Designated Fund

Helping local organizations sustain and grow.

Establishing a Designated Fund allows you to support the good work of a specific nonprofit organization—a senior center, museum, or virtually any nonprofit charitable organization. Because it’s given through your community foundation, your gift provides the organization not only funding, but also the power of endowment. Your gift provides more than just funding—your favorite organization will benefit from your community foundation’s investment stewardship and help with administrative details.

You can add to the fund at any time. If the organization you select ceases to exist or changes in mission, the fund can be redirected so that it continues to address your original charitable intent.

Endowing your nonprofit organization

Nonprofit organizations can also establish a Designated Fund or agency endowment at the community foundation. It’s a simple and efficient way to build an endowment—and help create sustainability—for your nonprofit organization. We handle investment management and the administrative responsibilities related to endowment so that your organization’s staff and volunteer hours are concentrated on fulfilling your mission.

Your donors can be sure that the endowment fund’s principal will not be spent and can grow over time, providing a source of lasting support. And the community foundation’s economies of scale provide your organization the benefits of a diverse investment portfolio and low investment fees that typically come only with very large funds.

Your organization’s regular donors can leave a bequest through the community foundation to benefit your organization forever and create a personal legacy. The community foundation can facilitate even the most complex planned gifts or gifts of appreciated stock or real estate.

Example Donor Stories: Individual, Nonprofit Organization

A source of strength and stability.

Individual Donor

Three times a week, Wendell Pittman delivers meals to homebound senior citizens as a volunteer for Meals for Seniors. While the organization has benefited from volunteerism and community recognition for over a decade, it depended largely on small donations and lacked a more predictable funding source. “Our organization needed more reliable funding, but we had trouble accepting large or complex gifts,” says Mary Lynch, Meals for Seniors’ executive director. After talking with Mary and with his financial advisor, Wendell decided to begin a Designated Fund with his local community foundation. He donated a piece of rental property that was becoming a bother in his retirement. The community foundation immediately sold the property and established the Meals for Seniors Fund. Thanks to this fund, other donors can contribute assets of a variety of types and sizes. “We’re thrilled to be working with our community foundation,” says Mary. “Meals for Seniors would not have been able to do this on its own.”

Developing permanence.

Nonprofit Organization

Dress to Work helps low-income individuals transition out of underemployment by providing career training, mentoring, and professional attire. Like many nonprofits, it struggles to cover operating expenses. Over the years, several of its volunteers have offered to contribute gifts of appreciated stock or real estate, but Dress to Work did not have the ability or expertise to accept those types of gifts. Executive director Jenny Pike says, “We simply didn’t have the sophistication to handle some kinds of gifts. It was so frustrating to turn away willing donors.” As a result of establishing the Dress to Work Designated Fund at its local community foundation, the organization has added the ability to accept large and complex gifts. Plus, it was able to develop a planned giving program and a permanent endowment, providing a regular stream of support and leaving the management and reporting to the community foundation.

There is so much more we’d like you to know. For more information and ideas on ways to integrate your financial planning with charitable giving, ask your financial advisor or contact Tami Wenning at

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