Below are some frequently asked questions and responses for current and prospective donors. If you have a question that you’d like to see discussed on this page, please contact us.
What are the benefits of giving through the Community Foundation?
No matter the size of your fund, every donor enjoys the benefits and services of the Foundation. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Funds are pooled together and invested for maximum stability and return. Activities are overseen by a board made up of some of the most distinguished and capable leaders in Mercer County. And you can tap the knowledge of our community programs team experts in charitable giving, community needs, and the nonprofit sector—to help guide your individual grantmaking
How can I support the Foundation?
There are many ways to support the Princeton Area Community Foundation. For example:
- Gifts to our Community Endowment – the Fund for Mercer County – help us annually make grants to hundreds of nonprofit organizations operating in the area.
- Donations to our General Fund for Civic Leadership Fund helps us provide a wide range of consulting services and guidance to nonprofits in the region to help them build their capacity and succeed in reaching their missions.
- Our Fund for Women & Girls supports girls and the women who raise them in central New Jersey, and also offers donors a chance to learn about philanthropy together.
To support any of these programs, you may make a new gift to the Princeton Area Community Foundation and designate its use, or you may make a grant directly from your existing donor-advised fund. If you have questions about gifting, please contact us at 609-219-1800.
Can I create a legacy?
Yes, and we would be honored to assist you in doing so. By establishing a fund at the Princeton Area Community Foundation during your lifetime, you already have laid the groundwork for creating a permanent legacy to charity. Most often, a lasting legacy involves incorporating charitable giving into your estate plan, and staff is here to assist you and your professional advisors with estate giving activities.
As you create your estate plan, there are many charitable giving options available to you. You can create a Designated Fund (in which you specify a particular organization to receive an annual gift in your name), a Field of Interest Fund (through which you support programs in a particular field, such as education or the arts), or an unrestricted fund as part of our Community Endowment. Our staff are available to discuss vehicles such as trusts, gift annuities, bequests, IRAs, and other gift planning options with you.
When can I give?
Donors can make gifts of any size at any time, to any fund. The Foundation also accepts gifts in memory of or in honor of an individual or special occasion.
How do I establish a fund?
Once you determine your charitable goals, you can start a Princeton Area Community Foundation fund with a short written agreement and a donation to your fund. You can make the donation with almost any type of asset: cash, stock, real estate, and other real property.
If I’m interested in establishing a fund, how do I know which kind to choose?
The first priority is to determine your charitable goals. The best way to do this is to look at what you have supported in the past, what you currently support and how you would like your contributions to help the community in the future. Once you have answered these questions, The Princeton Area Community Foundation staff and your financial or legal advisor can assist with recommendations about which type of fund would best suit your goals.
How can I learn about organizations that are addressing a specific issue?
The Princeton Area Community Foundation has a professional staff with expertise in local nonprofit organizations. We would be happy to recommend organizations that we know are doing excellent work in the community. We can provide you with detailed descriptions and evaluations of programs along with copies of an organization’s financial records. We are happy to research the answers to any questions that you might have and arrange site visits. Site visits are an excellent way to see firsthand what an organization is all about and to create a personal connection.
Is there a minimum to establish a fund?
There is no minimum to contribute to the Princeton Area Community Foundation, although there are minimums to establish a fund. The minimum gift to establish most types of funds is $10,000. The minimum gift to establish a scholarship fund is $250,000.