Giving Options Summary Chart

From Toolkit for Giving: Ways to Give

The chart below provides a summary comparison of the major types of charitable giving options. The chart is meant to offer basic summary information, and is not a substitute for professional counsel "” we encourage you to discuss details with your professional advisors.

 

Charitable Giving Options

     

Direct Gift to Charity

Private Founda-
tion

Community Foundation Fund

Corporate Giving Program, Foundation or Fund

Supporting Organiza-
tion

Giving Circle

Donor can control investment of assets

No

Yes

No

Yes

Limited

Limited (1)

Donor can control giving priorities

Yes (2)

Yes

Limited (3)

Yes

Limited

Limited (1)

How likely to be perpetual

Low (4)

High

High

NA

High

Low

By virtue of gift, donor may control who serves on governing board

No (5)

Yes

No (5)

Yes

Limited

Yes

Requires donor time and effort, plus expense of staff and management

No

Yes

No (7)

Yes

Yes

Yes (6)

Minimum payout required

No

Yes

No

Yes, if a foundation

No

Yes

Must pay 1-2% tax on investment income and realized capital gains

No

Yes

No

Yes (10), 
if a foundation

No

No

Tax deduction limitation for gifts of cash (% of adjusted gross income that may be deducted)

50% (8)

30% (8)

50% (8)

10% of pre-tax profits (8)

50% (8)

50% (8)

Tax deduction limitation for gifts of stock or real property (% of adjusted gross income that may be deducted)

30% (8)

20% (8) (9)

30% (8)

10% of pre-tax profits (8)

30% (8)

30% (8)

Valuation of gifts of property other than publicly traded stock

Fair market value

Cost basis

Fair market value

Cost basis, if a foundation

Fair market value

NA (11)

Separate tax return required and open to public inspection

No

Yes

No

Yes (10), 
if a foundation

Yes

No

1. Legal structures of giving circles vary, resulting in different levels of donor control. Pooling resources with others also limits direct personal control.

2. Charity and donor can agree on how contribution is spent.

3. A restricted gift can be confined to the stated purpose, but the donor relinquishes control of the investments and its disposition. A donor advised fund permits the donor to make recommendations subject to the ultimate control of the community foundation.

4. Except when you create an endowment.

5. Any citizen may be elected or appointed to the board of any public charity. The donor gift does not guarantee such an outcome except in the case of supporting organizations.

6. Giving circles vary in requirements for involvement and in management structure and cost.

7. Community foundations often assess a management or administrative fee.

8. Excess in any year's donations can be carried forward for five years.

9. Except for gifts of publicly traded stock, the deductible value of lifetime gifts of closely held stock or real property is limited to tax basis, which is generally cost.

10. Corporate foundations must pay the same excise tax as any private foundation.

11. Giving circles typically accept donations of cash and stock only.

Accurate as of April 2000.

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