November 16, 2021
by James Philip Head, Attorney and Shareholder, Williams Mullen, Tysons, VA 

When you are developing a charitable giving plan for your clients, field-of-interest funds and designated funds may not always be top of mind, but they are extremely valuable tools in certain circumstances, especially as recipients of Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs), which are otherwise taxable distributions from an IRA (other than an ongoing SEP or SIMPLE IRA) owned by an individual who is age 70½ or over that are paid directly from the IRA to a qualified charity.

A field-of-interest fund can be established by your client at the Community Foundation for a charitable purpose described and designated by your client. For example, a field-of-interest fund can be established to support research for rare diseases, to support organizations that assist homeless families in getting back on their feet, or to enable art museums to acquire works that celebrate the region’s diversity. The knowledgeable team at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia distributes grants from the field-of-interest fund according to the spending policy set by your client to further your client’s wishes. Your client may select the name of the fund and can use the client’s own name (e.g., Head Family Fund or Head Family Fund for the Arts) or a name that provides anonymity (e.g., Northern Virginia Fund for the Arts, Bettering Our World Fund).

A designated fund is a great choice for a client who wishes to support one particular charity or charities for multiple years. This is useful so that the distributions can be spread over time to help with the cash flow of the designated charity or charities while enabling your client to benefit by taking a larger charitable tax deduction in the current year when the client’s marginal tax rate may be higher, rather than spreading it over future years when tax rate projections may be lower. With the Community Foundation’s support, the client specifies the charity to receive distributions according to a spending policy they select, and the client can choose a meaningful name for the fund.

The Community Foundation is also building a Permanent Fund endowment, which is eligible to receive QCDs if your client is interested in benefiting the ever-changing needs of our region in perpetuity.

As an advisor, you are likely well aware that clients who own Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are required to take “Required Minimum Distributions” each year beginning at age 72, whether or not they need or want the income. These distributions often cause an increase in the client’s income taxes.

A QCD permits a client to transfer up to $100,000 from an IRA to a qualified charity instead of taking a Required Minimum Distribution, thereby avoiding the income tax hit. Although the IRS does not permit QCDs to be made to donor-advised funds, charities eligible to receive a client’s QCD do include designated funds and field-of-interest funds, such as those at the Community Foundation.

In any case, consulting with the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is a great way to help meet the charitable goals of your clients across a variety of situations, while engaging in meaningful local philanthropy—especially as we are in the thick of year-end planning.

James Philip HeadJames Philip Head Attorney and Shareholder, Williams Mullen Tysons, VA

These magic love spells that work overnight. Many factors can affect the success of a love spell that really works guarantee that any of these love spells work fast.