Advisor Frequently Asked Questions
How should I talk to my clients about charitable giving?
Some advisors are reluctant to begin a charitable giving conversation with their client, concerned about making value judgments, especially if the client has not expressed charitable intentions. In reality, identifying your client's philanthropic interests is a wonderful way to deepen the client's trust and strengthen your relationship. This is also an opportunity to develop your relationship with future heirs.
To determine your clients’ motivation for and knowledge of philanthropic giving, you might start with these questions.
1. What has been the most satisfying charitable gift you have ever made? Why?
2. Have you volunteered anywhere? Which volunteer experience has been the most rewarding?
3. Of your core values, which would you like to express through your giving?
4. When you think of the challenges facing our community, what are your greatest concerns? Are any of these the focus of your current or future giving?
5. What have you learned about your giving? Would you do anything differently if you could?
6. 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?
7. What would you like to accomplish with your giving? Do you think this is possible?
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 Monterey County. We’d be happy to help you make an introduction.
What are the tax benefits for my clients if they give through the Community Foundation for Monterey County?
The Community Foundation for Monterey 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.
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 the best charitable solution.
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 Monterey 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. It’s just one way we can help you help your clients achieve their charitable goals.
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. A Donor Advised fund gives individuals, families or businesses the opportunity to participate in grantmaking by recommending nonprofits and programs to receive grants. A Community Foundation Donor Advisor 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 endowment funding for a specific nonprofit organization and can be set up to enable 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.
In both instances, the Community Foundation handles all of the administration, record keeping, and financial statements for the funds.
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.
How does a Donor Advised fund work?
A Donor Advised fund with the Community Foundation for Monterey County 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 The minimum amount needed to establish a Permanent Donor Advised Fund is $25,000, which can be pledged over a 2-year period. The minimum amount for a Temporary Donor Advised Fund is $10,000. Each year, your client will have the opportunity to recommend nonprofits to receive grants, which are then approved by our Board of Trustees. The Community Foundation handles the paperwork and administration. This is a great way for your client to involve their children and granchildren in family philanthopy.
What is the minimum gift required to start a fund?
The minimum amount needed to establish an Endowed Donor Advised Fund is $25,000, which can be pledged over a 2-year period. The minimum amount for a Non-endowed Donor Advised Fund is $10,000.
What type of assets can my client use to start a fund?
The Community Foundation has the ability to accept a range of assets including:
• Stocks and bonds
• Real estate
• Personal Property, such as jewelry and artwork
• Life insurance
For more information contact President/CEO, Dan Baldwin or call 831.375.9712 x115.