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Charitable Planning

The Goulston & Storrs Charitable Planning group advises charitable donors on the strategy and implementation of their giving programs. From negotiating major gifts with charitable institutions to planning for the maximization of tax benefits, we assist clients with all areas related to their charitable giving goals.

Our attorneys have substantial experience advising donors who want to make charitable gifts that involve closely-held business interests and investments. Depending on the client’s goals, the success of a charitable gift can often lead to the creation of new charitable organizations, such as public charities, private foundations, and supporting organizations, or in the alternative, donor-advised funds. In these cases, we assist clients in selecting the right tax and governance structure for their organizations.

Additionally, we counsel clients on the benefits of creating and funding tax-advantaged vehicles that benefit both individuals (including the donor and the donor’s family members) and charities, such as charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts.

We also serve as counsel to not-for-profit institutions in the health care, social services, arts and educational areas, where we routinely provide advice to the legal, development and planned giving staff on organizational, tax and regulatory issues.

Representative Projects and Transactions

  • Estate plans involving major charitable dispositions.
  • Creation of family charitable foundations and guidance to clients regarding the formulation and implementation of strategic grant-making programs, including international grants, matching grant programs and policy-driven grants with associated lobbying activities.
  • Income tax strategies for complex asset transactions and negotiation with donor advised funds. 
  • Representation of charities with respect to their planned giving programs, including the preparation of charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts.
  • Representation of charities on the potential acceptance of “complex assets” such as real estate, closely-held business interests and life insurance.
  • Representation of small volunteer-driven charities in regaining tax-exempt status after their inadvertent loss of that status.
  • Operation and maintenance of donors’ private grantmaking foundations in conjunction with their private operating foundations, including fulfilling all expenditure responsibility requirements.
  • Representation of donors and their private foundations on fulfilling their international philanthropic goals through the use of international donor advised funds, expenditure responsibility or equivalency testing. 
  • Creation of scholarship organizations, public charities and private operating foundations that provide unique fellowship grants, including mid-career training for workers in building and construction trades, and foundations making “random acts of kindness” grants to individuals.
  • Review of alternatives to a private foundation that may provide preferred mission-driven or tax results, including the creation of operating foundations and client-controlled public charities.
  • Negotiation of large grants to create clinical and research institutes housed at various teaching hospitals.
  • Representation of a closely-held company in negotiations with potential charitable recipients of interests in the company prior to its sale, and the design of strategic amendments to company’s governing instruments to enhance the feasibility of the charitable gifts and their valuation.
  • Representation of a major foreign-based religious organization establishing an international research and publishing entity, including tax-exemption, corporate and real estate transactions.
  • Representation of a family office with maximization of individual charitable deductions through the use of appreciated property gifts of both non-traded and traded property.
  • Representation of a founder in development and funding of a working farm and educational center, including creation of conservation restriction, donation of land and buildings and financing of operations.
  • Representation of a corporate donor in connection with gift of significant architectural collection to major metropolitan museum.
  • Representation of a university in connection with gift agreement for construction of educational center.
  • Representation of a charity in survey of historical gift documents and classification of endowment funds.
  • Representation of a national donor advised fund on all aspects of its operation and administration, including corporate governance, donor relations, gift intake policies and review of grant recommendations.
  • Representation of a charity operating a non-professional sports team in converting from a private foundation to a public charity.
  • Preparation of private letter ruling request seeking IRS approval of co-investment relationship between family members and their trusts and private foundations.
  • Representation of a charitable remainder trust on development of real estate.
  • Representation of a donor on a large gift of 144 stock to his private foundation in a manner to avoid deduction being limited to basis, including advice on structuring a major public company acquisition to accommodate the gift in a tax efficient manner.
  • Representation of a donor and a major donor advised fund on the formation of a supporting organization that could function as an alternative to a private foundation and preserve the full deductibility of rule 144 stock.
  • Ongoing advisor to Oxfam America, YouthBuild USA and dozens of large institutions and smaller organizations with respect to 501(c)(3) compliance, design of endowment and bequest programs, and negotiation of split-interest gifts and other planned giving vehicles.

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