LOOKING AHEAD WITH LANSING:
THE STORY OF THE GREATER LANSING FOUNDATION

Note: This is a historical document probably published in 1958.

"...I sometimes wonder whether foundations might not have a special parish in what might be called the future..." --- Dean Rusk, U.S. Secretary of State

"...To give money away wisely is a challenge that perhaps only a rich democracy can feel. And it is one that American philanthropy is earnestly striving to elevate into an art..." --- TIME

"...Foundations should provide the risk capital of philanthropy, action as the pioneers pushing forward into the future..." --- TIME

"...Most of us are anxious to do something worthwhile, not only while we are living but carrying through after our deaths, for the area in which we have lived happily with our families..." --- Mark Upson, Director of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

WHAT IS THE GREATER LANSING FOUNDATION?

In the early 1940's The Greater Lansing Foundation was only an idea. With vision and foresight many people "looking ahead with Lansing" recognized the real need in the community for a plan or method by which persons of both large and small means could make gifts of a permanent character for the present and future charitable and educational needs of the Greater Lansing area. Careful investigation and study of developments in other cities proved to a certainty that the best means of accomplishing such an objective was through the establishment of a community foundation -- a perpetual and continuing trust, non-profit and tax-exempt in character, charitable and educational in purpose, and organized to function on a permanent basis. As a result the Greater Lansing Foundation was created in 1947 under a Declaration of Trust providing these significant features:

  1. The Foundation will represent the union of an indefinite number of gifts and bequests, both large and modest, received at different times and for varied charitable use.

  2. The gifts and bequests will be held and managed by the Trustee, which will effectively provide of the proper management and investment of all such gifts as well as making available the income, and under certain limited conditions, the principal, for the purposes of the Foundation.

  3. The earnings derived from the invested funds of the Foundation, and under certain limited conditions, the principal, will be disbursed by a Distribution Committee.

THE GREATER LANSING FOUNDATION

An Opportunity For You To Benefit Your Community

The usefulness of your generosity will be projected into the future through the means of The Greater Lansing Foundation, making the Foundation a living monument to the memory of generous people of Greater Lansing. Its influence will be felt ba large and small charitable and educational institutions and organizations.

The Foundation is the creation of many contributors of modest means as well as those of large wealth, and its distributions reflect the philanthropic desires of an increasing number of givers with different charitable preferences. Small gifts and large can be made with equal facility and administered with economy. You can enjoy the durable satisfaction of being a donor to charity and education, whether your means are modest or substantial, by taking advantage of the opportunity presented through the Greater Lansing Foundation.

...For You

The Greater Lansing Foundation is designed to be so flexible in its operations that it can administer any type of gift that is philanthropic in character and thus compatible with the broad purposes of the Foundation. Giving sound management to the funds donated, it also provides for the well-being of the community as specifically directed by you or as needs are determined and approved by the Distribution Committee. Many times, concerned with all areas of the community, the Foundation finds itself complementing the needs of existing agencies and services. A further advantage to you, and an equally important consideration, is involved in a gift for charitable or educational purposes through the means afforded by the Foundation. Your gift is not subjected to Federal gift or estate taxes or the Michigan inheritance tax. A gift now, or later by your Will, serves to reduce the total of your estate subject to Federal estate tax.

...For The Community

Your gift will provide permanent benefits for the community through The Greater Lansing Foundation. It will be in the hands of trained, competent, and impartial management, now and in future years, thus insuring its conservation, its safe productive investment, and its faithful service to the community.

Recognizing the natural desire you might have to specify a definite beneficiary, your gift may be designated by you for the benefit of a particular charity. Should the charity cease to exist however, or the need for it in the community change, your gift will be used thereafter for a similar objective equally as useful.

Considering the possibility that you will have no specific charitable or educational purpose of special interest to you, the benefit of your gift will receive the earnest thought and consideration of the Distribution Committee in determining the proper application of your gift. You are assured, therefore, that even without designation of a definite beneficiary, your gift will be used to meet the most urgent needs existing from time to time.

----SPECIFICALLY

What Must A Successful Trust Fund Have?

To assure both lasting and living benefits to your gift, two functions are or primary importance. The first is the FIDUCIARY. Founded in trust, the Foundation strives to maintain the thoughtful, alert, and unbiased care by which your property can be preserved and kept productive. The second is ADMINISTRATIVE. With this function in mind, the Foundation can, with discernment and wisdom, apply the earnings from your gift to carry out your exact intent.

