Donors and Philanthropic Tools

When we work with Donors, we emphasize philanthropic planning – managing and disbursing funds, achieving donor objectives and maximizing benefits for both the Donor and the Exempt Organization. 

Most of our work with donors is transaction related: Identifying and validating the exempt status of organizations that meet donor requirements; Evaluating the organization's operations and sustainability; Helping the donor decide what to give (Cash, Appreciated Assets, In-Kind), and when to give it; determining the most tax efficient way to donate; substantiating, reporting and defending the tax outcome; and monitoring the organization's use of the funds (if necessary).

For some donors, sustainable philanthropy is paramount. For these donors, we often suggest and implement donor advised funds, private foundations, dispository trusts, and/or estate/trust bequests. Each of these devices requires ongoing care and maintenance that we are also happy to provide.

Then there are the "exotics:" - deferred giving arrangements (grantor retained interests - GRITs, GRATs, and GRUTs), intangibles, conservation easements, private businesses, and hard to value assets. For these engagements, we work with a team of attorneys, appraisers, title, environmental and other experts to perfect the transfers and avoid the pitfalls these opportunities present. If a transfer is already complete - we vigorously defend it in IRS examination and appeal (and provide occasional support to Tax Court practitioners).

Much of our work with Donors relies heavily on our affiliate, Cambyses Financial Advisors. For more information about our donor services, visit Cambyses Service Pages. Ours and Cambyses' long term Sustainable Philanthropy project, commenced in November 2021, aggregates forty-five years of experience and writing about Exempt Organizations and their Donors. ​The project gives a voice to our concept of Sustainable Philanthropy, Our goal is to produce a comprehensive body of authoritative and reliable materials viewed from the perspective of both Donors and Exempt Organizations. These materials are divided between a, more-or-less, linear main body narrative,  and a supporting cast of Technical and Procedural Notes.