Giving FAQs

We want to be a resource for you. We hope you'll reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have about giving through us.

You make a gift to the Community Foundation and they give you the information that you need for your finances, and then you can give the money out to the charities of your choice."

– Thad Estes, CFCV fundholder & Senior VP of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

How much does it cost to establish a charitable Fund?

The cost to establish a Fund can vary depending on the type of Fund. We typically suggest that a minimum gift of $50,000 be made when creating our most common type of Fund, an Endowed Donor Advised Fund. However, we do work with donors and allow them to build up their $50,000 balance before grantmaking. Minimums vary by the type of Fund, and anyone can contribute any amount to the Community Endowment Fund.

What are the financial benefits and tax advantages of gifting through the Community Foundation?

There can be many, depending on a donor’s situation. Gifting appreciated stock, for example, can allow a donor to deduct the value of the stock on the date of the contribution. If the stock was purchased for a lot less, the donor gets to make a generous gift relatively inexpensively – and avoid paying capital gains taxes. Once the gift is at the CFCV, donors can take their time (and let CFCV staff help them with research) deciding which community needs to use their Fund to impact.

Why give through CFCV instead of directly to the charity/charities of my choice?

While there’s certainly no “wrong” way to give, we often explain that giving through a Donor Advised Fund, rather than giving individually, allows your gift to be maximized through our economy of scale. Your gift is combined with the gifts of our other 260 Funds and then carefully invested. The returns made off those investments offer you the opportunity to give more, and to give in perpetuity.

 

I always thought foundations were for rich people. I'm not rich. Why should I think about giving a small amount through the Community Foundation?

We take great pride in serving all types of donors. While some donors come to us with great wealth, many do not. Many of our donors are modest families and individuals who also want to maximize their charitable giving, and that’s the beauty of community foundations! Donors can start a Fund and withhold making disbursements from their Funds until they achieve our minimum Fund balance. Or they can contribute to our endowed Community Endowment Fund, which will help improve the community in perpetuity.

To which organizations can a donor recommend a grant?

Donors can recommend grants to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, church, school and/or a unit of government.

Are grants limited to organizations in Muscogee County?

No. As long as the grant is going to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, church, school and/or a unit of government, it does not have to exist within Muscogee County. In fact, we support donors who choose to do grantmaking all over the country!

How is the amount available for grantmaking from a Fund determined?

Each Fund is given an annual spendable amount. This offers donors and beneficiaries a projected amount of money that will be available for distribution on an annual basis, while preserving the Fund itself for perpetuity and allowing for Fund growth. A policy allows donors, in the case of Donor-Advised Funds, to plan for and budget their annual charitable gifts. For organizations, a spending policy offers the chance to plan for and budget income from an endowment Fund.

We currently recommend a spending policy of 4.5% of the average of the Fund balance over the past 12 quarters, or such shorter time as may be available. This preserves the “philanthropic power” of endowment dollars by protecting the Fund’s value against inflation and year-to-year fluctuations in the investment market. 

This rate is subject to change, however. If the total return over time is not great enough to meet the payout and hedge against inflation, the we will consider lowering the payout rate to preserve the long-term value of the Fund. Conversely, if the total return increases substantially and in a sustained manner, the Community Foundation will consider increasing the payout rate.

Can I give anonymously?/ Can I establish an anonymous Fund?

Absolutely! In fact, anonymity is one of the many benefits of giving through a community foundation. We can administer individual grants anonymously, or we can establish your entire Fund as anonymous. This means your Fund will be listed anonymously in our annual report and that your grantmaking will always be done anonymously. 

 

What are the advantages of using the Community Foundation rather than creating a private foundation?

Donor Advised Funds can be great alternatives to private foundations for donors who are working with $15 million or less. Not only does the CFCV act as your “back office” for grantmaking and investing; we handle all the annual filings and legal requirements. 

Further, Donor Advised Funds aren’t required to pay a tax on earnings or to distribute a specific amount each year. And a higher percentage of Adjusted Gross Income is deductible if contributing to a Donor Advised Fund as opposed to a private foundation. Finally, Donor Advised Funds preserve a higher level of privacy in grantmaking.

 

Is there a way to start a Fund if you don't have the $50,000 minimum for an endowed Donor Advised Fund?

Sure! We work with donors who want to give through us but haven’t quite reached the minimum Fund balance requirement. We allow the Fund to grow until the minimum requirement is met before any grantmaking is done out of the Fund.


What are the different types of assets that the Community Foundation accepts?

We accept a wide variety of gifts such as: cash; publicly traded securities; bequests; retirement fund assets; life insurance policies; trusts; personal property; private foundation transfers; gift annuities; charitable remainder annuity trusts and charitable remainder unitrusts; real estate; closely held stock; and family limited partnerships.

How can I make a stock or cash wire donation?

To make a gift of stock or to wire a cash donation, please contact our Chief Financial Officer, Leah Poole, at lpoole@cfcv.com. She – or any member of our staff -- will be happy to assist you.


Does the Community Foundation offer planned giving?

Absolutely! A significant percentage of our contributions result from planned gifts. We’re happy to work with donors and/or their financial advisors to help structure a giving program that’s beneficial over many generations.


Can I designate a grant from my Fund for a specific program or Fund?

Yes! When recommending a grant, donors simply let us know how the specific purpose they have in mind for the grantFund. We make sure that’s listed in our grant letter that accompanies the check.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes, CFCV is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and all donations made to us are eligible for a tax deduction.

I have more questions. Whom should I contact?

While any of our staff members are happy to help, our Donor Services Officer, Josina Greene at jgreene@cfcv.com, can make sure all your questions get answered.


Check out our advisor toolkit, compiling everything you need to help your client make the best decision.

Advisor Toolkit

Share