Giving Counsel Fall 2017

by Gary Garcia | October 25, 2017

Though we don’t provide direct social services to individuals in need, The Dallas Foundation does respond to major disasters of all types. Highly publicized disasters typically prompt a surge of donations from generous people who want to help. That’s where our experience and knowledge come in. We have the accounting expertise to ensure donations are properly tracked and the professional contacts to make sure the gifts go where they’re most needed.

For example, in late August 2005, about 8,000 people fled Hurricane Katrina and sought refuge in emergency shelters here. Former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller asked us to establish an emergency fund to help storm victims stranded in Dallas. Within hours, we opened "The Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund," which ultimately received hundreds of donations from all over the country. We worked with city officials to award fund grants for basic assistance.
We respond to man-made tragedies too. In the Summer of 2016, Mayor Mike Rawlings asked The Dallas Foundation to help after a gunman ambushed and killed five police officers in downtown Dallas. We opened the "Line of Duty Fund," processed hundreds of donations, and worked with police and city officials to find the best way to disburse the funds to affected families.
Now we have a Hurricane Harvey disaster relief fund and are consulting with colleagues along the Texas Gulf Coast to direct grants toward communities with severe unmet needs. We’ve also helped several local corporations open assistance funds for employees in that region who have suffered storm-related losses. 
The Dallas Foundation understands that we have a unique role when disasters strike and considers it an honor to serve as a charitable conduit for donors, professional advisors, and the community at large. Let us know how we can be useful to you.

All the best,  


Gary W. Garcia


Table of Contents

  1. Repatriation Rule Could Be Windfall for Charity
  2. Considerations for Year-End Giving
  3. Foundation Staff Can Smooth Those Awkward Family Conversations
  4. 2018 Professional Advisor Seminar Features Susan Turnbull
  5. Giving for Good Card Holiday Designs Available










 A looming tax deadline could be a boon to charities. Internal Revenue Code Section 457A requires all deferred compensation earned overseas before 2009 to be repatriated by the end of this year.  While the funds may remain overseas, it is subject to taxation in the U.S. in 2017. Estimates are rough, but BloombergQuint reported last year that as much as $100 billion may need to be repatriated by December 31.

Hedge fund managers, the group most affected by this deadline, may be able to reduce their Section 457A-related taxes by making substantial charitable gifts. Community foundations, such as The Dallas Foundation, are especially attractive options because they offer donor-advised funds, which resemble private foundations but have fewer administrative hassles and greater tax advantages. 

We asked attorney and CPA Rob Popovitch, a Managing Director in the Dallas office of Andersen Tax LLC, about the repatriation deadline.

Q: What would be your advice to an advisor who has a client facing this issue?

A: First, I’d tell them to be wary of “silver bullet” strategies that purport to eliminate, or defer indefinitely, U.S. income taxes on offshore deferred compensation subject to Section 457A. Second, whatever you do, the decision should be informed by reputable law and tax firms so the design, implementation and reporting of the plan are well-reasoned. I suggest planning as if you know the IRS will scrutinize it. 

Q: How could charitable giving help deal with the tax implications of repatriation?

A: At this point, I think charitable giving is likely the best approach for most fund managers. They will want to visit with their tax advisors and consider what type of assets to contribute (e.g., cash, marketable securities, or non-publicly traded assets such as a limited partnership interest in the manager’s fund), and where to contribute (e.g., donor-advised fund (DAF), private foundation, public charity, pooled income fund). 

Determining the type of asset to contribute requires consideration of many factors, including how much of a tax deduction is allowed for that asset type. For public charities or DAFs, donations of cash are deductible up to 50% of the donor’s adjusted gross income (AGI), whereas donations of appreciated securities are limited to 30% of AGI. For contributions to private foundations, the limits are 30% and 20%, respectively.  

In addressing the Section 457A issue, I think it’s wise to compare direct donations to charity with a contribution to a grantor charitable lead annuity trust (CLAT). In this strategy, a grantor typically transfers assets to an irrevocable trust. (There may be gift taxes associated with the transfer, depending upon how it’s structured.) The trust makes annual annuity payments to a charity for a fixed term or the life of grantor, and the remaining trust assets eventually pass to grantor’s beneficiaries. The grantor receives an income tax deduction in the year of the transfer to the trust reflecting the value of the annuity payments that will go to charity. 

It’s important to note that the grantor remains liable for taxes on the trust’s income each year, although there are strategies to control this income tax obligation. 

To learn more about the repatriation deadline, or the tax advantages of giving to a community foundation, please contact Advisor Relations Officer Rod Riggins at





by Rod Riggins 

Statistics.  Graphics.  Percentages of total gifts made in December.  You’ve seen the statistics before, and you, of all people, know that you and your clients are inundated with requests for donations in the last three months of each year.  Many of your clients are very generous, and as advisors, you want to help them to make the greatest impact that they can while getting all of the charitable tax deductions that they deserve.

We think the same way.  

Instead of more statistics as we enter the last quarter of the year, here are a few questions that you can use with your clients to begin the discussion on philanthropy.  Ask your clients to ask themselves:

“How can our giving demonstrate our values?”
“How do I want to be remembered?”
“How can we share our vision for a better community and world with our grandchildren?”

