Resources & FAQs

As a professional advisor, your clients expect you to provide sound counsel about the management and investment of their assets, their tax situation or their estate plan. You can also help them by listening for and identifying situations when a charitable gift to the Community Foundation would be in their interest. These include:

  • When year-end tax planning identifies a need for greater tax deductions.
  • When estate planning identifies the possibility of significant estate taxes.
  • Your client is interested in setting up a private charitable foundation, or has a private foundation but seeks simpler management.
  • Your client is passionate about helping meet a specific community need and is ready to make a significant gift.
  • Your client wants to establish a scholarship for a special interest, but doesn't know how to begin.
  • Your client owns highly appreciated stock in a company that is about to be acquired.
  • Your client has most of his/her assets tied up in a closely held company and would like to give a gift of stock or business interests.
  • Your client has a substantial IRA and/or 401(k) asset within his/her estate.

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Why 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 Arizona Community Foundation. We'd be happy to help you make an introduction.

What are the tax benefits for my clients if they give through the Arizona Community Foundation?

The Arizona Community Foundation 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 giving strategies.

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. As with a supporting organization, 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 regular, annual funding to one or more specific nonprofit organizations 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 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 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. The United States has more 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 Community 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 Arizona 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 $25,000. Each year, your client will have the opportunity to recommend grants to community organizations. 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 Philanthropic Services Committee. 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.

What is the minimum gift required to start a fund?

The minimum for establishing a fund with the Arizona Community Foundation is $25,000. The minimum to establish a supporting organization is $1 million. Gifts can be made to existing component funds in smaller denominations.

What type of assets can my client use to start a fund?

The Arizona Community Foundation has the ability to accept a range of assets including:

  • Cash equivalents
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Business interests
  • Real estate, including gland and personal property
  • Life insurance policies
  • 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 Community Foundation will continue to award the funds in accordance with your client's wishes as articulated in the fund agreement.

How do Arizona 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 important, the Community Foundation offers your clients unique value including personal service, local knowledge of community needs and the nonprofit sector, and expertise in the philanthropic field.

Establishing a fund at the Arizona 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. There are also no setup fees.

Can charitable funds established at the Arizona Community Foundation benefit areas other than Arizona?

Our role is to help donors create funds that carry out their charitable goals, be that in Arizona or elsewhere. Community Foundation donors have the ability to recommend grants to organizations across the country.

I would like to learn more about planned giving. Are there ideal resources from which I can benefit?

Visit our Planned Giving Center Online or download our Guide to Planned Giving.

ACF also offers a variety of educational forums and seminars, some of which cover planned giving. Click on the Events page for a complete list.

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