Becoming a Donor – Gifts, Funds, Scholarships

Helping You to Become a Donor:

Community Foundations represent one of the fastest growing areas of philanthropy. When charitably-minded people seek sustainable ways to give, we can help them make a difference by creating a fund that has the potential to live in perpetuity. Here are some ways the Community Foundation can help you:

  • We manage your fund, overseeing its investment, and maintaining tax records.
  • We file tax returns and provide an independent audit.
  • We provide the services of experienced grant professionals who know the the community, its needs, and its organizations.
  • Our staff can assist in matching your interests with the needs of the organizations in the County.
  • We ensure that grants are always awarded in the name of your fund.
  • We issue financial reports detailing the status of the fund.

How Do I Create A Fund?

There are four steps to answering this very important question:

1) Decide when to give. You can create your fund now, establish it in your will, or create it through a trust arrangement that benefits your family as well as charity. You may give in honor of an anniversary, to celebrate a special event, or to support a cause. Tax-deductions are earned at the time of your gift, while grants awarded from a fund will continue into the future.

2) Decide what to give. Almost any kind of asset can be used to start a fund, such as cash, publicly traded securities, proceeds from a 401K or 403B, life insurance, real estate, tangible personal property and other like assets. We can also discuss other options with you, such as bequests, charitable remainder unitrusts, charitable remainder annuity trusts, charitable lead trusts, pooled income funds, charitable gift annuities, life income, and deferred charitable gift annuities.

3) Choose the name of your fund. Most of our funds are named for the donor’s family or as a memorial to someone special to them. Every grant issued from this fund will carry the name. If you prefer anonymity, you may choose a name that reflects your fund’s charitable purposes. NOTE: It is altogether acceptable that you make your donation to the Foundation’s General Fund. This Fund is used for the very important purpose of meeting various ongoing community needs.

4) Choose a type of fund. We offer a variety of funds that are flexible to meet your charitable interests:

  • Unrestricted Funds offer the broadest and most flexible giving option, allowing grants to be made wherever our board determines our community’s needs are greatest.
  • Field of Interest Funds create grants that meet needs in a particular field or geographic area that is of interest to you.
  • Donor Advised Funds enable you to recommend specific organizations to receive grants.
  • Scholarship Funds help students pursue academic goals. You may define guidelines for candidacy, choose the advisory committee,  pick the school, and decide the award itself.
  • Designated Funds let you support specific organization while we make sure that grants to these groups remain relevant over time and responsive to changing circumstances.
  • Organizational Funds are established by nonprofit organizations to provide income to them. We will handle all administrative and investment responsibilities, freeing the organization to pursue its charitable mission.

Seven Steps to Philanthropy:

1) Discuss your overall philanthropic goals with your family members and legal or tax advisors.

2) Decide how much you can afford to give.

3) Determine the causes or organizations that will use your donations to meet the goals you support.

4) Meet with us to discuss your plan. Ask questions, explore different gift vehicles available to you, and review the documents needed to implement your plan.

5) Share the documents with your family and your professional advisors.

6) Transfer your gift to us.

7) Review our confirmation of your completed gift and the ongoing progress of grants that are awarded from your fund.

For more information about starting a fund, please contact Ryanne Jennings by email or by phone (570.251.9993)