A flourishing donor-advised fund
Often thought of as charitable giving bank accounts, donor-advised funds allow philanthropists to channel resources through their local community foundation, financial institution, or an identity-based giving program such as CAAP to causes that matter most to them. A donor-advised fund requires care and cultivation to flourish - just like any garden plant needs water and sunlight. The donor establishes a fund with a set amount of money (or stocks, or property), receiving a tax-deduction at that time. At any point in the future, the donor recommends certain amounts be directed to 501(c)3 organizations of the donor's choice. The money directed to a nonprofit from a donor-advised fund is called a grant.
But before that happens, community foundation donor officers perform due diligence to make sure the recommended nonprofit organizations are in compliance with government regulations. With our plant analogy, you might think of this as weeding and pruning the garden. +more
Eye on TGI
Our young grantmakers are gearing up for their second year - preparing to make a difference in their community through philanthropy. TGI's calendar is filling with site visits to grantees, community exploration projects, conferences and a visit to the Association of Fundraising Professional's Philanthropy Day Awards Dinner.
We'll continue to bring you news throughout the year on these dynamic and inspiring young people.
The Jack G. and Bernice M. Shaheen Scholarship Fund
More information is available on our website.
Autumn brings with it the smell of damp leaves, the season's changing colors, and warm apple cider. Along with all of fall's delights, we are happy to announce the recipients of our 2012 grant cycle. This year, we are distributing 10 grants to support the hard work of grassroots Arab American organizations around the country. The grantees' work includes assisting refugees, encouraging student success and educating the public through arts and culture.
We also had time to speak with donor-advised fund (DAF) holders Mona and Saed Sahouri about what drives their giving (more on DAFs to the left). Lastly, our Teen Grantmaking Initiative (TGI) members are excited to begin another year of civic engagement through philanthropy!
Thank you for all of your support and happy autumn!
The Center for Arab American Philanthropy
| |Presenting our 2012 grantees
The Center for Arab American Philanthropy is proud to announce that in our fourth funding cycle, CAAP will distribute $53,000 to support Arab American organizations throughout the United States. This brings the total amount disbursed to nearly $233,000 since we began making grants in 2009.
"Strong community organizations are essential for the development and empowerment of the community as a whole," said Maha Freij, deputy executive director and CFO of ACCESS, CAAP's parent organization. "Our donors who support CAAP's general grant-making fund are improving the communities in which we live while leveraging their gift with others to make a larger impact on organizations all over the country."
For the second consecutive year, CAAP grants will fund general operating support, which is vital to help small organizations get off the ground and remain solvent, Freij noted.
"The CAAP grant supplements the funding we receive to ensure that we are able to continue providing quality service and leadership opportunities to our community," said Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. "In a dwindling economy, and through scarce foundation monies, CAAP comes in and gives us the boost we need to keep going throughout the year. Impact of small grants like CAAP's on an organization like ours is immense and we thank CAAP for their support and for believing in our work."
This year's grantees work primarily in arts and culture, social services and education.Some groups, such as Access California Services, help to resettle Iraqi refugee families who come to the United States with nothing. The organization helps the families get permanent residency and find jobs and affordable housing, providing transportation, counseling, acculturation, rental assistance, advocacy and other immigration services. The group also offers ESL classes, educational workshops and more.
For the full list of grantees, and for more on our grantmaking, please visit our website.
Mona and Saed Sahouri
Flint, Mich.-based Arab American philanthropists Mona and Saed Sahouri opened a donor-advised fund with CAAP in 2011. We recently asked them about their approach to philanthropy, what drives their giving, and how CAAP has helped.
CAAP: Can you give us an example of the kind of work/causes you support? What do you look for when you make giving decisions?
Mona and Saed Sahouri: We like to support efforts that empower our community and improve their living standards, whether it is in the United States or abroad. We have supported arts and cultural organizations as well.The Arab American Heritage Council (AAHC) & the Arab American National Museum (AANM) are two organizations that we feel very strongly about.
The AAHC is the only Arab American organization in the greater Flint area and we feel that it is very important to support such a great organization that does so much for our community while helping to preserve and advance our heritage and culture.The AANM is the only institution of its kind in the United States and it is a true source of pride for all Arab Americans.We love to support these institutions and other projects that touch our hearts.
CAAP: What does the word "philanthropist" mean to you? Do you think of yourselves as philanthropists?
Mona and Saed: When we hear the word "philanthropist," we think of very wealthy people and therefore do not necessarily feel that we are philanthropists. However, our friends and family think of us as such, and therefore, we think any person who gives time, money and energy to benefit his or her community, should think of themselves as philanthropists.
CAAP:How has CAAP strengthened the impact of your giving? What benefits have you received by having a fund at CAAP?
Mona and Saed: Our CAAP fund organizes our giving and helps us to strategically plan our giving trends for the future years. It gives us an idea of just how much we give and to which causes we tend to give more - not to mention the tax benefits as we often used to make donations and forgot to report them. +more