Ranch house with mountains on background in Montana, USA

Leveraging Complex Assets for Good with Donor-Advised Funds

Sarah NavranIndividual & Family Giving, Professional Advisors

Often when we consider charitable giving, we first think of giving cash or stock. Yet, for many philanthropists, the bulk of their wealth lies in other types of assets, like investments in real estate or private businesses. Sometimes, grassroots or smaller charities aren’t equipped to receive gifts of appreciated assets. This is where donor-advised funds can shine, allowing philanthropists to consider their entire financial portfolio for giving, including complex assets.

At the Community Foundation, you can contribute to your donor-advised fund in various ways, including cash, publicly traded securities and complex assets. We specialize in helping donors give privately held business interests, real estate, cryptocurrency and more to donor-advised funds. You can rely on our complex asset team’s decades of experience, along with your trusted advisors, to think outside the box when identifying assets for philanthropy.

Here are some examples that might help inspire creative ways to contribute to a donor-advised fund.

Savannah’s Restaurant Sale Benefits Culinary Education for High School Students

Savannah transformed her passion for food into a thriving business, creating a local favorite restaurant from the ground up. She owned the majority of the shares, with key management personnel owning the rest of the shares. Savannah decided to sell the restaurant to have more time with her growing family and grandchildren. Savannah and her team were interested in selling to a strategic buyer, but before finalizing the sale, she gave some of her shares to a donor-advised fund, aiming to become more philanthropically engaged in the community after exiting the business. After the Community Foundation accepted the shares, we entered into a contract with the other shareholders to sell the company shares to the buyer. The proceeds from the sale were deposited into the donor-advised fund. From there, Savannah used the donor-advised fund to support a nonprofit that teaches high school students about the culinary field. Through her generosity, Savannah opened new doors for aspiring young restauranteurs.

Tony and Barb’s Santa Monica Home Sells to Support Clean Water Access

Tony and Barb, who met in college in California, lived in a home in Santa Monica for many years before relocating to Kansas City for their careers and family. Over the years, they frequently visited the Santa Monica home, enjoying the fresh air and ocean breeze. As their careers took off and their children grew up, Tony and Barb couldn’t find the time to make it to Santa Monica as often. Upon retirement, they began to consider selling the Santa Monica home. First, they talked with their trusted advisors and the Community Foundation to see if they could donate the property to their donor-advised fund. After our due diligence and approval of accepting the property, Tony and Barb gifted the house to the Community Foundation. The house went on the market for $2.8 million and sold in less than a day to an all-cash buyer. Tony and Barb were thrilled, and they are now using the net proceeds that were received by their donor-advised fund to make grants to nonprofits focused on clean water access.

LLC With Missouri Ranchland Sells to Keep Small Town History Alive

Jim and his two sisters have many fond childhood memories on their parents’ ranch, tending to the cattle and enjoying picnics with their family. Their parents owned the ranch in an LLC, and when they both passed away, Jim and his sisters inherited the LLC. Jim lived in a farmhouse down the road from the ranch while his sisters ventured beyond their small-town roots. Throughout the years, Jim continued to carry on the family legacy of working on the ranch until it became challenging to manage due to his age. Although it was a tough decision, Jim and his sisters decided it was time to sell the ranch. Determined to honor their roots in a new way, they established donor-advised funds at the Community Foundation. They each gifted some of their LLC interests to the Community Foundation for the benefit of their donor-advised funds. When the ranch was sold, the proceeds were distributed to all owners of the LLC, including the Community Foundation. Now, Jim and his sisters use their donor-advised funds to support nonprofits focused on the historic preservation of their hometown.

The Kansas City Royals Stay in Kansas City

Ewing Marion Kauffman loved baseball. He also was deeply committed to giving back. His carefully crafted estate plan reflected both of these passions. It was important to Mr. Kauffman that the team remain in Kansas City. The Community Foundation and many other key players put their minds together to work on the complex transaction that transferred ownership of the team – a privately owned business – to the Community Foundation. It marked the first time in history that the Internal Revenue Service approved a charitable deduction for a gift of a major league sports team. After the team sold, the net proceeds went into donor-advised funds that are still being used today to support important community needs.

Interested in donating complex assets to a donor-advised fund? Contact us at info@growyourgiving.org or 816.842.0944.