Frequently Asked Questions

What is a community foundation?
A community foundation is a charitable organization.

What does a community foundation do?
A community foundation gives grants and scholarships to the local community, it helps donors establish long-term charitable giving plans, and it works with local organizations to support their service of helping individuals in our community.

Can anyone donate to a community foundation?
Yes, all you need to know is what organization or what area of interest you want to donate to. All donations are welcome and help charities with long-term resources. You can give to several charities at one time or you can give to the unrestricted fund which assists all organizations in the county.

Where does the money come from to give out grants and scholarships?
Caring individuals, families, and organizations (at many income levels) add money to existing funds or create their own fund. We invest the funds and each year we are able to distribute a percentage pay-out to them.

What types of funds does a community foundation offer?
A community foundation has several types of funds; the most common funds are Designated, Donor Advised, Scholarship and Field of Interest. Most community foundations also have an “unrestricted fund” that generates grants for the geographic area they represent and allow the community foundation the flexibility to meet needs as those needs change over time.

Why would an organization establish a fund?
Nonprofit organizations would establish a fund when they seek a long-term source of income.

Why would donors establish a fund?
Donors establish funds to make grants to their favorite organizations long-term.

Why a designated fund?
A designated fund is established for a “designated” charitable organization or multiple organizations.

Why a donor advised fund?
A donor advised fund allows donors to “advise” us each year on the charitable organization(s) or programs for which they’d like to grant. Also, donor advised funds can be set up to allow children and grandchildren to oversee the gifting after the initial donors death.

Why a field of interest fund?
Some donors have a particular area of interest (example: animal welfare), but are not partial to one organization. Field of interest funds allow donors to give to a special cause without naming any organization.

Why a scholarship fund?
Although this is basically self-explanatory, the truth is there are many, many types of scholarship funds. Scholarships can be established to help students in a particular field of study, students at various levels of their education, state-wide, national, local, men or women, and so on. Scholarship requirements vary because qualifications are determined by the donor who creates the fund. Scholarships are granted directly to the recipient’s education institution of higher learning.