The Foundation Office provides an efficient corporate structure for philanthropy.
A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a Canada Revenue Agency-approved granting structure that has become one of the most efficient ways for individuals, families, and corporations to manage their philanthropy. The Stanford Social Innovation Review reported on the rise in popularity and effectiveness of DAFs in the United States, saying that despite what some detractors might believe, DAFs are “opportunity knocking” for donors of all kinds. The donor-advised fund has increasingly been the approach chosen by Canadian philanthropists since the first fund was introduced in Canada in 1952.
In contrast to a private foundation (which can take a year to form at a cost of several thousand dollars), your foundation within The Foundation Office can be established within days and at no cost. The Foundation Office provides the legal and technical infrastructure for named foundations set up as donor-advised funds.
Staff are appointed to administer your foundation fund from the first day onward, ensuring that all legal, administrative, and compliance issues are looked after—at a cost significantly less than running your own foundation.
One-time or ongoing donations may be directed to your foundation fund for which charitable tax receipt(s) are given in return. You benefit immediately from the tax relief gained through a donation but can take the time you need to choose which charities to support. Interest earned from the investment of funds within your foundation are accrued to your fund. All grants made to Canadian charities, from your foundation fund, are made to charities of your choosing following your recommendations to The Foundation Office.
Donor-Advised Foundation Funds at The Foundation Office are designed for:
• Individuals or families who are considering forming a private foundation – people who want professional management of their giving but not the administrative and legal responsibilities associated with running a private foundation;
• Individuals or families who currently have a private foundation but who no longer want the responsibility of managing the required fiduciary, regulatory, administrative, and financial aspects of their foundation;
• Individuals or families who want to be involved in guiding the investment decisions for their segregated DAF investment account at The Foundation Office (or, alternatively, want to rely upon the investment management offered by The Foundation Office);
• Individuals or families who want to have the option of sometimes (or always) conducting their philanthropy completely anonymously;
• Individuals or families who have already established a donor-advised fund elsewhere but want a higher level of professional administration, grants management, and program monitoring for their giving; and,
• Corporations wanting to simplify their charitable giving by making a single charitable gift to their company donor-advised fund foundation at The Foundation Office. This means receiving a single charitable tax receipt for the donation and subsequently taking time to direct grants to multiple charities doing work locally, nationally, or internationally.
The Foundation Office continues to work with you and on your behalf through the full giving cycle.
The Foundation Office exists to help you reach your greatest efficiency and effectiveness through your philanthropy. By providing a professional face for your foundation fund, and ensuring efficient management and administration, The Foundation Office is your foundation’s office.
Having several foundation funds operate under the umbrella of a single public foundation and registered charity achieves tremendous economies of scale. While your foundation fund is operated similarly to a private foundation, your costs will be less year after year. Additionally, the time and expertise required to manage and stay abreast of the changing fiduciary responsibilities associated with running a private foundation are eliminated as The Foundation Office becomes wholly responsible for the professional management of your foundation fund.
The costs of running your foundation fund are shared among donor-advised funds and are covered through your donations to your fund—there are no additional fees which need to be paid to The Foundation Office. Operating costs for The Foundation Office are not the same for every fund. Costs are determined by your annual granting activity and not on the assets.
As The Foundation Office works with you to develop a picture of the style and volume of annual granting you anticipate from your foundation fund, we establish a personalized annual cap to the fees assessed to your foundation fund. This includes an annual base amount of $3,000 plus a sliding scale percentage (2-5%) of your grants awarded each year. This cap ensures the cost of running your foundation fund will always be less than it would cost donors to run a private foundation at a similar style and volume.
We welcome your inquiries so that we may discuss costs related to your particular situation. Contact us here.
The Foundation Office is a Public Foundation and Registered Charity, accredited by the Canada Revenue Agency, to form and manage donor-advised funds under the umbrella of a single registered charitable designation.