The KEY Idea Of The Greater Lansing Foundation

THE GREATER LANSING FOUNDATION has been established as a trust which will combine the best possible fiduciary service with the wisest possible distribution. Competence, economy, and continuity in fund management are assured by a capable corporate trustee. Fulfillment of your purpose in conformity with changing conditions and the public interest is entrusted to a Distribution Committee. The members of this Committee are carefully selected and serve without compensation, and are subject to a gradual renewal of personnel at suitable intervals. Each fund whether large or small, retains its identity and distinctive character, while sharing in the economy of a single, administrative structure and the wisdom off a distinguished governing board. American Bank and Trust Company (successor by statutory consolidation to Central Trust Company, the original Trustee) has established its eligibility as Trustee by adopting the "Resolution and Declaration of Trust Creating The Greater Lansing Foundation," the terms of which state that funds forming a part of the Foundation will be received and managed by it.

Incorporated in the donor's Will or Trust Deed is the underlying resolution and declaration of trust, directing that the fund will be turned over to the Trustee.

Upon receiving the fund the Trustee, in accordance with the Declaration of Trust, becomes responsible for its financial management. Periodically the Trustee reports to the Distribution Committee of the Foundation on the amount of earnings available for the distribution in each specific fund.

The Distribution Committee directs the application of the earnings of a specific fund to the charitable object which has been designated. If the fund is left for the general purposes of The Greater Lansing Foundation, it will then, upon determination of the Distribution Committee, be devoted to appropriate use.

A Most Vital Part Of This Plan

The Distribution Committee of The Greater Lansing Foundation, composed of five individuals, is responsible for disbursing the income of the Foundation for charitable and educational purposes. After careful consideration of the charitable use of the trust as expressed by the maker of the original gift, the Committee issues authorization to the Trustee governing the disbursement of funds. The rules of the Foundation, as embodied in the Declaration of Trust, set forth very definite limitations on the choice of persons to serve on the Distribution Committee. Composed of five citizens of the United States who are residents of Lansing, East Lansing or the surrounding area, two are named by the Trustee and the majority by the holders of stated positions of responsibility in the community. One member is appointed by the publisher of the Lansing, Michigan daily newspaper having the largest net paid circulation, one by the senior judge of the Circuit Court for Ingham County, and one by the governing body of the Greater Lansing Community Chest. Not more than two of these five members may be of the same religious denomination or sect, and no member of the Committee may be the holder of a political office. The term of office is for five years. The term of one committee member expires each year.

IN CONCLUSION

Thus -- due to the vital need for sound ways to safeguard wealth and to make it serve the charitable and educational purposes of the giver, The Greater Lansing Foundation was established. It remains our duty then, to see how imaginatively and effectively we can select our roles and goals and how rapidly we can move toward them in the service of all society. In this way, large or small gifts can be made upon broad and flexible terms and provide a sound means by which changing times and conditions can be met.

SUGGESTED PHRASEOLOGY

When Naming The Greater Lansing Foundation In Wills and Other Documents of Gift

When the decision has been reached to establish funds in the Greater Lansing Foundation, sound judgement would clearly indicate that the donor should consult qualified legal counsel of his own choosing. Undoubtedly, counsel will advise and the foundation strongly recommends, that the form of any Will or Trust instrument setting up a gift to the Foundation, be submitted to the Trustee and the Foundation for its concurrence. It is to be noted in the suggested forms below that gifts and bequests are made to the Trustee of the Foundation.

The following suggestions are illustrative of the wording to be used in the incorporation of the Resolution into the Will or Trust Agreement by reference, thereby avoiding the necessity of copying the full text of the Resolution into the document.

...In Wills

"I give and bequeath the sum of $________ to American Bank and Trust Company, a Michigan Corporation of Lansing, Michigan, to be managed, controlled, administered and disbursed in all respects for the charitable uses and purposes set forth in a Resolution and Declaration of Trust adopted by the Board of Directors of Central Trust Company on the 19th day of June, A.D. 1947, and adopted by the Board of Directors of American Bank and Trust Company on the 10th day of November, A.D. 1958, providing for a community charitable trust designated in said Resolution as The Greater Lansing Foundation, said Resolution being set forth at length in the minutes of the meetings of the said Boards of Directors on the dates aforesaid as written in the corporate records, which Resolutions and records are actually in existence at the time this Will is executed and are incorporated herein as fully and with like effect as if herein written at length."

...In Trust Agreements

The phraseology recommended for the use in Wills (above) should be amended for use in the trust agreements to begin: "I give, assign and set over" etc.

...To Give Specific Name To A Fund "It is my desire that the foregoing gift be known as the ___________________ Memorial Fund."

...To Indicate Preferred Charitable Desires

If in the Will or Trust Agreement it is desired to express a preference as to a particular charitable institution or institutions or as to the kind of charitable endeavor to be favored, language to the following effect may be added:

"Pursuant to the right reserved to the contributors to said Foundation, I hereby express my desire that the income and/or principal herein bequeathed (or given) for the charitable purposes of The Greater Lansing Foundation be distributed subject to the terms and provisions of said Resolution to the following charitable institutions: (or for the following charitable purposes:)"

Recipients of The Greater Lansing Foundation Grants highlighted in report:

Publication date:1958(?)

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    Created 05/10/96; last revised 06/08/01

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