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Here to Help

Director of Gift Planning
Michelle Lippart Hardwick


[email protected]

How to Create a Fund

A Step-By-Step Guide

Learn how easy and rewarding it is

to start your own fund today!

Creating a charitable fund is a great way to make our community a better place for all. Your Community Foundation offers many ways to give.

how-to-create-a-fund-community-founda6on-for-the-fox-valleyregionCreating a fund should be an enjoyable experience, and that’s why we make giving as easy as possible. We meet personally with donors to determine goals and create a fund that makes sense for you. 

It’s a great way to be involved with, and remembered for, your community investment. 

Finding the best fit for your charitable goals, financial goals and personal preferences is the key to having a rewarding experience!

We are highly flexible in our ability to accept complex gifts, and have several types of funds to choose from. Any fund can be established in your name, or in the name of your family, your organization, or anyone you wish to honor. 

All grants distributed from the fund you establish – today and in the future – are awarded to charities in the name of that fund. 

How to Create a Fund From Start to Launch


Choose a fund name


Choose a fund purpose


Select one of the Community Foundation’s investment options


Sign a fund agreement describing your charitable intent


Make a gift of cash, securities, real estate, etc. to establish a fund or provide for a gift through a bequest in your will


Watch your fund grow by investment and additional contributions

 Watch your giving grow:

Charitable Fund Options to Fit your Giving Goals

We work with you to create a fund that reflects your charitable goals, first identifying the most suitable type of fund.
Click on these funds to learn more:

Donor Advised Fund – A personal approach to giving. You recommend grants for charitable causes that have special meaning for you, your family or your business.

Designated Fund – A targeted approach to giving. You choose one or more charitable organizations to receive ongoing support.

Agency Fund –  A sustaining approach to giving. Established by a charitable organization as an enduring source of its own support and stability.

Field of Interest Fund – A focused approach to giving. You support a broad charitable cause but allow the Community Foundation to select nonprofit projects or programs that meet your giving goals as grant recipients.

Unrestricted Fund – A flexible approach to giving. You give the Community Foundation Board and committees the means and the freedom to make grants that address ever-changing community needs.

Scholarship Fund – A generational approach to giving. You work with the Community Foundation to establish criteria for selecting deserving students, whether it be ability, need, pursuit of a particular field of study or others. You may choose to be involved in awarding the scholarship.

Click on this donor information guide to inform and inspire you as you begin your journey toward playing an integral role in making our community a better place for all. Thank you for helping our community to flourish.

How much do I need?

A minimum of $10,000 ($15,000 for scholarships) is required to begin grantmaking. However, a Future Fund can be started with a minimum of $1,000.

How long will the fund last?

You decide the time frame for your giving. Many donors choose to create a permanent endowment to support their favorite causes in perpetuity with a gift of $10,000 or more ($15,000 for scholarship funds). An endowed fund may distribute up to 4.5% of its asset value each year. The balance remains invested for future years. If a permanent endowment does not suit your charitable goals, you may establish a non-endowed fund. Grants may be awarded from the fund in any amount, and at any time. If all fund assets are distributed, the fund will be closed. No minimum gift amount or balance applies to non-endowed funds.

As investment returns vary, so will the distribution amount, as shown to the right:
(This chart is an illustration only. While investment performance cannot be guaranteed, the Foundation strives to preserve the purchasing power of endowed funds over the long term.)

What to Give

When you establish a charitable fund, your contribution is fully tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. Additionally, funds can be opened with most types of assets—cash, stock, property—and can also receive legacy and planned gifts. Note: Under current law, IRA transfers to donor advised funds don’t qualify, but other types of funds do qualify

What’s allowed?

Generally, organizations eligible to receive grants from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region are those determined by the IRS to be public charities. This encompasses most charitable, scientific, social service, educational and religious organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. tax code, as well as government agencies. We encourage you to contact the Community Foundation if you have any question about an organization’s charitable status.

Here to help
Michelle Lippart Hardwick
Director of Gift Planning
[email protected]


More giving options for GIVING NOW from your Cash, Securities, Real Estate, Personal Property, Business Interests, or from your IRA

Even more giving options for GIVING LATER from a Bequest, Charitable Remainder Trust, Charitable Lead Trust, Charitable Gift Annuity, Retirement Assets, Life Insurance, or Life Estate.