Many donors today are not fulfilled by only the grantmaking portion of philanthropy and foundation work. They want to know how to move the bar on issues in deeply meaningful ways – how to exert influence and leverage resources to be true “change-makers.”
Dr. Ted Caplow’s journey from entrepreneur to philanthropist will likely resonate with other members of the funding community. There is nothing conventional about how Ted endeavors to save the lives of children around the world.
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.”
The Edwards Mother Earth Foundation (EMEF) of Washington State, founded in 1997 by Robert L. Edwards, didn’t start out with a clear directive to fight climate change through energy efficiency. But through the family’s efforts, and guidance from Foundation Source, it has become an engine for environmental change, as well as a training ground for future generations of family leaders.
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.