Community foundations have “funds”, the money given by donors which are named for the donor or its purpose. Each community foundation adopts gift- and fund-acceptance policies that address minimum fund size, types of fund options, types of gift mechanisms, and policies and procedures for accepting various types of assets. Foundations offer several different types of funds that address the varied interests and concerns of individual donors. The different types of funds can be separated into four basic categories based upon the restrictions imposed by the community foundation or the donor: 1. An unrestricted fund gives the community foundation complete discretion to distribute the assets in the fund for charitable purposes; 2. Grants from a designated fund are restricted to a public charity that was named by the donor at the time the donation was made to the community foundation; 3. Field of interest funds restrict distribution to a particular charitable purpose; and 4. A donor is allowed to make recommendations regarding disbursement of assets from a donor-advised fund. Source: Christopher R. Hoyt, Legal Compendium for Community Foundations 5-6 (1996). Treas. Reg. sec. 1.170A-9(e)(11) Additional Information: Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.
Yes there are stricter limitations on gifts to private foundations. Gifts to public charities by individuals have an annual limit of fifty percent of the donor's adjusted gross income. Gifts to private foundations however place that limit at thirty percent of the donor's adjusted gross income. The figures are somewhat different for corporate donors who can deduct ten percent of their taxable income. If the contribution is capital gain property rather than cash, the limitation is then thirty percent for public charities and twenty percent for foundations. The Iowa Principles and Practices for Charitable Nonprofit Excellence states that "Charitable nonprofits must be aware of and comply with Internal Revenue Code provisions (see e.g. I.R.C. section 170)" (VIII E 2). This is to make sure inaccurate information about gifts is not passed on to donors. A good source for these rules is IRS Publication 526 Charitable Contributions
Yes. If a nonprofit has over $25,000 in gross receipts in its fiscal year, it will file the IRS Form 990-EZ or 990. Schedule C must be filed with either of these forms, and political campaign and lobbying activity is reported on this schedule. There is no comparable filing in Iowa.
Yes. For nonprofits doing more significant amounts of lobbying, both federal and state laws should be considered. Federally, the Lobbying Disclosure Act, 2 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq., applies to nonprofits if: 1. the organization has at least one employee who is a “lobbyist” and 2. expenditures of $20,000 or more per six-month period are spent on lobbying activities. A “lobbyist employee” is an employee who makes at least two lobbying contacts and spends at least twenty percent of his or her time on lobbying activities. This act only applies to lobbying on the federal level. Federal lobbying is reported on form LD-2. Iowa Code Ch 68B sets out rules for reporting of lobbying activity on the state level. Iowa lobbying reporting forms and rules are available from the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, 510 East 12th, Suite 1A, Des Moines, IA 50319.
A fund is the basic building block of a community foundation; it acts as a foundation within a foundation. Funds are named for their donors, for their purposes, or as memorials. Most funds operate as permanent endowments, distributing only their net income; some allow for distribution of principal. Funds may have broad charitable purposes, providing unrestricted income to address community needs identified by the foundation or allow donors the privilege of suggesting grants when they wish to offer donor-advised support to particular organizations. Funds may support specified fields of interest, such as the arts or human services, support specific not-for-profit organizations designated by the donor, or offer scholarship support. Funds may even allow for a combination of these purposes. -- Long Island Community Foundation
Yes. Private foundations often restrict use of amounts granted, allowing no political activity of any kind. This is due to the IRC sec. 4945 penalty taxes for inappropriate political activity of private foundations. This penalty tax is not imposed on public charities. 501(c)(3) organizations designated as private foundations are subject to a 10% tax on any expenditures made to either influence political figures or the opinion of the general public. Additionally, any manager who agreed to the expenditure is subject to a tax of 2.5% of the total expenditure. If these taxes are not paid within the taxable period, an additional tax of 100% of the taxable expenditure will be levied against the foundation along with a tax of 50% of the total expenditure on management who approved the expenditure. In addition to private foundations, no federal government grant can be used for political activity. The Byrd Amendment, 13 U.S.C. § 1352, provides that federal grant money may not be used for political activity.