What types of organizations can I support through my fund?

The grantee must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. The Community Foundation staff performs due diligence on every organization recommended to receive a grant. We confirm the organization has been awarded 501(c)3 status under IRS regulations, and is in good standing with the IRS. 

Grants may be made to non-qualified 501(c)3 organizations under certain circumstances. Please contact us if there is charitable purpose you wish to support that is being done by a non-tax exempt organization.

If you have a question about a specific organization, please contact our Grants Manager Kathy Matthews at (202) 263-4773 or kmatthews@thecommunityfoundation.org for more information. You may also contact your donor services representative, click here for the complete list of our staff.


How do I recommend a grant from my fund?

To use your Donor Central account, login here: https://www.edonorcentral.com/login_1255.asp.  Donor Central allows you to access your fund electronically to make grant recommendations, view your fund balance, track your fund activity, and download your fund statements. 

Once you’ve logged in to Donor Central, click on “Recommend a Grant” in the top navigation, then search for the organization with the optional parameters provided. If the organization is already in our system, then click on the “make a grant” button next to the name of the organization. If the organization is not in our system, click on “continue to a blank grant recommendation form.” Complete the information on the following page, click save, and hit submit on the next screen!   

You may also complete, sign, and return a Grant Recommendation Form. If you do not already have a Donor Central account, please contact Donor Services at 202-955-5890 or donorservices@TheCommunityFoundation.org, or contact your donor services representative.


Is there a minimum grant size?

Yes. The minimum grant size is $250.


Can I recommend a grant to a nonprofit organization located outside of the Greater Washington area?

Yes. You may recommend grants to qualified 501(c)3 organizations nationally and internationally. Grants to international organizations require additional due diligence by The Community Foundation staff, and the organization may be asked to complete a grant agreement prior to releasing the funds.  


Can The Community Foundation help me identify specific organizations and/or programs to support?

Yes! Our staff is highly knowledgeable about a wide variety of organizations and programs in our region. We are happy to discuss your charitable giving goals and provide recommendations for how best to achieve them. Depending on the scope of the assistance provided, your fund may be assessed an additional fee for advising services. We will work with you to figure out the best options based on your needs. If you would like to work with us to identity potential grant recipients, please contact Donor Services at 202-955-5890 or donorservices@TheCommunityFoundation.org. You may also contact your donor services representative. 


Can I fundraise for my fund?

Yes, but only with pre-approval from The Community Foundation to ensure compliance with strict IRS requirements regarding fundraising on behalf of a component fund of The Community Foundation. We expect you to read and abide by the Funds that Fundraise Policy. Failure to do so could impact the Foundation’s reputation and tax‐exempt status, which are often used in fundraising activities for funds established within the Foundation. 

There are some types of activities to which The Community Foundation will not lend its name or that of any of its funds. These might include events involving controversial speakers or events with activities considered outside the standards of good taste. The Foundation, in its sole discretion, will determine the appropriateness of its participation or use of its name on a case‐by‐case basis.  


What happens to my fund after my lifetime?

We allow you to name a successor advisor(s) to succeed you in making grant recommendations for your fund. To name a successor advisor(s), please complete and return the Successor Advisor Form. If there isn’t a named successor advisor, advised funds of less than $10,000 will be added to the Fund for Greater Washington to support The Community Foundation’s charitable activity throughout the region. Advised funds of $10,000 or more will maintain their fund name as an endowed legacy of the fund creator. In which case, philanthropic staff of The Community Foundation will recommend grants to organizations in the same programmatic area(s) previously established by the fund creator.

We are also happy to help you plan your charitable legacy, including information about how to name your fund as a beneficiary of your will or trust and how to structure the fund to fulfill your philanthropic objectives through endowment options, so your fund can continue to grant in perpetuity.  To learn more about our Charitable Legacy options and to join our Legacy Society, please contact Rebecca Rothey at rrothey@TheCommunityFoundation.org or 202-955-5890.