Q&A's Archive - Page 26 of 39 - Exponent Philanthropy

Q&A Archive

What do foundations usually include in a board orientation?

When your organization welcomes new board members, where should you begin? Some of your new trustees may be family members who’ve grown up hearing about the foundation. Others may be experts who specialize in your funding area. Our publication Bringing on the Board: Practical Steps for Orienting Foundation Board Members (available for complimentary member download) guides... Read More

Can a private foundation make a grant to a government agency?

Yes. Private foundations can fund the charitable activities of government agencies or units of government (e.g., public libraries, fire departments), and can do so without using expenditure responsibility. Your foundation should request a copy of the document (e.g., legislative action) that shows the grantee’s governmental status. Be sure the grant agreement states that the grant... Read More

What should we consider when hiring family members as foundation staff?

As an exception to the private foundation self-dealing rules, family members may be paid reasonable compensation for reasonable and necessary services to the foundation. The Internal Revenue Service says that reasonable compensation “is only such amount as would ordinarily be paid for like services by like enterprises under like circumstances.” No formula is available that... Read More

Can site visit expenses count toward our 5% distribution requirement?

Yes. According to federal tax law, qualifying distributions include reasonable administrative expenses necessary for conducting a foundation’s charitable activities (e.g., staff salaries, insurance, training, travel, rent). Reasonable site visit expenses qualify here. Other qualifying distributions include: Most grants for charitable purposes to public charities, noncharities, and eligible individuals (e.g., scholarships) if specific IRS rules are... Read More