About the book: Charitable Foundations

About the Book


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charitable-foundations-daniel-belinGain a Solid Understanding of the Rules That Apply to Foundations

Foundation trustees and officers bear the legal obligation to ensure that moneys entrusted to the foundations for charitable purposes will be used for those purposes. Grants must serve the public interest, and they must be made in accordance with the rules imposed under federal and applicable state laws and a grantor foundation’s own governing instruments.

However, foundation trustees and officers are faced with highly complex statutes and regulations. Without extensive training, how can they recognize when rules are about to be violated or know what questions to ask to elicit key information about an issue? For example,

  • What types of grants are off limits to a charitable foundation?
  • What steps does a charitable foundation have to take before making a grant to another foundation?
  • What rules apply to foundations making loans to for-profit businesses?
  • Are there restrictions on foundations owning for-profit businesses?
  • What restrictions apply to foundation trustees borrowing funds from the foundations they serve?
  • What types of grants cannot be counted toward meeting a foundation’s annual distribution requirements?

The wrong answers can be costly to foundations, their grantees, and the general public.

In this highly readable book, packed with useful examples, Daniel Belin addresses these and numerous other situations relating to charitable foundations. The book includes a glossary of key terms, and extensive endnotes provide additional detail for interested readers.

Foundation officers and trustees must have an adequate understanding of the basic principles to be able to identify problem situations and alternative ways to accomplish the foundation’s objectives, as well as recognize when the foundation needs experienced professional assistance to meet legal and regulatory requirements.


To read an excerpt, click here.

To see the table of contents, click here.


Dan Belin has written a comprehensive guide on issues of importance to private foundations. He covers the organization and operation of foundations as well as related tax and policy issues. He uses cogent examples to support the points made and includes much helpful advice on specific areas of concern. His excellent primer on private foundations would be a useful starting point for anyone involved in or planning to become a part of the nonprofit world.”

President, The George Gund Foundation

Daniel Belin's book educates. The book's table of contents makes it clear how much the boards of trustees and managers of foundations need to know to act in the public interest. I myself thought I knew all the answers. I didn't. Now I do. Copies of this book should be in the office of every foundation and in the library of every trustee.”

advisor to Rockefeller Family; President Emerita, Manhattanville College; and former Board Chair, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

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