Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I talk to my clients about charitable giving?
Some advisors are reluctant to begin a charitable giving conversation with their client, especially if the client has not expressed charitable interests. Identifying your client’s passions or philanthropic interests is a great way to expand the client’s trust and strengthen your relationship. It’s also an opportunity to develop a relationship with future heirs.
To better understand your clients’ motivation for and knowledge of philanthropic giving, consider these questions:
- What has been the most gratifying charitable gift you have ever made? Why?
- Have you volunteered anywhere? Which volunteer experience has been the most rewarding?
- Of your fundamental values, which would you like to express through your giving?
- When you think of the challenges facing our community now and into the future, what are your biggest concerns? Are they the focus of your current or future giving?
- Consider your history of giving. Would you do anything differently if you could?
- What role has philanthropy played in your family? Is it what you would like it to be… or would you like to change it? Are your children and grandchildren aware of your philanthropy?
- What would you like to accomplish with your giving? Do you think this is possible?
How do I know if giving through GWCF is right for my clients?
Here are a few questions to consider:
- Does my client care deeply about our community?
- Does my client give to more than one cause or charitable organization?
- Is my client interested in leaving a personal or family legacy in the community?
- Is my client considering starting a private foundation? Are they aware of the cost and administrative complexity?
- Is my client looking to make and outright gift or are would they like to stay actively involved in the use of their gift dollars?
- Does my client want to receive maximum tax benefit for their charitable contributions under federal law?
- Does my client place a priority on sound financial management of their contributions?
- Are measurable results of their philanthropic gift important to my client?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your clients may be very interested in learning more about the GiveWell Community Foundation.
What are the tax benefits for my clients if they give through GWCF?
The GiveWell Community Foundation offers the maximum charitable tax advantages available by law and as a public charity, is not subject to the taxes and regulations affecting private foundations.
When does it make sense to suggest a charitable gift?
Philanthropy is a very special decision. As a professional advisor, you can help clients realize their charitable objectives by listening for charitable giving opportunities, explaining options, and suggesting solutions. Significant giving opportunities often arise when clients are making major business, personal, and financial decisions. Our staff can work with you and your client to recommend giving strategies.
How can my client provide support for their favorite nonprofit through the community foundation?
Your client has great options for supporting their favorite nonprofit–a donor advised fund or a designated fund. A donor advised fund gives individuals, families or businesses the opportunity to participate in grantmaking by recommending nonprofits and programs to receive grants. GiveWell Community Foundation donor advisors can take advantage of 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 regular, annual funding to one or more specific nonprofit organization and can be set up to allow the organizations to build the fund over time. Each year, the earnings from the fund can be distributed to the nonprofit or retained for future use. In both instances, the GiveWell Community Foundation handles all of the administration, record keeping, and financial statements for the funds and of course keeps you in the information loop.
How does a donor-advised fund work?
A donor-advised fund with the GiveWell Community Foundation will give your client the opportunity to take part in the grantmaking process without the work and expense of operating a private foundation. Your client can establish a donor-advised fund with the Community Foundation with a minimum gift of $10,000. Your client will have the opportunity to recommend grants to nonprofit organizations both locally and beyond. We perform the due diligence to ensure the recommended grantees are qualified, viable organizations in good standing, and then issue the checks from the fund. Grants are then ratified by our Board of Directors made up of local community minded leaders. The Community Foundation handles all the paperwork and administration. It’s a great way for your client to involve their children and grandchildren in family philanthropy. In addition, the Community Foundation will follow your clients grant to ensure it correctly meets the intent of the donor.
How much control and freedom would my client have in recommending gift recipients through a donor-advised fund?
Your client can recommend a grant to any organization that is qualified as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which includes most faith-based programs such as their church or synagogue. The professional staff at the GiveWell Community Foundation will ensure that groups recommended for a grant meet this requirement.
It’s important to point out, however, that in complying with federal tax laws, and for the protection of your client, the Community Foundation must reject grant recommendations that would benefit an individual, fulfill a personal obligation, support a political campaign, or a private foundation.
What is the minimum gift required to start a fund?
The minimum for establishing a fund with the GiveWell Community Foundation is $10,000. Gifts can be made to existing funds in smaller denominations.
What type of assets can my client use to start a fund?
The GiveWell Community Foundation has the ability to accept a wide range of assets including:
Give Now – Cash, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, life insurance, closely held stock, and real estate.
Give Later – Charitable bequest, charitable trusts, life insurance policies, life estate, and retirement account assets.
Can my client name a successor to the fund?
Yes. If the donor does not name a successor, or after the successor’s passing, the GiveWell Community Foundation will continue to award the funds in accordance with your client’s wishes as articulated in the fund agreement.
How do GWCF's costs compare with those of commercial gift funds and private foundations?
The Community Foundation’s fees are very competitive with commercial gift funds, but even more important; the Community Foundation offers your clients unique value including personal service, local knowledge of community needs and the local nonprofit sector, and expertise in the philanthropic field.
Establishing a fund at the a Community Foundation 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. In addition, there are no setup fees.
Can charitable funds established at GWCF benefit areas other than Central Florida?
Our role is to help donors create funds that carry out their charitable goals, be that in Polk County or elsewhere. Community Foundation donors have the ability to recommend grants to organizations right here in our community, across the country and internationally.