For Release: Monday May 14, 2018
Dr. Michelle Foster, President and CEO, TGKVF
The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) files trust conversion petition
The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, a charitable community foundation based in Charleston, West Virginia, filed a petition in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County today seeking the court’s approval to change how many of the Foundation’s individual charitable funds are held and invested, in order to reduce administrative fees and increase funds available for philanthropic purposes. The petition seeks court approval to change funds currently held in trust form, with various banks serving as trustees, into funds held in custodial form. The Foundation estimates the net impact of this change will save up to $150,000 annually in trustee fees, and up to $160,000 annually in investment expenses, freeing up those savings for philanthropic purposes.
When The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation was established in 1962, the primary way charitable funds could be held was in trust form, with trustees and their related fees. In later years, many states, including West Virginia, authorized the formation of nonprofit corporations which could hold and administer charitable funds. In response to this change in the law, the Foundation established a nonprofit corporate subsidiary in 1986 to hold most new funds. Currently, the Foundation holds and manages more than 500 philanthropic fund accounts, with 242 funds representing approximately $122 million held in trust form with banks as trustees, and 263 funds representing approximately $96 million held by the Foundation’s nonprofit corporate subsidiary in various custodial accounts.
Four banks currently serving as trustees of funds for the Foundation – Branch Banking and Trust Company, United Bank, City National Bank of West Virginia, and WesBanco Bank – have given their consent to the Foundation’s requested relief and are cooperating with the petition, and the West Virginia Attorney General has reviewed the petition and affirmed that he has no objection to it. The banks and the Attorney General’s office all view the relief being sought by the petition as a “win-win” for the community, enabling the Foundation to contribute more to nonprofit organizations that are working to improve the lives of West Virginians now and for generations to come.
Court approval of the petition will not change the charitable uses of any individual Fund Accounts transferred from trust to custodial form; charitable uses, designated recipients, or limitations placed by the original donors of these funds will remain intact and subject to the Foundation’s policies and procedures as they are now. These donors can, however, anticipate seeing additional funds available for distribution from their Fund Accounts, resulting from the fee savings flowing from approval of the petition.
Anyone with questions about the Foundation’s petition may contact Michelle Foster, President and CEO at 304-346-3620 or firstname.lastname@example.org.