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Guiding Corporate Generosity: The Need for Philanthropy Expertise

Guiding Corporate Generosity: The Need for Philanthropy Expertise

When it comes to community engagement, corporate philanthropy has become an essential aspect of any company’s strategy. While this can be great for a company’s image and morale, managing philanthropic efforts can also be intricate and demanding. This is where the Athens Area Community Foundation steps in, providing the necessary expertise and support to help companies and their leaders maximize their charitable impact.

Integrating Philanthropy into Corporate Strategy

Clients often wear many hats—they are parents, siblings, volunteers, and professionals. But what can be overlooked is that many of these clients are also corporate executives or small business owners. Addressing corporate giving needs alongside individual and family philanthropy is a critical way to increase giving while engaging other elements of the community.

Unfortunately, sometimes it is easy to overlook these elements of financial and estate planning with clients. AACF can assist in integrating philanthropy into these plans, ensuring that clients are aware of all the options available for structuring their charitable giving to achieve both philanthropic and tax goals for their business.

This philanthropy can bring significant value to the financial and estate plans you build for clients. Many of them are already supporting their favorite community causes, and part of your role is to inform them about techniques that can help them give to charity while also benefiting their financial strategies.

Corporate Donor-Advised Funds: A Strategic Approach

For many clients, the concept of corporate philanthropy may not always be at the front of mind, even when they are executives at companies where the leadership team is eager to engage in charitable giving. Understanding best practices in corporate philanthropy and knowing how the community foundation can assist is the first step toward bringing these elements of their life together.

One effective strategy is establishing a corporate donor-advised fund, which essentially functions as a corporate foundation. This fund helps corporate executives organize the company’s giving in a convenient, 501(c)(3)-qualified structure, avoiding the time and expense required to establish a separate foundation entity. Companies can fund the corporate donor-advised fund each year, especially in prosperous years, organizing charitable donations to a wide range of nonprofits through a single source. This approach helps maintain historical giving levels even during economic downturns.

Additionally, many companies coordinate with the community foundation to offer donor-advised funds to employees, taking advantage of company stock gifts. This program serves as a perk for employees, helping them organize their giving and utilize the foundation’s tools and services. It also inspires greater community involvement among employees, benefiting both the company and the community.

The community foundation can even play a back-office role in managing a company’s matching gifts program, grant administration, and overall giving strategy. For example, the foundation can assist corporate leadership in creating programs that match employees’ volunteer time with financial contributions.

Supporting Corporate and Community Needs

The community foundation’s tools for managing donations enable companies and their employees to respond quickly and effectively to disasters and urgent community needs. This partnership allows companies to outsource complex administrative tasks, knowing that tax and compliance obligations are taken care of for them.

The Athens Area Community Foundation is eager to collaborate with corporate executives and small business owners who are passionate about giving back to the community!

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The Athens Area Community Foundation is a public grantmaking foundation that builds community by encouraging long term giving through funds created by caring donors.

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