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Managing Your Private Foundation

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Whether you are establishing a new foundation or looking to strengthen the activities of an existing one, we’re committed to help make your philanthropic endeavors more fulfilling and effective.

As one of the largest trustees of charitable assets in the country, U.S. Trust has extensive knowledge and experience in managing philanthropic assets and helping foundations pursue their philanthropic missions.

An Opportunity to Make a Difference

Your foundation is distinct from any other. That’s why at U.S. Trust, our team of philanthropic specialists delivers customized support according to your particular needs and goals. Through our foundation management offering, you receive guidance on the many aspects of your charitable foundation — including investment management, governance, administration, and grantmaking — with the goal of maximizing efficiency, effectiveness, and enjoyment.

Your foundation image

Investment Management

From an investment standpoint, we believe a foundation’s greatest risk is failing to achieve its mission due to insufficient funds. Therefore, our philosophy is to build portfolios that seek to support foundations’ short- and long-term spending needs. Our team can work with you to create a highly customized investment approach aligned with your foundation’s mission, spending policy, risk tolerance, liquidity needs, and fiduciary responsibilities.

At U.S. Trust, our trust and investment management relationship with you is supported by the strongest standard of integrity, trust and accountability: the fiduciary standard.¹ Proprietary and goals-based, the fiduciary investment process at U.S. Trust is designed around a total portfolio approach seeking to support a sustainable spending policy, preserve capital, and help ensure the long-term pursuit of your mission.

For those foundations with needs beyond investment management and grants administration, our team can provide additional foundation services, including but not limited to acting as office of record for all grant inquiries and foundation correspondence; identifying and conducting outreach to organizations that meet your giving criteria; and receiving and/or summarizing post- grant activity reports. Our foundation specialists also are able to help you to manage your grant portfolio, including reviewing and assessing grant applications or proposals, and evaluating grantee reports on expenditures and outcomes.2

Foundation Governance and Administration

Foundations are governed by complex rules and regulations. U.S. Trust can provide education and guidance to help you minimize risk through adhering to best practices including:

  • Meeting the foundation’s annual distribution requirements
  • Codifying the foundation’s mission, guidelines, and best practices into written governance policies.
  • Avoiding improper grant distributions or use of foundation assets

Grant Management and Administration

Effective grants management and administration are critical components of a successful grants program. At U.S. Trust, we can provide the following grants management services to our foundation clients as a component of their investment management relationship:3

  • Verification of the tax-exempt status of grant recipients
  • Confirmation that organizations are not flagged on specific watch lists
  • Maintenance of current records of the above verifications and confirmations
  • Preparation of grants correspondence

Consulting and Advisory Support

Our philanthropic consultants can provide guidance on a variety of strategic questions and concerns, including how to educate and engage current and future foundation stewards and leaders; where and how to connect to relevant resources; and how to seek an effective impact on the communities and/or causes that interest you. For a full description of consulting topics, please see our Philanthropic Consulting & Advisory overview or contact your advisor.

We are committed to providing you with support, service, and resources to advance your foundation’s mission.

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