Just as each of your clients has a unique estate plan and financial plan to meet the client’s particular situation and goals, each of your philanthropic clients needs a unique charitable giving plan.

For example, for some clients, giving shares of highly-appreciated stock consistently every year to their fund at the community foundation makes the most sense for their charitable goals and their mix of assets. For other clients, leaving a bequest to the community foundation to support specific areas of interest is the best fit for the client’s financial situation and community priorities.

The community foundation offers charitable giving vehicles to meet a wide range of clients’ needs. In many cases, a single client can benefit from setting up multiple funds of different types.

Here’s a quick primer on a few of the most popular fund types.

  • Donor Advised Fund: A donor advised fund enables your client to establish a specific account for charitable giving. Your client makes tax-deductible contributions of cash (or, ideally, stock or other highly-appreciated assets) to the fund, and then recommends grants to favorite charities.
  • Discretionary Fund: The community foundation has its finger on the pulse of the community’s most pressing issues. An discretionary fund gives your client the opportunity to support community needs that can’t be identified until the future. One of the biggest benefits of a community foundation is its perpetual structure that allows clients and their families to offer support to nonprofits that evolves over time as priorities in the region shift.
  • Field of Interest Fund: Clients who want to target their giving to specific areas of community need (such as arts & culture, community development, the environment, health & human services, and youth & families) can set up a field of interest fund to establish parameters for grantmaking under the ongoing guidance and expertise of our staff.
  • Designated Fund: A designated fund allows a client to direct giving to a specific agency or purpose. Over time, our staff manages the distributions from the fund according to the terms established by your client.
  • Scholarship Fund: Clients can set up funds to support students’ educational pursuits based on the parameters and application requirements they outline with help from the experts at the community foundation.

Here’s a pro tip: If you represent clients who are age 70 ½ and older, consider recommending a Qualified Charitable Distribution from a client’s IRA to a fund at the community foundation. All of the fund types noted above are eligible recipients, with the exception of only the donor advised fund.

We look forward to working together to discover the type of fund (or funds!) at the community foundation that could be a good fit for each client’s unique charitable giving needs.