Community Foundation FAQs

What are the minimum amounts to establish a fund?

There is a $5,000 minimum gift amount required to establish a fund.

Can donors fulfill pledges with a donor-advised fund?

Many times donor advisors include "pledge" language in their recommendations to the Foundation for their donor-advised funds. In accordance with the Treasury Department regulations, grants awarded from The Community Foundation of NC East (CFNCEast) funds may not be used to fulfill personal pledges or a financial obligation of a donor.

The Foundation cannot pay pledges that were pre-existing personal commitments. We suggest that instead of completing a pledge card indicating a legally-binding commitment, donors communicate with the charity their intent to recommend a grant from their fund at the CFNCEast. The Foundation can make multi-year grants (or grants with multiple payments) from donor-advised funds. These are not legally-binding commitments. We will not honor recommendations that reference a pledge or copies of invoices.

We recommend that for both donor convenience and the convenience of a charity who will receive funds through a donor-advised fund, that donors include special instructions such as "capital campaign" or "general support" when making a recommendation. Space is provided for these instructions on the donor recommendation form.

What if a donor wants to make a grant to a charity out of state or overseas?

Donors may support any charitable organization across the United States. International organizations may be supported provided there is a qualified U.S.-based nonprofit available to receive grants on their behalf.

Is there any limit to the number of grants a donor can make or the amount of each?

There is no maximum on the number of grant recommendations an advisor can make from his or her fund. Advisors must recommend a least one grant every three years. The Foundation does require that each grant be a minimum of $100.

Will donors receive acknowledgement of their gifts for tax purpose?

Yes, the Foundation acknowledges gifts to all funds. We offer maximum tax advantage under state and federal law.

What are the benefits of a donor-advised fund over a private foundation?

There are many reasons why establishing a donor-advised fund can be more beneficial than a private foundation. (learn more)

How much does it cost to set up a fund?

There is no set-up fee to establish a fund or have the Foundation serve as trustee. Fees for funds are based on fund value and fund type.

How do donors communicate with the foundation about the grants they want to recommend?

Donor advisors may submit grant recommendations by faxing or mailing a recommendation form to the Foundation, or by logging on to the Foundation's website to make recommendations online.

How are endowment funds invested? Can financial advisors be involved?

Endowment funds are invested with 65-70% equity and 30-35% fixed income positions. The spending policy allows for 4.1% of each fund's trailing 12-quarter market value average to be used for charitable purposes annually unless donors enable the spending of principal.

The Foundation values its relationship with many investment managers. If a donor's investment manager is not one the Foundation currently holds a relationship with, we would be happy to discuss ways to involve them.

What gifts are accepted other than cash and stock?

The Foundation accepts gifts of cash, securities, real estate, personal property, retirement plan assets, and life insurance. Naming the Foundation in a will or living trust or as a designated or contingent beneficiary are also ways to support the causes donors care most about.

What if a donor needs help with grantmaking?

The Foundation's expertise in the community is available to all of our donors. A donor services officer will be happy to answer any questions a donor may have about their grantmaking.

Can donors remain anonymous?

Yes, the Foundation honors a donor's right to remain anonymous to the organizations you support. Please make the Foundation aware of a donor's desire to remain anonymous so that we can tailor their fund, their grants, and our records accordingly.