Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Conversions, settlements and other odd routes to philanthropy

A decade or so back the big buzz in philanthropy was "health care conversion" philanthropy - new foundations born from the conversion of not-for-profit hospitals or HMOs to commercial structures. In lay language, the resulting foundation was meant to represent some portion of the value of the tax exemption that the non-profit structure had enjoyed. By endowing a foundation with these assets, a tax benefit is retained for the public rather than being given to the new commercial owners.

After a nationwide sweep of health care conversions we've experienced a spate of student loan conversion foundations (Lumina, Melmac, College Access Foundation)

There are also foundations created from mergers and buyouts and from legal settlements.

Here's what I'm looking for - a complete list of all the ways that foundations get created and numbers of the different kinds. I'm too busy right now to filter through data from the IRS or Attorneys General offices - does anyone know any short cuts to this information?

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