TYPES OF FUNDS
THERE’S A TYPE OF FUND TO MEET YOUR NEEDS
RCF has a variety of fund options to meet your charitable goals. All funds have a minimum gift level of $10,000 or more. Administrative fees are based on the size and type of fund you create (please refer to the Administrative Fee Schedule.) And in all cases, assets donated to establish the fund become the property of RCF and are controlled by the RCF board. However, if a donor wishes to remain involved with the fund in making grants, he/she may establish the fund as a ‘donor-advised’ fund.
Things to know:
Any of the funds described below can be created as a donor-advised funds, which allows donors to play an active role in grant-making without incurring the paperwork, taxes and administrative headaches of establishing and maintaining a private foundation. Donor-advised funds can be established by an individual, a business or any group of people who share charitable interests.
A donor-advised fund can benefit whatever charitable cause(s) the donor specifies.
However, grants from donor-advised funds can be made only to qualified charitable organizations as defined in Section 501 (C) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Donors who have a passion for a specific program or organization may establish a fund to benefit only that organization or program. For instance, if the Salvation Army is close to a donor’s heart, the donor can specify that the fund be established specifically to benefit the Salvation Army. The donor can also further designate that grants be used for specific programs within the Salvation Army, including operations, food programs, or capital needs.
FIELD OF INTEREST FUNDS
Perhaps a donor wishes to benefit a broad area, such as the arts, the environment, homelessness, or at-risk kids. Rather than naming a particular organization as the beneficiary, donors would then establish a ‘field of interest’ fund to address whatever broad area of need they hope to impact in a positive way. If they also establish the fund as a donor-advised fund, they will have the opportunity to recommend when grants are made and to what organizations provide services within that broad area.
Oftentimes, donors have a passion for helping others but would prefer to leave the grants open-ended. In this case, they would establish an unrestricted fund, often called a ‘Community Benefit Fund’. The fund can be established as donor-advised or left to the advice and counsel of the Foundation Board to make grants to meet priority needs in the community.
The Renton Community Foundation is a champion of good education to prepare our young people for the future or those changing careers or going back to work after a long hiatus. Therefore, we offer options for donors who share an interest in providing educational opportunities.
1) Donors may establish a new scholarship fund which identifies a specific educational organization to which grants will be made. In this case, the entire scholarship process is managed by the educational institution receiving the grant and not by RCF.
2) Donors may also establish a scholarship fund from which awards will be made through RCF. In this case, the donor can stipulate requirements the scholarship applicant must meet, but by law cannot have the deciding vote on who receives the award. The Foundation has a very active Scholarship Committee that reviews and awards these scholarships. Donors are given the option of joining the committee.
Many nonprofits recognize the benefit of partnering with the Renton Community Foundation and choose to pool their funds with ours. Therefore, RCF offers other nonprofit organizations the option of establishing their own fund within the Foundation. In return, the Foundation provides a number of important benefits:
A fund with RCF allows the nonprofit agency board to concentrate on priority needs within their organization and to serve as a bridge from the community foundation to the rest of the community. Agency funds are controlled by the Foundation but can remain the property of the agency and therefore can be carried on their balance sheet and/or returned to the organization at any time..
FISCAL SPONSORSHIP FUNDS
The Renton Community Foundation applauds the efforts of people who mobilize towards meeting an urgent community need. Oftentimes, these groups intend to exist only to achieve a singular goal and then disband. Other groups start out small but hope to create a lasting organization. In either case, applying for and obtaining tax exempt status can be a lengthy and expensive process.
RCF might be able to help.
Please contact the Foundation office if you need more information on Fiscal Sponsorships.
THE AWARDING OF GRANTS
When funds are donated to RCF, the donor receives a tax benefit. Therefore, donated funds become the property of the Foundation. As such, when grants are made, the Foundation Board must approve the grant and be recognized along with the specific fund from which the grant is made. However, we often find ways to involve the donor with the presentation of the grant, should that be something he/she wishes. RCF also honors a donor’s wish to remain anonymous.