As trustees of the foundation, once we have satisfied our fiduciary and governance responsibilities, then the fun begins! Not only are we enlightened by the grantmaking work the foundation oversees and help shape areas of strategic focus such as neighborhoods or education, but we get to do our part to stimulate philanthropy by promoting the foundation to our friends, family, co-workers and anyone else who will listen!
Most people want to know about Donor Advised Funds or DAF. This is our leading “product” and really the entrée to giving for the majority of our donors before they establish more complex vehicles such as endowments, designated funds, bequests, etc. On the surface, the DAF is your “charitable checkbook.” You make a single initial gift of $10,000 or more (that’s only one receipt to keep up with for tax purposes!) to the foundation to establish a DAF and you can begin making grants to any non-profit organization through your fund. An online portal allows you to recommend grants from your fund but we’re happy to take your requests through email, fax or even snail mail. Checks are mailed directly to the grantees within seven to ten days and you receive a copy of the letter to the organization indicating the gift was from you and its intended use.
Your DAF funds are invested alongside those from other donors and you share proportionately in any investment results. A small administrative fee is applied on a quarterly basis and we also ask you to designate one percent of your initial gift, and any subsequent fund additions, to the Community Endowment Fund. This special fund is used to carry out the robust grantmaking program supported by the foundation’s strategic plan. So even though you may not directly have an interest in a particular area, the foundation is able to have a significant community impact, in part due to your generosity. You would be surprised the number of donors who are inspired by these programs that may not have been on your radar screen.
Giving becomes easy, enjoyable and even fun with a DAF. The foundation does all of the legwork validating the organization’s ability to steward your funds. All of the administration is handled by the foundation’s talented and professional staff. It’s fully transparent – just like your bank account, you’ll receive statements, see inflows and outflows and know how much you have on hand to be generous with. You can add to your fund at any time. In the event you know of an upcoming capital campaign, special project or other need from one of your favorite organizations, you can allow your fund to grow over time to support your desired level of giving.
My fellow trustees and I are biased as to why you should chose the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida as your philanthropic partner. Yes, there are large commercial entities that can provide similar services but they do not have the community knowledge, connections and 50+ year history in Northeast Florida necessary to personalize your giving and ensure maximum impact.
Don’t just take my word for it. If you have any questions about Donor Advised Funds or the Community Foundation, please feel free to reach out to any trustee – or if you want an even better explanation, our development team is always available by calling 356-4483.
Thank you for your continued trust in the foundation and excitement about the power of philanthropy.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, TCF