I have clients who care deeply about their local community?
2. Do my clients give to more than one charitable cause?
3. Are my clients interested in creating a personal or family legacy in their community?
4. Are they considering the creation of a private foundation, but are concerned about cost and administrative complexity?
5. Would they like to stay personally involved in the use of their gift dollars?
6. Do they want to receive maximum tax benefit for their charitable contributions under federal law?
7. Do they place a priority on sound financial management of their contributions?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, your clients may benefit from knowing more about the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. We’d be happy to help you make an introduction
What are the tax benefits to my client?
The Community Foundation for Muskegon County offers the maximum charitable tax advantages available by law. Because of the Community Foundation’s nature, it is not subject to the taxes and regulations affecting private foundations, and it has greater flexibility on matters such as minimum payout.
What types of funds do you administer?
How can I recommend a nonprofit gift without recommending a specific nonprofit?
Professional advisors are often faced with a delicate dilemma: you want to discuss the many benefits of charitable giving with your clients, but you want to avoid recommending specific charitable causes or organizations.
Fortunately, the Community Foundation for Muskegon County is a simple solution. A community foundation is a single, trusted vehicle your clients can use to address the issues they care about most, while gaining maximum tax benefit under state and federal law. We offer a variety of giving options—including the ability to set up a charitable fund in your client’s name. Your clients can suggest grants to their favorite nonprofits each year during their lifetimes and designate one or more organizations to receive grants in perpetuity. It’s just one way we can help you help your clients achieve their charitable goals.
Why do donors establish funds at the Community Foundation instead of giving directly to their favorite charities?
Some donors have a desire to provide ongoing support to a particular organization in perpetuity. Many feel more comfortable making those gifts through the Foundation because of our permanence, our professional investment management, and our oversight role in making sure their wishes are met by the recipient organizations.
How can my client provide support for a favorite charity through the Community Foundation?
Your client has two great options for supporting their favorite charity--a Donor Advised fund or a Designated fund. In both instances, the Community Foundation handles all of the administration, record keeping, and financial statements for the funds.
A Donor Advised fund gives individuals, families or businesses the opportunity to participate in grantmaking by recommending nonprofits and programs to receive grants. Your client can take advantage of current information about local needs and opportunities--and even include his/her family or business in recommending grants. It is a simple, personal and highly effective way to give.
A Designated fund provides endowment funding for a specific nonprofit organization and can be set up to allow the organization to build the fund over time. Each year, the earnings from the fund can be distributed to the nonprofit or retained for future use.
How much control and freedom would my client have in recommending gift recipients, including faith based organizations such as their church or synagogue, through their donor advised fund?
Your client can recommend a grant to any organization that falls within the broad philanthropic mission of the Community Foundation and is qualified as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code which includes most faith based programs. The United States has over 650,000 IRS-approved charities. The Community Foundation will ensure that groups recommended for a grant meet this requirement.
In complying with federal tax laws, and for the protection of your client, the Foundation must reject grant recommendations that would benefit an individual, fulfill a personal obligation, support a political campaign, or a private foundation
Can my client recommend grants to charities outside of Muskegon County?
Although our focus is on the needs of Muskegon County, we allow grant distributions from donor advised and designated funds to any nonprofit organizations qualified as 501(c)(3) in the U.S.
What is the minimum gift required to start a fund?
In most cases, the minimum for establishing a fund with the Community Foundation is $10,000. Scholarship funds require a minimum gift of $20,000.
What type of assets can my client use to start a fund?
The Community Foundation for Muskegon County has the ability to accept a range of assets including:
• Stocks and bonds
• Real estate
• Personal Property, such as jewelry and artwork
• Life insurance policies
• IRA assets
What does it cost to start a fund?
There is no cost for starting a fund at the Foundation. Our annual fee structure depends on the type of fund and ranges from .5% to 2%. This "Foundation support" fee contributes to the total operation of the Foundation, all in support of the community.
How do the Community Foundation’s costs compare with those of commercial gift funds and private foundations?
The Community Foundation’s fees are highly competitive with commercial gift funds, but even more importantly, the Community Foundation offers your clients unique value that can come from our staff’s knowledge of the community and expertise in the philanthropic field.
Opening a fund at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County is considerably less expensive than starting a private foundation, since we handle all administrative details, including filing annual tax returns, performing due diligence on grants, and all details associated with processing and tracking grants. There are also no setup fees.