Financial Information

We are prepared to work closely with professional advisors from the legal, accounting, insurance, wealth management and planned giving communities, so they can best assist their clients who are interested in marine conservation. You can assist your clients in their financial or testamentary goals, while we partner with you in helping them achieve their charitable goals and making sure that their charitable gifts make a difference. This can be in the context of planning for their estates, selling a business or stock options, or managing an inheritance.

Whether your client is interested in giving through TOF, is considering direct gifts, or is simply exploring options, we are committed to assisting you and them. Your client can transfer assets to The Ocean Foundation (including appreciated assets, real estate or other in-kind non-cash items). This can be a current gift or a planned gift.

Small private foundations can be transferred to The Ocean Foundation. A larger private foundation can contribute to a fund here at TOF (for example, for grants outside the private foundations’ primary focus)

We offer flexible, effective, and rewarding ways to accomplish your client’s philanthropic goals.

Types of Funds:

  • Donor-Advised Funds
  • Designated Funds (including Friends of Funds to support a specific foreign charity)
  • Your client can establish an endowment where the principal is invested and grants are made through interest, dividends and gains. The minimum threshold for this is $2.5M. Otherwise, non-endowment funds are moneys immediately available for granting.

Why Work With The Ocean Foundation?

We offer specialized expertise in marine conservation philanthropy for your clients who care about the coasts and oceans. We can identify grantees and projects around the world that will match your clients’ goals. Furthermore, we handle the record keeping and reporting and provide your client with quarterly statements and acknowledgments of gifts and grants. And, this personalized service comes along with all the efficiency of scale and the normal philanthropic services of a community foundation including:

  • Asset transfers
  • Record keeping and reporting (including quarterly statements to your clients)
  • Acknowledgments of gifts and grants
  • Professional grantmaking
  • Investment management

Investment Options

We work with Citibank Wealth Management and Merrill Lynch, among other investment managers. Investment fees are normally 1% to 1.25% of the first $1 million. We are flexible in working with you and your client in selecting the best investment vehicles.

Our Infrastructure and Administrative Fee

Non-Endowed Funds

We charge a one time only 10% fee upon receipt of assets from the donor for non-endowed accounts (those less than $2.5M). In addition for any non-endowed accounts we retain the interest earned, which is used to defray TOF’s administrative expenses, helping us to keep our fees low.

Endowed Funds

We charge a one time set up fee of 1% upon the receipt of assets from the donor for endowed accounts (those of $2.5M or more). Endowed account retain their own interest earned, dividends or gains to be used for grantmaking. The annual administrative fee is the greater of: 50 basis points (1/2 of 1%) of average market value, or 2.5% of grants paid. The fee is taken quarterly and is based on the average market value of the prior quarter. If the total fee collected for the year is less than 2.5% of grants paid, then the fund will be charged the difference in the first quarter of the following year. The fee for an individual grant of $500,000 or more is 1%. The minimum annual fee is $100.

For more information, contact:
Mark J. Spalding, President

Your Due Diligence Center

Independent Voting Board Members

The Ocean Foundation by-laws currently allow for 15 board members on our Board of Directors. Of the current board members, 90% are fully independent with no material or pecuniary relationship with The Ocean Foundation (in the U.S., independent outsiders make up 66% of all boards). The Ocean Foundation is not a membership organization, thus our board members are elected by the board itself; they are not appointed by the Chair of the Board (i.e. this is a self-perpetuating board). One member of our board is the paid President of The Ocean Foundation.

Charity Navigator

We are proud to be have earned a four-star rating on Charity Navigator, as it exemplifies our commitment to transparency, impact reporting, and fiscal health. We appreciate how thoughtful and transparent Charity Navigator has been as it actively transforms the metrics by which it measures the effectiveness of organizations. We think that better metrics help everyone ensure that they are comparing apples to apples when evaluating organizations.

In addition, in fiscal year 2016 we reached Platinum level on Guidestar, a result of our extensive Monitoring and Evaluation program in which we work measure our direct impact and effectiveness. We also earned a Platinum Seal of Transparency in 2021.