We are delighted you are a part of the community of clients that make up the Community Foundation. Here is some basic information that will guide you to utilize our services.
Q: How can I establish a fund?
A: Establishing a fund with the Community Foundation is simple. To do so, contact Betsy Constantine at (716) 852 -2857
Q: After I establish a fund, how can I add to it?
A: You or others can add to the fund you established at any time through a gift of:
- Appreciated stock
- Closely-held stock
- Real estate
- Retirement assets
Q: Is it possible to make a gift now that will provide charitable benefits in the future?
A: Absolutely. A simple way to achieve this goal is through a bequest in your Will, a distribution from your retirement plan, insurance policy or trust, or Charitable Gift Annuity.
Q: I would like to provide for both my family and the community. What are my options?
A: Planned giving options such as a Charitable Gift Annuity, a Charitable Remainder Trust, and a Charitable Lead Trust offer opportunities for income, as well as gift and estate tax savings. They can also provide tax-free asset growth, professional asset management, and other estate planning and financial benefits.
If you have any questions regarding a planned or deferred gift or a gift of other asset types, please contact Betsy Constantine at (716) 852-2857.
Q: Will I receive regular updates about my fund?
A:The Community Foundation sends quarterly statements to the fund’s establisher(s). Statements reflect contributions, disbursements and the overall change in the fund balance. At any time, clients and advisors can view their fund's balance or direct a grant online, using DonorCentral.
Q: Who has access to information about my fund?
A: You and anyone you designate.
Q: Who can advise on grant recommendations from my fund?
A: Only the advisor(s) designated by the fund agreement can make recommendations for grant distributions.
Q: Can I recommend grants immediately after I establish a fund?
A: Non-endowed funds can make grants immediately. Grant requests must be submitted in writing or online using DonorCentral.
Spending is available from endowed funds once the fund has appreciated in value after a minimum of twelve months.
Q: How do I make grant recommendations?
A: Grant requests can be made four ways:
- Through DonorCentral, our online tool that is available to you 24/7.
- In the form of a letter that is signed by you and delivered to us by US Mail or by fax to (716) 852-2861.
- In the form of an email, as long as your request is sent via the email address we have on file for you.
- By submitting our Grant Request Form.
Q: What organizations can receive grants?
A: Any 501(C)3 organization can receive a grant from the fund you establish.
Q: How long does it take for a grant I recommend to be sent to a nonprofit agency?
A: Grant checks will be sent within two weeks of our receiving your recommendation. We will contact you if it is going to be any longer because of our need to confirm an agency’s nonprofit status or eligibility to receive a grant.
Note: Year-end grant processing can take longer because of the volume we receive to process at that time. We will remind you in the fall to submit recommendations by December 1 to ensure grant checks are mailed by year-end.
Q: Can I use my fund to make pledges to nonprofit organizations?
A: The IRS does not permit payment of a legally binding pledge from an advised fund. Stating that you “plan to recommend a grant through a your fund” is often what an organization needs to know. The Community Foundation can provide stickers that can be affixed to the pledge card with this language.
Q: Can my grant be made anonymously?
A: Any individual gift or all gifts from your fund can be made anonymously by indicating this on your grant request form or notifying the Giving Strategies department at (716) 852-2857. Unless you request otherwise, all distributions will identify to the grantee the name of the fund and your name and address so that the grantee can thank you for recommending the grant.
Q: Can I make a grant to an individual?
A: A grant from a foundation under the Community Foundation umbrella cannot be made to an individual.
Q: Is there a minimum amount that I can grant from my fund?
A: Individual grants should be $100 or more.
For more information
Every fund is unique and you may have questions which are specific to your fund. We are happy to answer any questions you may still have.