Friday, December 8, 2017

Giving Back: Community Foundations

By Marie Bradby



Giving Back: The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana

“It’s important for people to give back to the community where they live, where their kids go to school, and where they earn their living,” says Linda Speed, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana.



The need gap in the community is filled by nonprofits, she says.

“We did a community needs assessment in 2015 for Clark and Floyd counties. The highest priority is addressing the health and wellness of people, particularly the needs of the homeless and mental health needs as it relates to homelessness. There are also educational and workforce development needs to attract a quality workforce and to keep businesses that provide a living wage. There’s also a need to sustainably develop the economy to provide meaningful work and broadly shared economic security through living wage jobs and a clean and safe environment.” You can support these community efforts in several ways.

Give to the Community Foundation’s unrestricted fund — The Community Impact Fund. “It’s an excellent place for people to make a donation because it’s used to address the highest needs from the survey.”

Set up a permanent endowment fund for any charitable cause that you wish. There is a $15,000 minimum for a general fund; a $25,000 minimum for a scholarship fund. These funds continue after your lifetime in perpetuity. “The money is invested for long-term growth,” Linda says. “Over time, the endowment funds will grow to where the fund is giving away more than was invested in the first place. And it goes on forever. Our job, as a foundation — when donors are no longer here — is to carry out their charitable intent so that the fund keeps doing what it was set up to do in perpetuity.”

Set up a charitable checking account or a Passthrough Fund. There is a $1,000 minimum. It is nonpermanent, earns no interest, and can be spent down entirely.
“It’s a great planning tool for year-end charitable tax deductions,” Linda says. “You put all of your charitable giving in one place and give one gift rather than keeping up with multiple gifts, and all those charitable deduction letters.” The money can benefit as many charities as you like.
For example, you could put in $1,000 for 2017 and get that deduction; then give it away in the coming years. “We’d love for people to think of us as their partner,” Linda says.


Giving Back: The Community Foundation of Louisville

Founded in 1984, the Community Foundation of Louisville (CFL) is the largest charitable foundation in Kentucky with $485 million in assets and more than 1,450 charitable funds says Susan Barry, president & CEO, Community Foundation of Louisville.
Each fund has its own charitable purpose as defined by its donors. In 2016, these funds issued more than 9,000 grants totaling $52 million, 80 percent of which stayed in Kentucky and Southern Indiana to support area nonprofits, Susan says. Donors can choose from one of these options.

Donor Advised Funds — You make a tax-deductible contribution to start your fund, the contributions are invested for long-term growth, and you recommend grants to the causes that are important to you.

Scholarship Funds — A personalized endowment you create to help students achieve their educational goals. Scholarship funds are a great way to memorialize a loved one and create a lasting legacy.

Bequests — Naming your CFL fund in your will or trust is an easy way to support your charitable interests. You can leave a specific amount, a percentage of your estate or what remains after other obligations have been satisfied. You can change the charitable beneficiaries of your fund at any time, without having to rewrite your estate documents.

Fund for Louisville — A gift to the Fund for Louisville helps to address the community’s most pressing needs and emerging opportunities.

CFL Impact Capital — Donors can invest in projects that are intended to generate a financial return as well as a tangible social or community benefit. Unlike grants, impact investments are repaid to the Foundation and then “recycled” back into the community.

Photo by Melissa Donald
Illustration by Silvia Cabib 

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