Fund Policies and Guidelines

Understanding the Grant Recommendation Process

After you establish your donor advised fund, you, or someone you designate, may recommend a tax exempt
charitable organization you would like your fund to make a gift to and an amount. The Community Foundation will
consider and evaluate all donor recommendations, as they are advisory in nature. The law expressly recognizes the
right of living donors to make grant recommendations; however, the regulations adopted by the Internal Revenue
Service clearly state that the governing body of a community foundation must exercise final discretion and control
concerning the expenditures of such funds. The Community Foundation’s board of trustees recognizes its
responsibility to support charitable organizations that donors care about while balancing the need to exercise good
Grants may be paid to organizations defined as tax exempt public charities under Sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a) of
the Internal Revenue Code. Although we encourage donors to give where they live and invest in the metropolitan
Washington region, you may suggest a grant to any public charity located in the United States.
There are several additional policies that govern The Community Foundation’s grantmaking:
  • Donors may recommend installment grants. These grants are approved for the full grant amount, but are paid in installments based on a schedule recommended by the donor and approved by The Community Foundation.
  • Grants cannot be approved if there are benefits associated with a grant that pass to the donor. Benefits associate with grants include membership in a museum association or tickets to a benefit dinner or concert.
  • As a matter of policy, The Community Foundation does not allow grants to be made to private, non-operating 
  • foundations.
  • The Community Foundation will decline to make distributions recommended by donors when the grantee is 
  • not a tax-qualified charitable organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code.
  • If The Community Foundation determines that the recommended grantee does not meet The Community 
  • Foundation’s general standards for grantmaking, the recommendation will be declined.
  • A donor is prohibited from making pledges in their own name from a donor advised fund. Making pledges 
  • in your own name from a donor advised fund is not allowed under IRS regulations.

Important information on pledges: Many nonprofit organizations urge donors to make pledges of financial support.

The U.S. Treasury Department has ruled that, when an individual makes an irrevocable commitment in his own

name to a charity, the commitment cannot be satisfied with a grant from a foundation. On the other hand, a

foundation such as The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region can and does make pledges in its

name at the suggestion of its donors, but in the name of The Community Foundation. Please contact The Community

Foundation for more information.


For more information:

Starlet Hunter

Director, Corporate and Professional Services 

(202) 263-4763