Your Partner in Client Service

As a professional advisor, you are privileged to work with your clients at key times in their lives, whether they are engaged in retirement, estate or tax planning. In these moments, you are in a unique position to learn about your clients’ passions and interests, including their charitable intent. 

We are here to help you develop customized charitable giving strategies that meet your clients’ planning needs and objectives at every stage of their lives.

We welcome the opportunity to partner with you: 

    The Cleveland Foundation Value Proposition

    1. You remain your client’s trusted advisor. You have earned your client’s trust and confidence, and you remain their primary contact. We add value to the planning process by giving you tools to help your clients achieve their tax planning needs and philanthropic goals. 
    2. We have the capacity to serve a wide range of planning needs. We accept many asset types in the establishment of charitable gifts and funds. We also offer a variety of funds, including donor-advised funds, designated funds and field-of-interest funds.  Moreover, we give your clients several investment options (including maintaining existing financial advisor relationships), over which we provide financial stewardship. 
    3. We help your clients creating lasting legacies that have a significant impact on our community. Widely viewed as leaders in the Greater Cleveland charitable community, our staff members have deep expertise and knowledge of the priorities and emerging trends in Northeast Ohio. We help ensure your clients’ specific and ongoing charitable interests are honored, even as trends and needs change over time.
    4. As your philanthropic partner, we help you develop customized strategies to fit each client’s unique situation. We assist you in maximizing tax advantages associated with charitable giving and in tailoring giving plans that meet your individual client’s specific needs and goals, whatever their giving level. We are experienced in helping professional advisors navigate the complex charitable giving needs of business owners, multigenerational families, and other donors who benefit from our ability to facilitate conversations that lead to impactful legacies.

    Advantages of a Community Foundation

    Community foundations give donors benefits not available through private foundations. The chart below briefly summarizes the key differences between community foundations (using examples of two different fund types) and private foundations.

    The Cleveland Foundation vs. Private Foundations

      Private Foundation Donor-Advised Fund of the Cleveland Foundation Supporting Organization of the Cleveland Foundation
    Legal Identity Separate nonprofit entity [Donor’s Choice of Name] Fund of the Cleveland Foundation [Donor’s Choice of Name] Fund of the Cleveland Foundation (separate nonprofit entity affiliated with the Cleveland Foundation)
    Tax Status Private foundation Public charity Public charity
    Taxation of Investment Income 2% annually None None
    Payout Requirement Grants must equal 5% of corpus annually None None
    Deductibility of Gifts


    20% AGI* for appreciated property

    30% AGI* for cash


    30% AGI* for appreciated property

    60% AGI* for cash


    30% AGI* for appreciated property

    60% AGI* for cash

    Administration Detailed annual filing with IRS All record-keeping and accounting carried out by the Cleveland Foundation All record-keeping and accounting carried out by the Cleveland Foundation
    Grantmaking Expertise Professional staff, if any (unusual for a small foundation) The Cleveland Foundation staff assistance to review and monitor proposals. The Cleveland Foundation staff assistance to review and monitor proposals
    Control Trustees have complete control of distributions and responsibility for asset management Donor-advisor may make grant recommendations. Own board of directors, a majority of whom are appointed by the Cleveland Foundation
    Cost Costs include legal and accounting fees, insurance, office space, staff and miscellaneous expenses.

    No cost to establish. Annual fees assessed vary based on fund size:

    $10,000 – $1 million: 90 basis points ($250 min.)

    $1,000,001 – $5 million: 50 basis points

    $5,000,001 – $10 million: 40 basis points

    $10,000,001 – $15 million: 30 basis points

    >$15,000,000: 25 basis points

    No cost to establish. Annual fees are 75 basis points for funds with assets from $5 million to $10 million, and 50 basis points for funds with assets greater than $10 million on market value of fund plus investment fee

    * Adjusted Gross Income