Choosing the Right Fund to Meet Your Needs
The Three Rivers Community Foundation offers several fund types that enable you to give according to your goals and priorities. Opening a fund and getting started is as easy as writing a check.
Three Rivers Community Fund (Unrestricted)
A gift to the Three Rivers Community Fund helps meet the changing needs of our area, now and in the future. The Three Rivers Community Fund broadly supports the well-being and vitality of the region and its residents, and is distributed to qualified organizations seeking support from the Foundation. When you contribute to the Three Rivers Community Fund, you leave decisions about the use of your gift to the Foundation, relying on the Foundation’s extensive experience and reach within the community to know which needs are most pressing.
Donor Advised Fund
Donors who want a more active role in grantmaking can establish a Donor Advised Fund. This allows you to recommend charitable organizations to receive grants from your fund. The Three Rivers Community Foundation helps you by verifying the charitable status and mission of the organizations and identifying organizations you may want to support. Other family members can also be named as advisors, thereby encouraging children and grandchildren to carry on family philanthropy. To learn more about Donor Advised Funds, see Starting a Donor Advised Fund or The Family Donor Advised Fund.
Area of Interest Fund
Donors who feel strongly about a particular cause or a particular geographical area but do not wish to take an active role in grantmaking may want to establish or contribute to an Area of Interest Fund. This type of fund allows you to identify and support a charitable purpose (i.e., alleviation of poverty, education, etc.), a category of interest (i.e., arts, education, human services, etc.), and/or a geographic area that you feel passionate about supporting.
Donors with strong ties to a particular organization or institution may want to establish a designated fund. With a Designated Fund, you “designate” a charitable organization that your fund will support (e.g., a theater, a food bank, a school) during and beyond your lifetime. The Foundation actively monitors all its grantees. If the beneficiary organization ceases to exist, loses its tax-exempt status, or changes its mission, your gift is redirected to support an organization with a similar mission.
Donors (individuals or corporations) specifically interested in promoting education often establish Scholarship Funds — an advised fund for the purpose of making grants to be used exclusively for tuition and fees at accredited educational institutions (a “scholarship fund”). Scholarships may support any level of education, and can be directed toward students attending a particular school, studying in a particular field, or coming from a particular geographical area. The Three Rivers Community Foundation helps you administer the funds within the tax laws regarding scholarship grants. If you wish, the Foundation also can help you establish selection criteria, publicize the scholarship, and choose scholarship recipients.
The Foundation requires that all scholarship programs developed by a scholarship advisory committee be submitted to it for approval in advance of any solicitation of applications.
The Three Rivers Community Foundation has scholarship guidelines and procedures as well as a scholarship application form that may help you determine the appropriate recipient. Please contact Three Rivers Community Foundation at (509) 735-5559 to learn more about setting up a scholarship fund.
Donors may wish to set up a Memorial Fund to remember and honor a lost loved one. The Foundation will help manage incoming contributions to the Memorial Fund, as well as help guide the gift to reflect the giving wishes of the person in whose memory the fund is established.
Nonprofit Agency Endowment Funds
Nonprofit organizations can establish Endowment Funds at Three Rivers Community Foundation. With this type of fund, the nonprofit organization is the designated charitable recipient for distributions from the fund. Establishing an Endowment Fund is a simple and efficient way to build and secure endowment funds for the future. A Nonprofit Agency Endowment Fund offers the advantages of protecting the nonprofit organization’s endowment funds to meet its future needs, increasing investment yield by pooling assets with the Three Rivers Community Foundation’s other funds, and reducing administrative costs and burdens on the nonprofit organization’s staff. Although an Endowment Fund is established by the nonprofit organization, donations by individuals and other organizations to these funds are welcome. If the designated organization ceases to exist, or loses its tax-exempt status, grants from the fund will be redirected to support a nonprofit organization with a similar mission. Please contact the Three Rivers Community Foundation for more information on how to establish a Nonprofit Agency Endowment Fund.
Pass Through Fund
Pass through funds are held by the Foundation for the purpose of spending down the initial contribution rather than adding to the endowment. This provides the option to donors to make annual gifts from which the entire principal is granted for particular purposes. This option is attractive to organizations raising money for specific capital projects.
Regardless of which option you choose, the Foundation encourages donors to consult their own accountant, attorney, and investment manager for advice.