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//How To Start a Fund
How To Start a Fund2018-11-20T11:13:42+00:00

“I had a great feeling about our giving,” Bob Harris said, “but I knew I wasn’t managing the investments ideally. I worried about doing the best possible due diligence. And it was a bit isolating. We didn’t have a body of likeminded donors, smart local people with ideas who could point out opportunities to become more responsible. Now the Community Foundation provides all that for us.”

Bob Harris

“When I began handling my parents’ accounting, I said ‘this is crazy – all the time and effort,’” John D. “Jack” Wallace said of his family’s decision to transfer a private foundation to Donor Advised Funds. “When my father died, I didn’t want my mother to have to worry about that. We just granted the whole Ellerslie Fund over to the Community Foundation.”

John D. “Jack” Wallace

“The fund that I’ve started at the Community Foundation will support whatever it takes to help low-income students in the Mercer County area see the possibility of going to college and grasp the opportunity, knowing that it won’t be easy but that it is doable,” said Debra Joy Perez.

Debra Joy Perez

“There could not be a better place to have manage your funds,” Norm Klath said. “I was certainly attracted to the Donor Advised Fund for the convenience and efficiency for major gifts. It’s easy to put money in and easy to recommend donations. I appreciate that. I make a phone call when I want to do something and it gets done.”

Norm Klath

We just send in checks, and the Community Foundation takes care of the bookkeeping, reports our fund’s balance and activity and distributes our grants,” said Mary Lisa Costello. “Being at the Community Foundation is important to us. We’re so thankful.”

Mary Lisa Costello

Starting Your Fund

Gifts to your fund always qualify for the maximum tax benefit under state and federal law, including (in the case of assets with appreciated value) the advantages associated with donating potential capital gains. You can make your gift in any of these ways:

Outright Gifts

Please make checks payable to “Princeton Area Community Foundation” and write the fund name in the memo line.

You can make your gift with a credit card online or by calling us at 609-219-1800 with your credit card information.

Please refer to the stock transfer form for instructions on security transfer to any Community Foundation fund.

Please contact us for detailed instructions on gifting real estate or other real property into a charitable fund.

Please contact us for detailed instructions on gifting these assets into a charitable fund.

Planned Gifts

You can designate a gift or portion of your estate to any Community Foundation fund using the sample bequest language here.

You can place assets in a trust that pays annual income to you (or another named beneficiary) for life. After your lifetime or a term of years, the remainder of the trust can be transferred to a Community Foundation fund to achieve your charitable goals.

You can place assets in a trust that pays a fixed amount to a Community Foundation fund for the number of years you select. Once this period ends, the assets held by the trust are transferred to the beneficiaries you name.

You can name a Community Foundation fund as the designated beneficiary of a retirement plan or as the designated beneficiary, or partial beneficiary, of a life insurance policy.

If you are 70½ or older, and therefore required to withdraw monies from your IRA every year, a provision allows you to redirect your IRA contributions to a charitable organization, with tax benefits to you. Learn more here.

Create Your Own Fund

The Community Foundation offers customizable funds to suit every charitable need.

Donor Advised Funds are flexible, while designated funds carry out your wishes into the future even if you’re not here to implement them yourself. Community grantmaking funds pursue proven strategies to improve the community we share. Read about these and other fund types below (or in our Donor Handbook), or call us at 609.219.1800 for help choosing the fund that best meets your goals.

Any of these funds can be endowed, allowing you to give in perpetuity.

Name the fund whatever you wish.  Many carry a family name, while others are anonymous.

As a fundholder, you’ll have access to exclusive educational events so you can learn more about best practices in giving. You can also take advantage of our family resources, which help you pass on your values to children or grandkids.

You may recommend grants to organizations nationwide, and tap into the Community Foundation’s philanthropy expertise.

You are actively involved in your giving through your donor advised fund. You make grant recommendations to support charitable organizations that interest you; Community Foundation staff support you with robust due diligence and deep knowledge of the charitable landscape. This model allows you to take a charitable deduction in one year and make grants over several years, and to give together with family members.

View a list of Donor Advised Funds at the Community Foundation

You support promising initiatives and high-impact projects across central NJ.

When you create a community grantmaking fund, you enable the Community Foundation to address emerging needs and community priorities. The Community Foundation directs grants from these funds to tackle projects that will have the greatest impact, now and in the future. Community Grantmaking funds may be created through a charitable IRA rollover.

