Community Foundation: For Good, For Ever.
What is the Community Foundation of North Florida?
The Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity that promotes and facilitates charitable giving. The Foundation helps individuals, families and businesses accomplish their charitable goals and helps nonprofits as a source of grants and as a vehicle for building endowments for their future.
Is the Community Foundation a charity?
Yes. The Community Foundation of North Florida is a charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and all contributions to the Foundation qualify for the maximum available tax deduction allowed by the federal tax laws for charitable contributions.
Who governs the Community Foundation?
The Foundation's governing Board of Directors is comprised of leading community citizens who live in North Florida. They represent a diverse group of people who have different areas of expertise and community knowledge. They oversee the management and policies of the Foundation.
What is the difference between the Community Foundation and United Way?
The United Way provides essential assistance and funds for current needs of primarily health and human service organizations. The Community Foundation is mainly focused on endowment building and supports non-profit organizations of all kinds. Both organizations cooperate to address community needs and opportunities.
Why should I give through the Community Foundation instead of giving directly to my favorite charity?
As a general rule, there is no benefit to passing a single annual campaign gift through the Foundation. Gifts that are needed currently by a nonprofit organization should be made directly to an organization. If, however, you desire to seed an endowment fund for an organization, or you desire to create or build a long-term charitable fund to benefit a variety of nonprofit organizations, the Foundation is an excellent vehicle for accomplishing your purpose.
What is the minimum amount needed to establish a fund?
Why establish a fund at the Community Foundation?
Creating a charitable fund at the Community Foundation helps you be more organized and tax-wise with your charitable giving and also helps you create a charitable giving legacy that continues beyond your lifetime. A Fund at the Foundationn keeps you connected to your gifts, your family and your favorite charities.
What tax advantages will I receive with a fund?
Gifts to the Foundation qualify for the maximum available tax deduction allowed by the federal tax laws for charitable contributions. Using the Foundation to fund your charitable contributions with appreciated assets may have significant tax advantages over writing checks to your favorite charities. Your contribution to a fund here may qualify for higher deductibility than the same gift to a private foundation. Please consult your tax advisor for more information regarding the deductibility of charitable gifts.
Can I give anonymously?
Yes. When establishing your fund or recommending grants from your fund, you may elect to remain anonymous.
Can other people contribute to my fund?
Yes. Some donors suggest that friends and family give to their fund in honor of a special event, such as a birthday or anniversary or in lieu of purchasing a gift.
Is the Community Foundation set up only to serve wealthy people?
No. Anyone can be a philanthropist by making a donation of any amount to an existing fund or by establishing a new fund with an initial gift of $5,000.
How can a nonprofit organization apply for a grant from the Foundation?
The Community Foundation accepts grant applications through the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Donor Advised Fund. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply. Applications are accepted on an on-going basis.
How can an individual apply for a grant?
The Foundation distributes grants to qualified 501(c)(3) organizations. Other than through scholarships, we are unable to make grants to individuals.
What is an endowment?
An endowment is a fund in which the original and subsequent contributions are held in perpetuity and invested to provide an ongoing stream of revenue for a nonprofit organization or organizations. The principal typically is not spent but is invested to provide a stream of income for the future of an organization(s).
What is the difference between an endowment and a cash reserve?
A cash reserve is a board-designated fund. Both the contributions and earnings are available to meet emergency needs. It is wise for a nonprofit organization to establish a cash reserve as part of prudent financial planning, prior to creating an endowment. An endowment is a permanent fund in which contributions may not be spent but rather are invested to generate a stream of income for the organization.
How does the Community Foundation invest long-term funds?
The Foundation's Board and Investment Committee (comprised of local leading financial and investment professionals) oversee the investments of the Foundation in accordance with the Foundation's Investment Policy. Additionally, the Foundation engages professional investment advisors who have extensive experience in endowment building and long-term investment strategies. Currently, Fund Evaluation Group of Cincinnati, Ohio, is serving as the Foundation's investment consultant.
How are non-endowed funds invested?
Non-endowed funds that flow through the Foundation in less than 12 months are invested in a short-term money market account and do not accrue interest for the benefit of individual funds. Longer-term non-endowed funds are invested with endowed funds and receive their proportionate share of the long-term pool earnings.
What does the Community Foundation charge?
The annual administrative fee for all funds is 1.5% on the first $3 million (except that funds with a balance of less than $50,000 incur an administrative fee of the greater of $350 or 1.75%.) To see the full fee schedule, click here. Additionally, earnings of endowed funds are reduced by each fund's pro-rata share of investment costs (approximately 85 basis points annually). Non-endowed gifts are charged a 2% processing fee. Generally, non-endowed funds do not earn interest and are not charged an investment fee.