What is the 5% payout rule?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on October 15, 2008

Q: What is the 5% payout rule? A: The “payout rule” refers to the fact that, by law, private nonoperating foundations must distribute five percent of the value of their net investment assets annually in the form of grants or eligible administrative expenses, with certain exceptions....

Thoughts on our symposium, the economic storm, and a sweet memory

Posted by Virginia Esposito on October 15, 2008

On September 10-11, the National Center for Family Philanthropy celebrated the culmination of the year-long initiative that marked our Tenth Anniversary. The results were more than I could have ever imagined or hoped for! The feature of this month’s newsletter offers a few glimpses into the rich and...

Tracy family foundation

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on October 15, 2008

When the Tracy Family Foundation (TFF) set out to determine its strategic vision for the next five years, the Mount Sterling, Illinois family foundation included goals for Brown County, the surrounding region in western Illinois served by the foundation, and the Tracy family itself....

The Tow foundation

Posted on September 18, 2008

When Leonard and Claire Tow created the Tow Foundation in 1988, it was like many other family foundations that base their grantmaking programs on the interests of the trustees. But by the late 1990s that had changed. Seeking funding gaps in their home states, the trustees began to focus collectively in...

Giving internationally when the dollar is down

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on September 15, 2008

Q: How can we make sure our international grants have the most impact in times when the dollar is weak? A: An increasing number of family foundations are giving internationally. Our 2008 Pursuit of Excellence survey discovered that 21 percent of family foundation respondents make such grants....

Pursuing excellence

Posted by Virginia Esposito on September 15, 2008

I have never had a donor family member turn me down when I asked for help on behalf of another giving family. Even when I needed someone to share a difficult experience, they agreed, knowing it might help a colleague. It has been a powerful testament to the generosity of spirit of these families; they...

Five questions for effectiveness

Posted by Kevin Laskowski on September 15, 2008

A new survey by the National Center for Family Philanthropy has concluded that most family foundations are conscientious guardians of charitable legacies. They observe high ethical standards of grantmaking practices, including fiscal oversight and accountability. Are you among them?...

The Lawrence Welk family foundation

Posted on July 18, 2008

A few summers ago, the board of the Lawrence Welk Family Foundation issued a challenge to young family members. Gathered at a family-owned resort in San Diego for the family’s annual meeting, the fourth generation of Welk family members was told about a local shelter for homeless families....

Advocacy vs. lobbying

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on July 15, 2008

Q: In a board discussion of possible advocacy efforts, trustees recalled our founding documents, which prohibit “carrying on propaganda.” Where does this phrase come from and what exactly does it mean? A: The phrase “carrying on propaganda” comes from Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, which...

From checkbook to family fund: Why organize your giving?

Posted by Virginia Esposito on July 15, 2008

A great enthusiasm is building for getting the most out of your charitable giving, for working with your family in this pursuit, and for focusing for greater impact… in Israel! This past month I was invited to speak at a conference in Israel convened to encourage private philanthropy, particularly...

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