We are more than happy to be part of the discussion, or to help you prepare for conversations with your clients.  We can also help develop a giving plan tailored to their interests, and even help them define their interests.  Just give us a call.

By the way, we can accept donations of complex gifts and open funds for donors in a matter of one or two days.  We have experience with minority LLC interests, real estate, art, and royalty interests.  Every fund that we open for a new donor family is customized for that family or donor.  Please call and we can share some stories that will resonate.

The Dallas Foundation stands ready to help you and your clients achieve their philanthropic goals, and we are here to help every working day until the end of the year.  











Foundation Staff Can Smooth Those Awkward Family Conversations

When families gather around the Thanksgiving table, one subject they probably won’t discuss is money. It’s just too awkward. The oldest generation may be pondering relationships and mortality, while younger ones may be consumed with raising children and paying bills. Sibling rivalries can surface. Add in half-brothers or step-mothers, and the situation grows even more complicated.

But a discussion about charitable giving can provide a nonthreatening, upbeat prelude to a broader conversation about family resources, values and legacies. And many studies of high net worth individuals show that they yearn to have those conversations, they just don’t know where to start. 

The Dallas Foundation can provide valuable support to professional advisors with clients interested in family giving. Lesley Martinelli, senior director of donor services, is trained to work with families of all types, at any stage in their philanthropic journey. She can help them identify shared values and develop mission statements, and arrange site visits and volunteer opportunities. 

Foundation staff also can explain the different kinds of funds, such as scholarship funds and donor-advised funds, available to match a family’s philanthropic interests or goals. All services are available free of charge to any fund holder, and Martinelli strongly encourages families to include their professional advisors in these discussions. 

“Advisors usually know their clients situations quite well,” Martinelli said. ”The advisors’ experience and insight are crucial to developing a charitable giving plan that really reflects the family’s ideals and culture.”

Most experts say discussions about giving can start as early as kindergarten, or as soon as a child shows a basic concern for others.  Adults who want to encourage generosity among young children could try a concrete activity such as collecting spare change in a big jar. When it’s full, parents and children can decide together where to donate the change -- and go together to present the gift. This approach has the added advantage of underscoring that saving small amounts adds up over time. 

When children are a bit older, parents may want to talk about the nonprofit agencies they support and why. They could give each child $50 or $100 to donate to any nonprofit the children want, and help the youngsters research agencies to ensure they choose an effective one. 

As kids grow up, go to college, and start families of their own, conversations about giving become more sophisticated. If parents and children have never discussed family wealth and legacies, it may be easier for an outsider, such as a professional advisor or a community foundation staff member, to facilitate these discussions. Donors and professional advisors can meet with Martinelli to learn about different strategies for starting the conversation.

Martinelli said she sometimes interviews family members separately, to understand relationships and stress points, before conducting a full family meeting. She has a range of exercises that family members can complete during initial interviews or when they meet as a group, to help tease out shared values and interests. Family philanthropy tends to work best when the donor generation doesn’t try to control succeeding generations’ philanthropy.

“When donors allow their children to give causes they care about, it can strengthen family bonds,” Martinelli said. “The children feel respected and valued, and that can make them more appreciative of all the opportunities their parents or grandparents have provided.”

For more information about family giving, please contact Martinelli at

2018 Professional Advisors Seminar Features Susan Turnbull


Many clients want to pass on more than money or material goods to their heirs. They want to leave behind something intangible -- a love of family, a sense of duty, a faith. 

Susan Turnbull will be the keynote speaker at The Dallas Foundation’s 21st Annual Professional Advisors Seminar in February. Her presentation will instruct advisors on the value and use of nonbinding personal legacy documents as a vital component of estate, investment, and philanthropic planning. 

Turnbull is founder and principal of Personal Legacy Advisors, LLC, which specializes in finding ways for high net worth individuals communicate their feelings, values, advice and stories to future generations. Turnbull, author of The Wealth of Your Life: A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating Your Ethical Will, has also appeared in The New York Times and USA Today.  She’s known for popularizing “ethical wills” as a way to hand down family traditions and values, and for developing strategies to help discern and define donor intent.

Advisor Relations Officer Rod Riggins said Turnbull’s workshops are interactive and thought-provoking. “She provides the missing link to legacy planning with clients -- how they can leave a legacy more meaningful than money or property,” he said. “Her presentation can help advisors help their clients approach legacy planning in a more thoughtful and valuable way.”

The 2018 Professional Advisors Seminar will be held on February 2nd at The Belo Mansion in downtown Dallas. Continuing education credit will be available. For more information or to register for the event, please click here

Giving for Good Cards

The Dallas Foundation’s Giving for Good cards provide a wonderful opportunity to initiate conversations about philanthropy with your clients or to share the gift of giving with your family members. Contact us today to order your holiday Giving for Good cards, available in increments of $25. 

CLICK HERE to learn more. 







Gary Garcia
Gary Garcia

Gary Garcia is currently senior director of development for The Dallas Foundation. He leads The Foundation’s development efforts, working with professional advisors, potential donors, and others to cultivate planned and outright gifts. From 2001 to 2010, Mr. Garcia served as controller for The Dallas Foundation. In 2010 he stepped into the role of director of external relations. He has an undergraduate degree in accounting and worked for the state of Texas and PriceWaterhouseCoopers before joining the nonprofit sector.