Listening for Charitable Opportunities

As a financial adviser, your clients expect you to provide sound counsel about the management and investment of their assets. You can also help them by listening for and identifying financial situations when a charitable gift to the community foundation would be in their interest:

  • Year-end tax planning identifies a need for greater tax deductions.
  • Estate planning identifies the possibility of significant estate taxes.
  • A charitably minded client is uneasy donating the principal of retirement savings.
  • Your client is interested in setting up a charitable foundation.
  • 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 currently has a private foundation that may not be distributing minimum grants.
  • Your client has most of his/her assets tied up in a closely held company.
  • Your client has a substantial IRA and 401(k) assets within his/her estate.

Key Benefits for Your Clients

You can be assured that giving through the Michigan Gateway Community Foundation is right for your clients if you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions about them:

  • Do my clients care deeply about their community?
  • Do they give to more than one charitable cause?
  • Are they interested in creating a personal or family legacy in their community?
  • Would they like to stay personally involved with their charitable gift dollars?
  • Do they want to receive the maximum tax benefit for their charitable contribution?
  • Are they interested in creating a private foundation but not interested in the work that goes with it?
  • Do they place a priority on sound financial management of their contributions?

Which Clients May Be Interested in the Community Foundation?

  • Your clients can address a broad range of local needs. Arts. Education. Health. The environment. These are just a few areas of community life that your client can specifically address by giving through the community foundation. Every year the Community Foundation makes hundreds of grants to local agencies and programs to address a broad range of needs in our area.
  • Your clients’ donations will work forever. When your clients donate through our endowment funds, the principal of their gift is never spent. It is carefully invested, and the earnings are used annually to address specific local causes and issues.
  • Your clients can maximize tax benefits. All gifts to the Community Foundation are tax deductible. They also qualify for the Michigan Community Foundations Tax Credit.
  • Your clients can create a personal legacy of giving.

Michigan Gateway Community Foundation offers a variety of options for donors to personalize their philanthropy. They may establish a named fund, and they may be involved in suggesting grants from the dollars generated by their funds. They may receive regular communication from the Foundation staff about community needs and initiatives. It’s a personalized and efficient way to give.

General Information Packet (contact MGCF)

This information packet gives you the information you need to assist your client in learning what the Community Foundation is and how we operate. If you or your client has questions, someone is always available to assist you. And be assured that all matters you discuss with us are kept strictly confidential.

Sample Fund Agreements

Fund agreement can be written to create funds that are permanently endowed, long-term (principal can be spent), or temporary. With the exception of the special project fund sample agreement, the following samples are for permanently endowed funds. Please contact us to receive a sample of a long-term or temporary fund agreement for any of the fund types you see below.


With field-of-interest funds, the donor directs the Community Foundation to utilize the annual income in a certain program area. The Community Foundation determines the specific grant recipients.

Click here


With field-of-interest funds, the donor directs the Community Foundation to utilize the annual income in a certain program area. The Community Foundation determines the specific grant recipients.

An educational field of interest fund can be used for scholarships, but can also be used for other types of educational support. When deciding what type of fund to create, consider what $500 can do for one college student. And then consider what $500 could do for a 5th grade science class of 25 students.

Click here


Designated funds are funds in which a donor has specified the charitable recipient, or recipients, of the income at the time the fund is established.

Click here

Donor Advised

Donor advised funds allow the donor to actively participate in the grant making process by recommending to the Community Foundation the purpose and organizations that receive the annual income. Recommendations are referred to the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors for approval. Many advised funds become unrestricted on the death of the donor or at the end of a specified period.

Temporary donor advised funds work just like an endowed fund with the exception that the minimum establishing gift is $1,000. Use this option for end-of-year giving to multiple charities. You can write a single check or give stock to your community foundation, get one gift acknowledgment for tax purposes, and still make gifts to several charities. For a sample agreement for this type of fund, please contact us.

Click here

Agency/Organizational Funds

Other nonprofit organizations often place their endowment funds within the Community Foundation for management and investment purposes. The Community Foundation regularly distributes the annual income back to these agencies to help them accomplish their charitable purposes.

Click here

Special Project Funds

These funds are created to support grassroots fund raising efforts. Groups of citizens can focus on reaching their goals and let us keep track of donations and pay expenses.

Click here


Scholarship funds are a field-of-interest funds that awards grants to individuals for tuition and education-related expenses at tax-exempt educational institutions—such as a college/university or vocational/technical institute, commercial art school, school of nursing, or other accredited institution of higher education.

The Community Foundation does not award scholarship grants to provide funds for room and board and travel expenses because these are taxable to the recipient and therefore are not charitable in nature.

Click here


Planned Giving Design Center for Advisors

The Planning Giving Design Center is a national network of professional advisors. Sign up and receive valuable, up-to-the-minute information on the tools and techniques of charitable gift planning.