Frequently Asked Questions – Nonprofits

You may find answers to many of your questions about nonprofits and community foundations below. You may also want to review the general FAQs for more information about community foundations. Should you have questions not covered here, please contact us.


How can the Community Foundation help my nonprofit?

When you establish an agency fund and/or designated fund (endowment funds that benefit only your organization), you can be assured of a stable source of income for the future. Several nonprofits have also established scholarship funds to fund scholarship programs offered by the organization. The Community Foundation also has a number of grants available to area nonprofits who qualify. See our grants/scholarship section of our website for details.

Why should my organization consider establishing an agency, designated or scholarship fund with the Community Foundation?

There is no cost to establish such a fund. You avoid the legal fees required to set up an endowment fund or trust on your own. And by pooling all our funds together, we can command the lowest fees for professional hands-on management while at the same time maximizing your funds.

By taking on the administrative and financial oversight of your funds, we reduce the responsibility and liability of your volunteer members.

We can also offer investment diversification options that are not practical or available for a smaller account on your own.

Once you have a fund in your organization’s name, you can promote it to your constituents and other donors who have an interest in your mission, encouraging them to not only donate, but also include your organization in their estate planning. We can help with personalized forms for your organization.

In addition, your organization’s fund will be listed in our literature, on our website and promoted via our social media. We will help promote your organization by disseminating this literature to the public, to donors and to estate planning professionals.

We can also offer flexibility as to the use of the money in the fund since there are no tax consequences should your tax-exempt organization have an emergency need to remove principle from the Foundation.

Does the Community Foundation compete with my organization for donor dollars?

No. Our goal is to help identify our community needs – and local nonprofits helping to meet those needs – and connect them with appropriate and interested donors. In addition, from time to time in doing our own research, we find other grants that are available and freely pass that information along to you.

Donor dollars – direct to my nonprofit or separate endowment?

First, we determine whether the donor is interested in helping with your ongoing, current needs, or if they like the idea of contributing to or setting up a designated fund that would benefit your organization forever. If they want to help you outright, we recommend they give the money directly to you. Otherwise, if they want to donate to or establish a designated fund for your benefit, we give them information about how they can do that easily and with no set-up costs. The donor makes the final decision.

How can my 501(c)(3) organization create a fund with the Foundation?

See Getting Started. We would be happy to make a formal presentation to your board or send you a sample agreement so you can see how it works.