Unrestricted Funds

Meeting Ever-Changing Community Needs

When you establish an Unrestricted Fund, your gift can address a broad range of local needs–including future needs that often cannot be anticipated at the time your gift is made. We evaluate all aspects of community well-being: arts and culture, economic development, education, environment, health and human services, neighborhood revitalization, and more. The flexibility of your unrestricted gift enables your community foundation’s program experts to respond to the community’s most pressing needs, today and tomorrow.

Community foundations provide a simple, powerful, and highly personal approach to giving.  We offer a variety of giving tools to help people achieve their charitable goals.

How it works:

  • You make an unrestricted gift to your community foundation during your lifetime or through a bequest in your will. You can give cash, appreciated stocks, real estate, or other assets.
  • We set up a special fund in your name, in the name of your family or business, or in honor of any person or organization that you choose.
  • You receive tax benefits in the year your gift is made.
  • Our professional program staff determines the areas of community need that would be most impacted by grants from your gift.
  • Our board issues grants in the name of the fund you establish (if you prefer, grants can be made anonymously).
    We handle all the administrative details.
  • Your gift can be placed into an endowment that is invested over time. Earnings from your fund are used to make grants addressing community needs. Your gift–and all future earnings from your gift–is a permanent source of community capital, helping to do good work forever.

More benefits:

Because you set no restrictions on the use of your gift, it enables our experiences program staff and board to do what they do best – assess community needs and respond by awarding grants to the nonprofit organizations that undertake our community’s most critical work.  Unrestricted Funds help your community foundation to support long-term solutions; respond quickly to emergencies; and meet changing social, cultural, educational, or environmental needs in our local community.

If you have created a Unrestricted Named Fund, such as a Memorial or Honorary Fund, grants are made in the name of the fund you establish creating a personal legacy of giving.  Your gift may be made immediately or through your will or other estate planning strategy.  If you endow your gift, it becomes a permanent community funding resource.

Most charitable gifts qualify for maximum tax advantage under federal law.  For more information and ideas on ways to integrate your financial planning with charitable giving, ask your financial advisor or contact us.

The National Standards Seal by our name indicates official confirmation from the Council on Foundations that we have met the most rigorous standards in philanthropy. It affirms our commitment to financial security, transparency and accountability. It says our grantmaking includes an open, competitive process designed to address the changing needs of our community. The National Standards Seal also confirms our history of honoring donors’ wishes.