America’s Leading Black Philanthropists

From education to health, African Americans pump billions into charities and causes, fueling their clout and mission to change the world

you can claim the appropriate federal tax deduction, up to 50% of your adjusted gross income for the year for cash and 30% for stock or property. Understand that tax-exempt means the organization doesn’t have to pay taxes and tax deductible means you can write off your contribution.

2 Create a Trust. A Charitable Remainder Trust allows you to take a charitable deduction for your gift in the year in which the trust is formed. You then receive income from the trust for life, after which the assets pass to a philanthropic fund or charity that you designate. A Charitable Lead Trust fund provides for a regular, fixed amount to be paid to a fund or charities of your choosing for a specific number of years, after which, the remainder of the trust passes to your designated heirs or other beneficiaries.

3 Establish a Giving Circle. Find like-minded people with whom you can pool funds and then distribute the income and/or principal in the form of grants. Members may chip in anywhere from $100 to $2,500 or more. The funds may be held at a public foundation or at some other nonprofit or commercial entity that will invest the funds to earn income. This setup also saves individual donors the cost of setting up their own private foundations.

4 Create a Family or Private Foundation. This allows your family to retain control and flexibility in its giving to specific organizations. The foundation can be organized as a nonprofit or charitable trust. The tax benefit is that you can deduct up to 30% of your annual adjusted gross income for cash donations and 20% for gifts of stock or property. By law, private foundations must pay out in annual grant funds totaling 5% of their assets and 1% to 2% excise tax on net investment income.

5 Develop a Corporate Giving Program. Many companies have an annual giving program to make grants (funded as part of their annual operating budget) and to match employees’ cash gifts and volunteer time to nonprofits. Companies often make in-kind gifts of products to charities. Tax deduction is 10% of pretax profits. If you have a family-owned business, you can establish a giving program or corporate foundation, which usually starts with a single donation that can become an endowment. The owners are usually the governing board, and the foundation is subject to the excise tax and minimum payout requirement.

6 Develop a Donor-Advised Fund Through a Public Charity. Donor funds allow you to make simple tax-deductible contributions. These funds are set up through a public foundation and are considered an alternative to establishing a private foundation since there are no fees or complex paperwork. You can designate one or more charities to benefit from your donation. The financial decision on grant distributions rests with the board of trustees of the community foundation managing your tax-exempt donor funds.

7 Establish a Supporting Organization. This entity lies between a private foundation and a donor-advised fund. Essentially, your organization supports and funds a public

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  • oluayo afolahan

    Calvary Greetings,

    May God continue to strengthen you in your good work to humanity. I cry out to you in anguish to kindly assist me with some money ($350) so i would be able to pay up for my mum’s hospital bills, and my school debts. These two are a big burden to me as i am unemployed at the moment and incapable. Please, i beg you sincerely.

    God bless u as i prayerfully anticipate your kind response.
    Best Regards,
    Oluayo Afolahan.

  • Rebecca Adams

    I am searching for resources to bury my father as he nears the final act in this life after all of his assets were stolen and/or destroyed. Thank You for any help You may be able to offer.