Policy Proposal in MN - Private Foundations & DAF Practices

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 2:00pm - 3:00pm CDT

A state-level public policy proposal focused on private foundations (family, independent, corporate) and their use of donor advised funds (DAFs) for grantmaking is being put forward by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN). MCF has not yet taken a position on the proposal, and we are working to get input from our members. We want to hear from private foundation leaders that use DAFs as part of their grantmaking strategy, and we encourage them to attend this meeting. Community foundation leaders that hold DAFs for private foundations are also welcome to attend.

In short, the concern being raised by MCN is that when using DAFs for grantmaking, private foundations can avoid the legal requirement to publicly report all of their grants made, and that it could be a way to skirt the 5% payout requirement or any potential trust restrictions. Their proposed fix is to have the state’s charitable regulator (the Minnesota Attorney General) require that private foundations provide a list of the grants made from their DAFs. Right now, private foundations are required to send a copy of their 990 PF to the AG’s office, so this would add an additional component to their state reporting requirements.

MCF is interested to share more information about the proposal at this meeting and to understand the reactions and concerns private foundations may have about this proposal. If you are unable to attend this meeting and want to share your thoughts, please contact Katina Mortensen directly at kmortensen@mcf.org or 612-335-3597.

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