Praise for Charitable Foundations


“Daniel Belin’s book educates. Copies of this book should be in the office of every foundation and in the library of every trustee.”

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

“A comprehensive guide on issues of importance to private foundations. This excellent primer on private foundations is a useful starting point for anyone involved in or planning to become a part of the nonprofit world.”

—Geoffrey Gund, President, The George Gund Foundation

“Daniel Belin has been doing pioneering work with charitable foundations for his entire career. Now, he brings his ideas and knowledge to everyone—and the impact will be profound. This book establishes the landscape for present and future charitable foundations so they can continue their mission to help society.”

—David B. Agus, MD, Professor of Medicine and Engineering, University of Southern California, and New York Times bestselling author of The End of Illness and A Short Guide to a Long Life

“Dan Belin’s book reflects his forty-plus years of expertise in advising the nonprofit sector. It is an invaluable one-stop guide for leaders who need to ensure they understand the basics of legal requirements and compliance for foundations and nonprofit organizations.”

—Irene Hirano Inouye, Trustee, Ford Foundation and Kresge Foundation

“Mr. Belin has erected a much-needed lighthouse to guide nonexperts through the treacherous shoals of statutory and regulatory compliance by charitable foundations and their officers and trustees.”

—Milan D. Smith, Jr., US Circuit Judge, US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Charitable Foundations is a book I would recommend to every trustee of a charitable foundation. I would also recommend it to every board member of a nonprofit seeking funds. This is a clear, easy legal guide to the principles of giving. Readers will gain a sense of responsibility in this complex world of charitable giving.”

—Andrea Van de Kamp, Chair Emerita, Los Angeles Music Center


“Daniel Belin’s book is a must-read and a great reference book for anyone involved in the world of foundations.”

—Eli Broad, founder of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Art Foundation


“As a longtime nonprofit CEO, I am often asked for advice by those interested in philanthropy, be they individuals who have reached that time in their lives when they want to give back or corporate executives who want to initiate or formalize their company’s charitable giving. However, there has not been one compendium of knowledge to point to as a reliable source of ongoing practical advice. Dan Belin’s book provides just that—in clear, easily understandable language with concrete examples and a wonderfully useful glossary.”

—Kathy Spahn, President and CEO, Helen Keller International

“Dan Belin’s new book is a great tool—easy to navigate, clear, concise, and extremely informative. It will definitely assist those of us charged with leading foundations to address the complex array of compliance and legal issues we must constantly be aware of and able to fully address.”

—Rona Sebastian, President, The Herb Alpert Foundation

“As California Attorney General I had to know a bit about the complexity of state and federal laws governing charitable foundations. Dan Belin’s excellent guide is a must-read for new and old charitable foundation directors and a go-to reference when issues arise. Following the rules can save a lot of grief.”

—John Van de Kamp, former California Attorney General

“What a gift Daniel Belin is offering—Charitable Foundations is a thorough, sophisticated—indeed, intricate at times—description of an increasingly important and highly complex world.”

—Michael Steinhardt, investor

“Daniel Belin has written an easy-to-use reference tool to enhance the operation, relevance, and effectiveness of any private foundation.”

—Frederick W. Beinecke, Chairman, Samuel H. Kress Foundation

“For those who aspire to be leaders in the world of charitable foundations, this is your opportunity to learn from a top leader in the field. Belin has written a straightforward and authoritative guide on this important topic and provides essential guidance that anyone in this field will benefit from.”

—Bartly J. Mondino, MD, Director, Stein Eye Institute, and Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, UCLA

“This guide is a very useful and easily accessible source for answers to questions commonly encountered by executive directors and trustees of charitable foundations. Kudos to Mr. Belin!”

—Kathleen D. Crane, trust and estates attorney

“Daniel Belin’s book, Charitable Foundations: The Essential Guide to Giving and Compliance, is a no-nonsense, straightforward guide on how to maneuver through this increasingly complex area. I found it extremely helpful and know that I will refer to it often in my own not-for-profit activities.”

—Marc I. Stern, Chairman, Los Angeles Opera

“An invaluable resource for foundations, trustees, and philanthropists, Daniel Belin’s work transcends giving, governance, and compliance and will positively impact the reader’s every interaction with charitable foundations. A clear look under the hood at the inner workings governing this increasingly important sector of our society.”

—Steven D. Schwartz, MD, Ahmanson Professor of Ophthalmology, Jules Stein Eye Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

“Daniel Belin’s book is a critical primer on the rules of the road for effective stewardship of nonprofit institutions. It provides a clear framework for understanding an increasingly complex set of legal considerations.”

