For Professional Advisors

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  • The following are just a few of the many reasons it’s important to discuss giving with your clients.

    • Many clients are seeking a way to express gratitude or appreciation for places and causes they care about.
    • By making it easy to give, you serve your community as well as your clients.
    • Helping clients give can create a bond, making you a positive stakeholder.
    • You expand your areas of professional expertise.
    • Clients you assist in giving may be motivated to refer new clients to you who want to do the same.
    • You become part of a supportive network of like-minded colleagues willing to share their time and expertise.
  • As  a member of the community, we know local issues and leaders, and how to bring government, community and nonprofit players together in meaningful ways. Using us as a resource for giving makes everything simpler and easier for you and your clients. Our purpose is to provide support and expertise, so we can work entirely in the background or we can attend every meeting with you—it’s up to you and your client.

    The Community Foundation is a cost-free resource for charitable and estate planning and we’ve been working with professional advisors since 1961. When legislative or tax changes impact your clients, we’ll keep you informed.

  • If any of the following points describe your clients, they may benefit from knowing more about the Community Foundation. We’d be happy to help you introduce them to our work.

    • Care deeply about the local community
    • Contribute to more than one charitable cause
    • Want to create a legacy in the community for their family or themselves
    • Have IRA Required Minimum Distributions they don’t need and would like to avoid taxes
    • Have an interest in forming a private foundation, but are concerned about cost and administrative complexity
    • Desire a say in how gifts are used
    • Expect sound financial management for gifts, as well as maximum tax benefits
  • We offer the maximum charitable tax advantages available by law. The Community Foundation is not subject to the taxes and regulations affecting private foundations, and we have greater flexibility on matters such as minimum payout, so more money goes toward the cause.

  • The Community Foundation offers a variety of fund options, including funds for the community (unrestricted), designated, scholarship, donor advised, committee advised, field of interest, organization endowment, and community project funds. We also offer charitable gift annuities for clients interested in providing much-needed support to their community while receiving guaranteed payments for life.

  • If you want to discuss the many benefits of charitable giving with your clients without recommending specific causes or organizations, the Community Foundation is a simple solution. A community foundation provides a single, trusted place where clients can address issues they care about, while gaining the maximum tax benefit under state and federal law. We offer many giving options, including the ability to set up a fund in your client’s name. Clients can suggest grants to the nonprofit of their choice each year, or select one or more organizations to give to, perpetually.

  • Many donors do both, giving directly to nonprofits to provide current operating support, and giving to us to provide long-term sustaining support through endowment. The Community Foundation offers permanence, professional investment management, and oversight in ensuring that their wishes are met by the recipient organizations.

  • Your client can support a favorite charity through a donor advised fund or a designated fund, as well as by adding to that organization’s endowment fund if we have it. We handle all of the administration, recordkeeping, and financial statements for both options. With donor advised funds, donors have ongoing flexibility to recommend which organizations and programs receive grants. Designated funds provide endowment funding for specific nonprofit organization(s) and can be set up to allow building of the fund over time.

  • Your client can recommend a grant to any organization that falls within the broad mission of the Community Foundation and is qualified as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code.  We ensure that groups recommended for a grant meet this requirement. Due to federal tax laws, we must reject grant recommendations that would benefit a specific individual, fulfill a personal obligation or support a political campaign or private foundation.

  • We are focused on the needs of Mason County, but we allow grants from donor advised and designated funds to any 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the U.S.

  • Strategic Funds can be started for $5,000 or built up with annual $500 gifts over 10 years. Strategic Funds support one of our strategic focus areas:

    • Education
    • Economic Development – Improving Workforce Supports
    • Community Development
    • All of the Above! (Funds for the Community)

    Scholarship funds require a minimum gift of $25,000; they can be built up with annual $5,000 gifts over 5 years.

    All other permanent funds start with $10,000 and can be built up with annual $2,000 gifts over 5 years.

  • We accept a range of assets including: cash, stocks and bonds, Qualified Charitable Distributions from IRAs (cannot go to a Donor Advised Fund), real estate, personal property such as jewelry and artwork, life insurance policies and retirement account assets.

  • Nothing. Starting a fund is free of cost. Our annual fee structure depends on the type of fund and ranges from 1% to 2%.  Fees are deducted from the fund, and they support our overall operations.

  • Our fees are highly competitive with commercial gift funds and considerably less expensive than starting a private foundation. We handle all administrative tasks, including filing annual tax returns, performing due diligence on grants, and all details associated with processing and tracking grants—and there are no setup fees. We offer you all the options of your own private foundation, but without the hassle extra cost.

  • Although giving may be an essential part of any financial plan, there are times when you may need some recommendations on the best ways to begin that discussion. Just give us a call. We can provide a variety of suggestions on how you can get that conversation started.

  • Donor information is highly confidential. We do not share donor names, addresses or fund-related financial information with any individual or organization without express permission from the donor.

For Donors

Some of the questions most frequently asked by our donors are answered for you here.

Learn More

For Grant Applicants

Find out who is eligible for grants from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.

Learn More

Give Now

Every gift makes a difference.
Where and how is up to you.

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