Who might need our service?
A small or medium foundation with a volume of communication and grantmaking that is more than volunteers would like to administer, but demanding less than full-time staffing. We work with foundations or funds that require someone to handle multiple communications—both external and internal. Having a knowledgeable administrator will enhance the work of the trustees and allow them to concentrate on those aspects of running a foundation that they most enjoy.
Who else does this?
While many financial services firms, as well as community foundations, now offer donor-designated fund management, they typically do not provide Parkman Foundation Services’ personalized services and do not become as knowledgeable about your vision and your philanthropic practices.
If you require fiscal administration, we work with several companies who provide excellent bookkeeping and tax support. We manage these subcontractors, as well as interact with your chosen professionals supporting your foundation (attorneys, CPA's, your financial advisors, web designers, etc.) Fiscal services may include annual tax form preparation, payment of excise taxes, trustee expense reimbursement, etc.
What we can do for you and your foundation:
Establishing and Keeping Your Philanthropic Course:
- Help donors clarify their philanthropic vision and values. Focus your giving criteria, and define your foundation’s giving guidelines.
- Analyze and recommend appropriate giving structures, procedures, and decision-making processes – and provide training to trustees when appropriate.
- Create evaluation frameworks to review grantees, consistent with the client’s giving goals.
- Facilitate strategic planning, board retreats, and other structured discussions.
Foundation Back-Office Support:
- Structure and maintain administrative procedures, grant tracking methodologies, and other office systems.
- Receive and track all inquiries. Open daily mail and respond promptly with a recommendation as to whether the grantseeker should proceed with further communication, what type of communication is required, and relevant deadlines.
- Respond to daily emails and phone inquiries, helping grantseekers understand the foundation’s grantmaking criteria and thus assist them in preparing a competitive proposal if invited.
- Organize and rank incoming proposals, sharing the top contenders with trustees.
- Conduct site visits with you or without, providing detailed accounts for trustees.
- Support meetings of foundation’s trustees, arranging meeting space, and preparing agendas and grants docket. We also serve as a handy resource to trustees as they discuss the proposals, answering questions based on site visits to the agencies, phone conversations, etc.
- Prepare and send notification letters (and checks if required) to both new grantees and declined applicants.
- Create and manage database systems and spreadsheets to support your foundation’s unique grantmaking process.
Communicate on Your Behalf:
- Plan external communications strategies and distribution channels. Prepare press releases when new opportunities or initiatives are launched.
- Represent you at professional associations on panels or in workshops to share your information and bring back new information and trends to trustees.
- Serve as your ambassador to the community when requested. Attend special events and agency tours to keep current with grantee’ programs and activities.
- Answer all or selected inquiries from the public about your processes and grantmaking practices using phone, email, and written correspondence.
- Update key information on your foundation’s website.
- Other projects as determined by foundation trustees.
Common Questions about Foundations:
What is a Private Foundation?
A private foundation is defined by the IRS as a charitable organization, funded by an individual, family, or group. It pays an annual 1-2% excise tax on its net investment income. Each year, the foundation must make grants to qualified organizations totaling at least 5% of its assets (this can include administrative costs of the foundation).
Why Start a Foundation?
- Put your wealth to work—impact causes and solutions to problems by rewarding non-profits who are improving our world.
- Keep family members and close allies focused on these solutions, using the foundation as a forum for sharing ideas and resources around your philanthropic priorities.
- Enjoy significant tax advantages—consult your estate attorney!
- Leave a legacy —impact causes you care about.
- With a foundation, you can make a difference in your community and our world—both during your lifetime and beyond.
- Prolong the impact of your giving for perpetuity by endowing your foundation. (Each year, only the income earned on the asset base will be given away.)
- If you want your heirs to ultimately inherit your wealth, you may be able to maintain an inheritance for them through the use of a “Wealth Replacement Trust.” Ask your financial advisor or attorney.
How Much Work is Involved in Having a Foundation?
You may be involved as little or as much as you desire. The great advantage to working with Parkman Foundation Services is that you do the parts of giving that interest you—from researching fields of interest, to making site visits, to only making final decisions after we have done the groundwork—it’s up to you.