View a list of Community Grantmaking Funds at the Community Foundation

Corporations may recommend grants to organizations nationwide, and tap into the Community Foundation’s philanthropy expertise.

You make grant recommendations that meet your objectives; Community Foundation staff support you with robust due diligence and deep knowledge of the charitable landscape. This model includes extensive support for corporate contributions staff and committees, if needed.

You focus on a specific field, such as health or education.

Identify the issues you care most about – perhaps social services, the arts, environment, or even a neighborhood or region – and every year the Community Foundation will identify the strongest organizations working within those fields. You’ll establish initial parameters about what kinds of work to support, and how much to give annually, and we do the rest. These funds ensure that your priorities are supported even if you move away or focus on other issues. Field of Interest funds may be created through a charitable IRA rollover.

View a list of Field of Interest Funds at the Community Foundation

You support organizations of your choice into the future.

Identify up to five nonprofits when you create your designated fund, and they will receive regular grants. You ensure ongoing annual gifts to your favorite organizations, even beyond your lifetime. Designated funds may be created through a charitable IRA rollover.

View a list of Designated Funds at the Community Foundation

You sustain the Community Foundation’s work of promoting philanthropy across central New Jersey.

The Community Foundation is the premier charitable resource for central NJ, constantly working to strengthen area nonprofits and engage local philanthropists. These funds support us and make philanthropy education available to our community. Community Foundation funds may be created through a charitable IRA rollover.

View a list of Operating Funds at the Community Foundation

You support students pursuing educational opportunities.

Scholarship funds are established to support schools and universities with which the donor is affiliated, or underwrite educational opportunities for students. This fund can support a wide variety of educational needs and may honor a family member or role model. Scholarship funds may be created through a charitable IRA rollover. Before you decide that a scholarship fund is the best fit for your goals, please discuss emerging issues in scholarship awards with our staff.

View a list of Scholarship Funds at the Community Foundation

You connect nonprofits to the Community Foundation’s philanthropy and investment expertise.

Establishing an endowment fund at the Community Foundation helps nonprofits secure their futures. Nonprofit fundholders also have access to a suite of educational services and annual events tailored to their needs. Nonprofit funds may be created through a charitable IRA rollover.

View a list of Nonprofit Funds at the Community Foundation

Charitable Fund Services

Your giving should achieve your goals. To maximize your charitable impact, use these Community Foundation services:

  • Advice and tools to craft a strategic approach to your philanthropy
  • One-on-one or whole-family sessions to discover your goals and plan giving strategies
  • Access to local research and national best practices
  • Planning to maximize the impact of long-term charitable commitments
  • Comprehensive due diligence on all grants that you recommend
  • Evaluation models to measure the impact of your giving
  • Library of philanthropy tools for children
  • Invitations to exclusive educational seminars and events
  • Help with international giving
  • Coordination with your professional advisors (attorney, accountant, asset manager)
  • The flexibility to use many assets to fund your giving, including cash, publicly traded securities, closely held stock, real estate, works of art, life insurance and other assets
  • Investment management services
    • Semiannual fund statements
    • Oversight and monitoring of investment performance
  • Trusted stewardship of your legacy after your lifetime
  • Planned gift consultation and services
  • IRS reporting (no need to file a separate tax return for your fund)
  • Personalized gift acknowledgement letters for tax purposes
  • Fully anonymous giving options
  • Comprehensive recordkeeping
  • Check administration and issuance
  1. Call to ask questions and get to know us (Elizabeth B. Wagner, 609.219.1800 x12)
  2. Fill out a fund agreement (call us if you need a different fund agreement)
  3. Fund with appreciated securities (stock transfer form here), or by sending a check (to 15 Princess Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648) or giving online. If you need wire instructions or special help, call Elizabeth B. Wagner, 609.219.1800 x12
  4. You’ll get a tax receipt from us by mail
  5. Start using your fund! Donor Central, our 24/7/365 online portal, is available here.
Get Started / Donate
FORMS AND GUIDES
For more information or support, please contact:

Diana Leighton
Vice President Philanthropy Programs
Email Diana Leighton

Or

Elizabeth B. Wagner
Senior Vice President & Chief Philanthropy Officer
Email Elizabeth B. Wagner