Philanthropy Information

Charitable Giving and COVID-19 in Northern Michigan

It has been nine months now since the pandemic began its furious disruption of life in Northern Michigan.  With more than 11,000 cases and 196 deaths, the virus has had a palpable impact on the region’s 17 counties.  The impact of COVID-19 has received considerable attention, but much of this focus has been on its impact on the for-profit sector.

Tax Benefits of Charitable Giving

Regardless of whether you regularly contribute to charity, it is useful to be aware of the unique charitable giving tax benefits available to entrepreneurs. Even the most knowledgeable, charitably-minded individual may not be aware of all of these opportunities. This article shares those opportunities.

Have a Mission to Preserve a Vision

Mission statements are a fundamentally important building block of a family foundation’s strategic framework and deserve more attention. Further, the process of developing a family foundation mission statement must be dramatically different than the process used for other foundations or nonprofit organizations. Many techniques are available to develop a mission statement, and a board of directors should consider the benefits of each process before engaging in this fundamentally important exercise. This article published by Family Foundation Advisor addresses how a good mission statement can help preserve the legacy and vision of a founding philanthropist, and suggests some options for how family foundations can develop better mission statements.

OTHER VOICES: Loosen your strings on charitable giving

Loosen up, for gosh sakes.

Donors are increasingly putting strings on their charitable gifts. This “restricted giving” can be as simple as restricting a gift for the new library project at your alma mater or as complicated as requiring that your gift to the YWCA be used for equipment for the Saturday girls’ (aged 6 to 8) soccer program.

OTHER VOICES: Family foundations — Know when to close

More family foundations should plan in advance to shut their doors. This has nothing to do with their performance or the current economy and everything to do with their long-term success. According to 2008 figures, there are 2,306 foundations in Michigan; 80 percent of them are family foundations. The Foundation Center reports that 48 percent of family foundations awarded less than $50,000 in grants in 2007 and 59 percent had less than $1 million in assets. Most family foundations, especially these small ones, would benefit from establishing a “sunset date.”

Partnering for Success: How Family Foundations Benefit from Relationships with Community Foundations

To family foundations, it may seem like community foundations are only after one thing: their assets. Family foundations may worry that a relationship with a community foundation will be unbalanced, with the family foundation doing all the giving while receiving few benefits. A healthy relationship with a community foundation is possible, however, and it can be a very useful partnership for a family foundation.

NPA Brochures and Handouts

Six Misconceptions About Family Foundations

It seems everyone wants a foundation these days – at least many people do. So, what are the common misconceptions about family foundations? The Council on Foundations recently published an infographic we prepared on its blog, Re: Philanthropy. The infographic explains the six common misconceptions concerning family foundations.

Got Mission?

Mission – the essential purpose of a foundation – has been largely ignored in strategic planning efforts. In this piece, we will argue that mission drives strategy and that a foundation should be sure its mission is clear before engaging in lengthy efforts to develop strategy.