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Establish a Fund

Opening a Fund
Donors may establish a fund by completing a Fund Agreement and providing an initial contribution.

Naming the Fund
Donors may name their fund for a family, organization or others. For funds to remain anonymous, donors may select a name that does not identify the individual or family. If the selected name could be confused with names of existing funds, the Foundation may request an alternative.

Types of Assets
Donors may contribute any of the following assets to open a fund:

  •   Cash
  •   Publicly Traded Securities
  •   Bonds
  •   Mutual Fund Shares
  •   Private Securities
  •   Real Property
  •   Tangible Personal Property
  •   Life Insurance Policies
  •   Retirement Assets (IRAs, retirement plans, etc.)
  •   Business Interests (non-publicly traded or closely held stock, partnership interests, etc.)
  •   Trust Assets
  •   Estate Assets

Gift acceptance is subject to Foundation approval and must meet criteria as outlined in the Gifts Accepted section of this Guide.

Eligible Donors: Individuals, families, corporations and other business entities, nonprofit organizations, Trusts, and estates are eligible to create funds.

Gift Acknowledgements
Contributions of $25 or more and contributions with a non-tax-deductible portion will be acknowledged promptly in writing. For contributions of securities, the acknowledgement will include information on the date the securities were received and the number and type of securities received.
For contributions of private securities, business interests, real property and other assets valued at more than $5,000, the acknowledgement will be sent after the
Foundation has received a copy of an independent, qualified appraisal. Contributions made through the Foundation’s Web site will receive acknowledgement via e-mail.

Grant Distributions Throughout the United States
The Foundation makes grants to any qualified, public 501(c)(3) charity in any geographic region in the United States. In addition, the Foundation allows distributions to international organizations through qualified domestic 501(c)(3) affiliates. See the Fund Distributions section in this Guide for further information. The Foundation will research the most appropriate intermediate endowment fund.

Gifts are Irrevocable
In order to meet IRS guidelines, contributions become irrevocable once they are accepted. Contributions are owned and held under the direction of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Contributions to the Foundation are not refundable.

Understanding Variance Power
A distinctive feature of community foundations is the “variance power” reserved by the Board of Directors and contained in the Articles of Incorporation and bylaws of the Foundation. The variance power authorizes the Board to modify any condition or restriction on the distribution of funds if in its sole judgment (without the approval of any trustee, custodian or agent), such restriction or condition becomes, in effect, unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment, or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the area served by the Foundation. IRS regulations require that the Foundation have this discretionary power regarding all gifts to the Foundation in order to provide maximum tax benefits. The Foundation, however, will carefully consider recommendations regarding preferences and distributions.

Providing Information About the Estate or Tax Professional
The Foundation works with professional and financial advisors regularly to assist donors in the philanthropic process. To provide the best service possible to professional advisors, the Foundation asks for their contact information on Fund Agreements.

Becoming a “Cornerstone” to Support the Foundation
The Foundation’s operating costs are covered by modest service charges and the generosity of caring donors. Gifts to the Foundation designated for the Foundation’s operating costs will ensure that it will continue to be responsive to changing community needs.

Read more by downloading the complete Charitable Giving Guide.