You can start fund, at no cost to you other than your donation, by contributing $5,000 or more all at once or by starting with a seed donation of as low as $500 and a commitment to get the fund balance to at least $5,000 within five years. The sooner you get the balance up to $5,000 or more, the sooner it can be generating enough income to start benefiting your chosen cause.
Here’s exactly how it works once you have called us to express an interest in setting up a fund:
- We’ll meet with you to make sure we understand your intentions. We’ll ask you lots of questions such as:
- What kind of fund do you envision?
- Will it be restricted (you specify the recipient organization or purpose) or unrestricted (the Foundation selects the recipient organization or purpose based on needs identified in the community)?
- Do you want your name – or someone else’s name – as part of the fund name? Giving money in memory or in honor of someone can be very meaningful.
- Do you want this to be a “forever” fund (an endowment), or do you prefer that your gift be disseminated over a certain period of time? This is sometimes chosen when a donor would rather make a bigger impact over a short period of time than a possibly smaller impact over a longer period of time.
- How much do you wish to contribute 1) now, 2) later, 3) after your death (through your will/estate plan)? Do you wish to contribute cash, stocks, or other assets or property? Do you wish to use a charitable lead trust or a charitable remainder trust to accomplish your goals? (Your attorney or tax professional will need to be involved in these two options.)
- How often—and how much—do you want grants or scholarships to be made from your fund?
- How much do you want to be involved (or have your family involved) in the selection of grants or scholarships made from your fund? This will affect the type and terms of the fund you establish.
- Based on our discussion, if you decide you want to establish a fund, the Foundation will draw up a Fund Agreement to be signed by the donor and Foundation representatives after the wording is approved by everyone concerned.
- If your intention is to activate the fund right away (as opposed to later or after your death), the signed Fund Agreement would be accompanied by an initial gift/donation to the Foundation. This gift activates the fund. The donor is eligible for a tax deduction in the year the gift is given.
- The Foundation will set up the fund on its books and invest the money in the fund with its other investment assets so it will start accruing investment gains/losses. There will be a quarterly administrative fee deduction (1/4% per quarter based on the balance at the end of the previous quarter), and the Treasurer will record quarterly gains/losses as well as any new contributions made to the fund or grants/scholarships taken from the fund. The Foundation will handle all investment decisions, bookkeeping, and annual tax filings.
- The Foundation will send the donor an annual report of the fund annually.