—Suzanne Nora Johnson, Cochair, Carnegie Institution for Science

Charitable Foundations will do for those for whom it is written what a benchbook does for judges. It will enable them to make the right decisions for the institutions they serve. When presented with an issue requiring knowledge of the multitude of laws, precedents, and practices that affect their decision, they will be able to easily find the answers and their rationale presented in a clear manner by a lawyer/practitioner with vast experience in the management of foundations.”

—Charles E. Young, Chancellor Emeritus, UCLA; President Emeritus, University of Florida; and former CEO, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

“US charitable foundations are special funding vehicles for realizing our aspirations. They appropriately are guided by rules, laws, and practices that seek to sustain their integrity and effectiveness and to ensure fair and proper use of resources. Daniel Belin’s book is a clear and highly accessible guide to the many aspects of foundation governance, grantmaking, and operations and, as such, is a major contribution to those entrusted with our nation’s philanthropic work.”

—Christopher G. Oechsli, President and CEO, The Atlantic Philanthropies

Charitable Foundations: The Essential Guide to Giving and Compliance by Daniel N. Belin is a wonderful book that will occupy an important place in understanding the complex role of foundations in the world of fundraising. The importance of fundraising is highlighted by the fact that foundations now occupy approximately 14 percent of the donor pools. You will be enthralled by the information in this book.”

—Gerald S. Levey, MD, Dean Emeritus, The Lincy Foundation Distinguished Service Chair, and Distinguished Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

“Daniel Belin’s new book should be the constant companion of foundation staff and trustees and should be read by all individuals interested in or engaged with the charitable sector in this country. Its handy glossary should be available as an app!”

—Max Marmor, President, Samuel H. Kress Foundation

“As someone involved with various boards and committees, I’m struck by how often within a group of fifteen or twenty supremely professional, sophisticated people, no one in the room feels secure in stating that a proposed gift, exchange, or program adheres strictly to ethical standards and legal requirements. While making it clear that foundations have great latitude in how they operate, Dan Belin’s book serves the essential purpose of laying out the basic rules and considerations in nuanced detail. Despite all the detail, every feature of Belin’s exposition is directly stated and logically organized from section to section. It’s the equivalent of adding an expert, neutral advisor to every foundation.”

—Richard Shiff, Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art, The University of Texas at Austin

“This book is a must-read introduction to the complex world of charitable foundations. It is practically organized and clearly written.”

—Paul N. Frimmer, Partner, Loeb & Loeb LLP

“Daniel Belin’s Charitable Foundations provides an invaluable encyclopedic authority for any trustee of a charitable foundation as well as development officers and senior administrators involved with fundraising. The compliance rules for foundations have become exceedingly complex, and in Belin’s superbly organized handbook, we learn not only the minutiae of essential responsibilities (e.g., state laws concerning prudent investing) but also of often-overlooked opportunities (e.g., program-related investments in contrast to outright grants). What makes Charitable Foundations particularly valuable is the clear and concise language that Belin uses so that laypersons who are not themselves attorneys can readily understand this otherwise complex field of rules and laws.”

—Daniel M. Neuman, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Emeritus, UCLA

“Daniel Belin’s erudite book brings much-needed clarity to charity.”

—Diane Leslie, author and bookseller

“Daniel Belin explains the legal and best practice standards that can help private foundations excel.”

—Susan Berresford, former President, Ford Foundation

“Mr. Belin has taken an extremely complex area of the tax code and organized and explained it in a way that is clear and usable. This book is a wonderful resource for anyone responsible for managing a charitable foundation.”

—Michael A. Sobelman, CPA, Sobelman, Cohen, Moss & Associates LLP

“Written for foundation officers and trustees, Charitable Foundations: The Essential Guide to Giving and Compliance is also essential reading for anyone wanting to apply to a foundation for a grant and who therefore unwittingly enters the mystifying world of 501(c)(3) as it applies to foundations. All applicants should understand the terrain.”

—T. F. K. Henry, Professor, University of Kent

“If you have a foundation or are thinking of starting one, Dan Belin’s book is a must-read.”
—Peter J. Solomon, Chairman, Peter J. Solomon Company

“Dan Belin has created a thorough, well-written, and superbly organized book that will help leaders of foundations and nonprofits work more effectively with their boards. From the excellent introduction through the glossary, he has created something useful and relevant to the important work of foundation trustees and officers.”
—Elizabeth Benson Forer, CEO, Venice Family Clinic

“Daniel Belin’s book is an excellent primer for anyone who wants to go into the foundation world and is also a useful manual for those already engaged in the field of philanthropy. Belin deserves our gratitude for crafting this well-researched and thoroughly helpful guide.”
—Vartan Gregorian, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York