Who We Are
Calyx Advisors, PC, a professional corporation, was founded by Donyale Reavis, a leading philanthropic and legal cousel, who serves as principal advisor. An extensive national network of consultants in multiple disciplines supports our work for clients in sports, entertainment and high net worth households.
A leading non-profit advisor and foundation consultant, Donyale is also the principal of Calyx Philanthropy, a subdivision of Calyx Advisors and has provided management and consulting services to philanthropic clients for over a decade. Donyale Reavis’s experience in celebrity, athlete, family, private, and corporate philanthropy includes numerous family and private foundations for public persona celebrities and athletes, as well as politicians, municipalities, and issue advocacy organizations like Core Scholars Trust and the Andrew Mellon Foundation.
Our advisors have expertise in wealth management, accounting, taxes, media, sports, coaching, and education. We are active in the nonprofit and philanthropic communities, serving on boards, moderating conference panels, providing technical assistance to grantees, and writing for and about the field. Calyx Philanthropy has extensive expertise and experience in a variety of governance and family issues, including:
- Board structure, policies, and development
- Family dynamics
- Succession Planning
- Next Generation
Calyx Philanthropy has long had a special focus on serving high net worth clients. Approximately one-quarter of our assets under management are held in private foundations, nonprofit endowments, charitable trusts and other philanthropic accounts. While our main efforts are concentrated on legal compliance and program management, we also have developed special expertise in philanthropic planning. If you have an interest in maximizing the charitable impact and tax benefits of your giving, we can work with you to develop a philanthropic plan that meets your needs. We will then coordinate the creation of a private foundation, donor advised fund, charitable trust or other philanthropic account.
Donyale Reavis, Founder: Donyale advises individual funders, family foundations and corporate foundations on grant strategy and management, visibility and impact, corporate social responsibility, operations, and legal compliance. She has significant nonprofit and grantmaking experience in the arts, child welfare, education, and international giving. Donyale serves as Director of Philanthropic Services for a number of celebrity, private and family foundations, a members-only network of high net worth individuals and foundations.
Previously, she has worked for the Children’s Defense Fund, founded a nonprofit media literacy organization called kaPow!, and served as campaign and election law specialist to a range of local, state, and national political campaigns and political action committees. Donyale also served as a corporate attorney at Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP in Washington, DC, Sidley Austin in New York, NY, and with Pierce Atwood in Boston, MA. She received her B.A. in political science and international relations from Boston University, her M.P.A. from the University of Pennsylvania Fels Institute for Government (with a Non-Profit Organizational Management track focus), and her J.D. from Penn Law School.
Donyale is an active member of the New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Washington, DC Bars, a Steering Committee member of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy-Philadelphia, and a member of the American Bar Association- Intellectual Property and Nonprofit Organizations Sections as well as the ABA Sports and Entertainment Law Forum, the Copyright Society, PAADS, and the Council on Foundations. Donyale is a founding member of the African-American Alumni Society of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and serves as a board member of the University of Pennsylvania Law School Board of Managers. A founding board member of the 1926 Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the largest Philadelphia graduate chapter of her sorority, Donyale has also served multiple terms as Parliamentarian of the Omega Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
What We Do
We work with both established philanthropic entities as well as help major donors design and implement philanthropic plans. If you are a major donor who wants to establish a philanthropic giving vehicle, we can help. For established foundations, we can provide a fresh perspective on your investment management needs.
We start by sitting down with you and reviewing your historical giving and goals for the future. Our first priority is to help you maximize your charitable impact. Once we’ve established what you want to accomplish, we will recommend a giving vehicle (or combination of tools) that meets you needs. We’ll also work with your accountant to design a plan that maximizes the tax benefits of your giving.
Whether you decide to set up a private foundation, donor advised fund, charitable trust or a combination, we’ll steer you through the process of implementation. While we do not offer legal or tax advice, we are very familiar with the tax and legal considerations of philanthropic planning and will work with you and your other advisors to put everything in place. For new and existing foundations, charitable trusts and donor advised funds, we offer a specialized focus on the unique characteristics and goals of charitable accounts.
Our philanthropic planning services are available to all clients for no additional fee.
Donor Advised Funds
A donor advised fund is essentially a “charitable checking account” which allows you to avoid paying capital gains tax on assets transferred in, take an income tax deduction for the fair market value of those assets and then send charitable gifts to nonprofits at whatever time is right for you. Assets in a donor advised fund grow free of taxation, building your giving capacity.
