Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a community foundation?

A community foundation is a tax-exempt public charity that manages a group of funds established by individuals, families, businesses and organizations. The foundation makes grants from these funds for the long-term benefit of the community.

Why should I give to the Community Foundation instead of establishing my own private foundation?

As a public charity, The Community Foundation offers donors a number of advantages over a private foundation. Investment income isn’t taxed and there are no annual payout requirements. In addition, donors are eligible to deduct a larger percentage of their charitable gift for tax purposes. There is no cost to establish a Community Foundation fund, and there are lower administrative fees. In addition, our expert staff has an intimate knowledge of the community and can help donors determine how to make the most significant impact over the near term and the long haul.

What types of funds can be established?

The Community Foundation offers you great flexibility in the kind of fund you establish and in the level of involvement you desire. Donor Advised Funds allow you to be actively involved in deciding how your gift is used. Community Grantmaking Funds leave those decisions to the Foundation’s program experts, who determine how best to use your gift to respond to the community’s needs. Regardless the level of involvement you choose, you can target your fund to support a particular field of interest, scholarship, nonprofit organization or purpose.

What is the minimum contribution needed to start a fund?

The minimums vary by type of fund, so please contact The Community Foundation for details: (336) 379-9100.

What is the Foundation’s investment objective?

The overall, long-term investment objective of the Community Foundation is to achieve an annualized total return through appreciation and income (net of investment management fees and expenses) that is greater than the rate of inflation (as measured by the broad, domestic Consumer Price Index) plus 6%, which protects fund assets against inflation.

How are funds invested and managed?

The Community Foundation Investment Committee works with the Funds Evaluation Group (FEG) of Cincinnati, Ohio, for investment management and oversight of our portfolio. For specific details about how funds are invested, contact the Foundation at (336) 379-9100.

What types of charities can receive grants?

Grants awarded through funds at The Community Foundation must be made to organizations with official 501(c)(3) status.

How are grants made and how often?

For donor advised funds, grants can be made at any time. You submit a signed recommendation form and we verify the charity’s nonprofit status and make the gift on your behalf. Gifts from Community Grantmaking Funds are made by the Foundation three times a year.

Can the Foundation provide information about worthwhile projects and organizations to support?

Yes. The Community Foundation’s professional grantmaking staff is available to help you with grantmaking decisions.

Can I make an anonymous gift?

Yes. The grantee will be notified of your wish to remain anonymous and any acknowledgment of your gift will be forwarded to you through the Foundation.

Can I pass the right to make grant recommendations down to my children or other family members?

When establishing a fund, you can name an unlimited number of successor advisors.

Can a donor advised fund be used to pay a pledge?

Unfortunately you cannot use a donor advised fund to fulfill a pledge for which you have made a prior commitment. When you contribute cash or property to The Community Foundation to establish a donor advised fund, you are entitled to a charitable deduction. If you then used the fund to fulfill a pledge, you will be deemed to have received a personal benefit, which is your release from your obligation to fulfill your pledge.

How does a nonprofit organization apply for a grant?

Grant guidelines and applications are available on our website

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