Donors establish funds at the Community Foundation for many reasons. Here are a few:
Permanence and Stability: A Gift Will Keep Giving
Many donors want to know that the things they care about—a place, a community service, an institution—will be supported long after they are gone. The Community Foundation exists as a community savings account making sure that a donor’s gift will do good work, now and in the future. The Foundation honors and protects the intentions of its donors in perpetuity.
Flexibility: Gifts May Be Designated for One Specific Purpose or for Many
Establishing a fund allows donors to address multiple interests. The Community Foundation supports a broad base of community projects and services, including the arts, the environment, health and human services, economic development, literacy, youth and more.
Relevance: Gifts Will Meet Changing Community Needs
Donors may design gifts around general or very specific goals. Many donors place no restrictions on how funds are to be used. Even if the current intent of the gift becomes obsolete, the Community Foundation will ensure that the fund continues to address emerging community needs.
Recognition or Anonymity: Gifts Can Honor a Loved One or Associate or Remain Anonymous
The Community Foundation will make grants from funds respectful to donor wishes. Some donors put their names or their family’s names on their fund. Others put names on their funds which mask their identity as the donors. We can even accommodate special requests for anonymity.
Tax Advantage: Contributions Will Ease Donors’ Tax Burden and Provide Financial Benefits
Contributions to the Community Foundation, a public charity, qualify for maximum deductibility for income, gift and estate tax purposes, i.e. 50% of AGI. Donors who create endowed funds, pass-through funds, charitable remainder trusts or gift annuities receive an income tax deduction that can be spread over up to six years if the gift exceeds the allowable annual limits.
Experienced Investment Management: Funds Are Professionally Supervised
The Community Foundation takes its stewardship responsibility very seriously. We are determined to protect and enhance our assets and the donor’s over the long term. To design and implement our investment strategies we seek counsel from an investment committee of members of our Board of Directors with investment expertise. The committee, in turn, recommends appropriate asset allocation, select asset managers and monitor performance while exercising portfolio discipline. Most gifts to a community foundation are pooled for investment purposes, to leverage economies and efficiencies of scale. In this way, a relatively modest-sized fund is exposed to a more broadly diversified asset allocation strategy and more sophisticated investment vehicles than might otherwise be possible.
Convenience: Taking Advantage Of “One-Stop Giving”
The Community Foundation affords donors the benefits of having their own separate fund, a “foundation within the Foundation,” that is simple and convenient, without the customary burdens and expenses of a private foundation or trust arrangement. The Foundation provides everything from grantmaking consultation, award letters, record-keeping, investing and annual reporting through an independent audit.
The foundation’s professional program staff is familiar with local nonprofit organizations and with the critical issues facing our community. Foundation staff helps donors research the organizations and issues they care most about. In this way, donors can be assured that their donations will have an impact. Grants are managed according to established best practices.