A donor advised fund has the advantage of being incredibly simple and allows you to easily fund your philanthropy with assets you may not have considered in the past. In addition to stock or cash, you can deposit partial or whole interests in real estate, privately held businesses, and other non-publicly traded assets into a donor advised fund. In some cases, donor advised funds may offer larger tax deductions than private foundations to families who make large gifts in relation to their annual income.
Unlike a foundation, which is controlled by a board selected by the donor, a donor advised fund is an account held by a separate charity. A donor advised fund gives you the option to recommend grants to any public charity. All of the check writing and administration is handled on your behalf. By reducing the after tax cost of giving to charity and by streamlining the giving process, a donor advised fund can help maximize your enjoyment of philanthropy.
The nonprofits that offer donor advised funds require minimum donations of as little as $5,000. However, Calyx requires an initial donation of at least $250,000 for major donors who wish to engage our services.
Private Charities and Foundations
Private foundations are the most flexible of the various charitable vehicles. They are a distinct legal entity that is controlled by you, your family, or a trusted assembled leadership team. When you make a gift of appreciated stock into your foundation, you avoid paying capital gains taxes, take an income tax deduction for the full market value of the gifted stock, and permanently shield those assets from the estate tax.
Foundations are unique philanthropic entities that can engage in a variety of innovative charitable strategies. We help clients explore concepts such as loaning money to nonprofits, making grants to international organizations or otherwise leveraging the private foundation in ways not available to individual donors.
In addition to the tax and operational benefits of starting a foundation, there are important advantages for families who wish to engage in philanthropy together. Foundations are controlled by a board, frequently made up of family members. By providing a framework for coming together to talk about your most deeply held values and beliefs, private foundations facilitate making philanthropy part of your family tradition.
While there is no minimum donation required to launch a foundation, we generally feel that foundations should be considered by families who can make an initial donation of $1 million or more.
Charitable Remainder Trusts
Charitable remainder trusts (CRTs) pay income to an individual and, at a later date, pay the principal to a designated nonprofit or specified individuals. CRTs are excellent vehicles for individuals who plan on leaving a portion of their estate to charity, but need to continue receiving income from their investment portfolios. Charitable lead trusts (CRTs) pay an annual amount to a designated nonprofit and transfer the principal back to the grantor or another person at some future date. These trusts can be structured to pull future tax deductions into the present or to significantly reduce gift and estate taxes on transfers of assets to heirs.
CRTs allow you to deposit highly appreciated assets (often common stock, real estate or privately-held business interests) and defer paying capital gains tax when they are sold. This allows you to tax efficiently exchange non-income producing assets for a diversified portfolio. You also receive an income tax deduction for the present value of your eventual gift to a nonprofit.
CRTs come in various forms with each having a different method of determining income payments. Calyx consults with you to determine the best strategy to meet both current and future income needs by creating either a fixed income payment or an income stream that has the potential to grow over time.
CRTs give you two options to reduce your taxes. If your objective is an income tax deduction, a CRT can be structured so that annual payments are made to a nonprofit and the principal is returned to you at some point in the future. You can take an income tax deduction for the present value of the planned annual gifts in the year the trust is created. Alternatively, a CRT can name an heir as the beneficiary of the principal interest and be structured to enable a gift and estate tax deduction. If you forego an income tax deduction, you can use the present value of the annual payments to reduce the amount of the gift. In this way, you can make large transfers of assets to your heirs while minimizing the associated taxes.
Public Foundation and Charities
Calyx Advisors, Inc. manages a wide variety of transactions for its non-profit clients. Our services include:
- Forming 501(c)(3) organizations and securing IRS recognition of tax-exempt status
- Advice regarding “best practices” for governance
- Executive compensation planning
- Charitable contributions and capital campaigns
- Planned giving (charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, charitable gift annuities)
- Corporate sponsorships
- Cause-related marketing
- Royalty license agreements
- “Affinity” credit card agreements
- Participation in the Combined Federal Campaign and state civil servant “workplace” campaigns
- Protection of intellectual property rights (e.g., copyrights and trademarks)
- Drafting and reviewing agreements with vendors and service providers, including fund raisers and fund raising counsel
- Advice related to compliance with federal tax laws related to lobbying and political campaigns
- Registration and compliance with the federal Lobbying Disclosure Act
- Compliance with federal tax laws; advice regarding IRS Form 990
- Forming and integrating supporting organizations
We also assist our tax-exempt clients on copyright and trademark matters, helps them obtain and maintain federal tax exemption, and has successfully litigated and settled cases on their behalf in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia. Some of our nonprofit clients consult with us on a regular basis on almost all aspects of their legal and business affairs. Others ask us to handle problems requiring our specific legal and business expertise in managing their creative and cultural assets. We know that our clients expect efficient, effective and experienced legal and business affairs services.