How to Start a Fund

Opening a fund at The Community Foundation is quick, easy and efficient – in most cases, the fund is operational in less than 24 hours. You will receive a tax deduction at the time the fund is established and when additional contributions are made to the fund.

The Process

1. Identify your charitable purpose(s) or intent(s).
This can range from highly specific – for example, an alma mater -- to general in scope, such as “general charitable purposes.”

2. Select the type of fund that best fulfills this purpose or intent.
Consult the “Types of Funds” section of this website for details. If you need more information, our knowledgeable staff is happy to advise you on the various options and the advantages of each fund type.

3. Complete a simple governing document.
We can help you to complete an official document that makes your intentions clear.  It looks like this.

4. Name the fund.
Fund names may take virtually any form – your name, a family name, your corporate name, a cause-related name, or something else entirely. You also may choose to remain anonymous.

5. Designate advisors to your fund.
Depending on the type of fund established, you should designate current fund advisors such as yourself and your spouse, and successor advisors such as your children. This information will be included in your governing document.

6. Activate the fund by making an establishing gift.
See the “Options for Giving” section of our website for details.

Once you establish your fund, you may:

  • Add to the fund at any time in any dollar amount
  • Specify how grant disbursements should be acknowledged. You may make a grant using your fund’s name, or you may remain anonymous
  • Make grants to any nonprofit organization across the United States and throughout the world.