BERLIN – For a growing number of Americans, the idea of philanthropy goes much further than simply writing a check. They desire a degree of control over how charitable organizations use their donations. At the same time, they aren’t necessarily in a position to make the financial and time commitment required for a family foundation.
One solution for those in this position may be the Merrill Lynch Community Charitable Fund program (MLCCF), a collaborative donor-advised fund solution providing access to leading community foundations across the U.S. that support a wide variety of programs assisting people in need, along with the arts, education, the environment and disaster relief efforts.
The MLCCF program offers a simple, flexible way to make tax-deductible charitable contributions through a donor-advised fund established with one of the participating community foundations. It also provides tax benefits and flexible options for managing and administering donations. Assets in the fund grow tax-free, and there are no capital gains taxes on appreciated securities sold once donated to the fund.
Because the local foundations involved work closely with their communities, they can assist donors by performing due diligence in screening potential charities, advising about needs in the community that match donor interests and identifying opportunities to leverage distributions from the fund through matching grants. These foundations also partner with donors’ families, individuals, attorneys and estate advisors as well as Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors, providing administrative and back-office support services, including all recordkeeping.
MLCCF program assets are allocated to a selection of leading money managers across the country through the Merrill Lynch Consults service. As market conditions change, the program’s institutionally managed pools are reviewed and adjusted as necessary.
Talk to your Financial Advisor about whether establishing a donor-advised fund through the MLCCF program could play an appropriate role in your long-term philanthropic strategy.
(The writer is a Merrill Lynch Senior Financial Advisor. She can be reached at 410-208-9084.)