It sits quietly in the recesses of the philanthropist’s psyche. That voice. Always there. Questioning. Sometimes doubting. Occasionally the voice gains resonance; often just before a large grant is made. That voice which shouts with contemplative doggedness: “Am I making a difference?”
Michael Leven knows the value of having a plan and pursuing it with great discipline. It’s an approach that, over a 50-plus-year career, has helped him become an icon in the hotel industry and one of franchising’s most innovative leaders.
The Barbara and Stephen Miller Foundation didn’t start out with a mission to combat homelessness. “When we opened the foundation in 2008, our thought was to do work on education,” recalls Barb Miller. “We had been doing work with a low-income school district in Chicago’s north suburbs when that work started pointing us toward a greater need.”
An established foundation became a Foundation Source client in early 2006. During a conference call with the foundation president and the CPA who would be preparing the tax return during the transition year, they complained about the hefty excise taxes owed by the foundation that year, nearly $150,000 based on the standard 2% rate.
Peter Emch of Huddleston, Virginia, started his foundation in 2007 to support the autistic community and animal sheltering. He and his wife, Merope Pavlides, share a commitment to family and a love of animals. Before they had children, including a son with autistic spectrum disorder, their family consisted of a pack of three dogs. “After I retired, we wanted to find a way to give back to both endeavors,” Peter recalls. “I wanted to leave something lasting for our kids and I realized that a foundation would be a good way to accomplish my goal.”
In the late 80s, Dr. Richard Boas, 63, became the adoptive parent of a girl born in Korea. Almost 20 years later, he accompanied the staff of the adoption agency he had worked with on a trip to Korea. It was a trip that would transform him. “By training, I’m an ophthalmologist who specialized in treating glaucoma. On that trip, I found my own blind spot and resolved to do what I could to help Koreans address their own blind spot to mothers giving up their children.”
Atlantic Trust creates investment, financial, and estate planning strategies customized for the needs of select individuals and families. Julia M. Beisel, a Vice President and the Senior Client Service Manager in charge of Private Wealth Management, has years of experience handling personal investment trusts. However, she readily admits that working with private foundations represented a major challenge.
Residing in the Florida Panhandle, the Price family wanted to establish a family foundation to provide direct help to individuals and families within the community who had encountered difficulties in their lives. However, according to Mrs. Jo-Ann Price, attorneys and tax advisors cautioned that IRS regulations governing private foundations made this type of granting complicated and time consuming.
For years after the establishment of the Murphy Family Foundation in 1986, its administrators had to deal with a time-consuming round robin of paperwork. They would receive written proposals, review them and pass them on to the foundation’s trustees for their review. Only then would the trustees meet to discuss the grant request. Often, the trustees would want to refer back to previous requests from one organization or another to see if changing circumstances warranted a different decision from the past. But it became increasingly difficult to keep all the information for each grant request readily available.
In 2005, Mr. Hagan decided to establish a charitable foundation. Because of his time commitments to his three young children and the demands of a fast-growing business, he wanted a turnkey operation that provided “simplicity and convenience.”