FAQs

We are delighted you are considering becoming one of our clients. Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions (FAQs) at the beginning of the process. If you do not see your question here, please request an answer or contact us directly by clicking here.

How can I establish a fund?

Establishing a fund with the Community Foundation is simple. To do so, contact the Giving Strategies team at (716) 852-2857.

I would like to provide for both my family and the community. What are my options?

Planned giving options such as charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts 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.

Is it possible to make a plan now that will provide charitable benefits in the future?

Absolutely and we have the charitable tools to help you to do just that. A simple way to achieve this goal is through a bequest in your will, a distribution from your retirement plan, an insurance policy or trust or a charitable gift annuity. Please call the Giving Strategies team at (716) 852-2857 to arrange a consultation.

After I establish a fund, how can I add to it?

You or others can add to your established fund at any time through a gift of cash, appreciated stock, closely held stock, real estate, retirement assets, insurance or through an estate or trust. Please contact the Giving Strategies team at (716) 852-2857 if you have any questions.

Do my funds have to be endowed?

No, we work with you to create a legacy that meets your charitable goals and makes the most of your generosity according to your wishes.

Will I receive regular updates about my fund?

You will have a relationship manager at the Community Foundation who will work with you to discuss your desired communication frequency. In addition to being invited to events, we will send you quarterly statements that reflect contributions, disbursements and the overall change in your fund balance. At any time, clients and advisors can view their fund’s balance or direct a grant online using the Donor/Client Login.

Can I give to organizations beyond Western New York?

Absolutely. You can direct funds to any 501(c)(3) organization regardless of the location of that organization.

Who has access to information about my fund?

Only you and anyone you designate. The confidentiality of our clients and their giving is of the utmost importance to us and is a core service provided by the Community Foundation.

Who can decide to request a grant from my fund?

We will follow your specific instructions in your fund agreement about who has the authority to request grant distributions.

Can I make grants immediately?

Yes, nonendowed funds can make grants immediately. Grant requests must be submitted in writing or online using the Client/Donor Login.

Endowment funds are perpetual by design and need time to grow. If you would like to make a grant during the first 12 months, funds can be allocated to your grant account when the fund is established.

It is important to note that year-end grant processing can take longer to process due to the volume of requests we receive at this time. Please submit recommendations by December 1 to ensure grant checks are mailed by year-end.

How do I request a grant from my fund?

Grant requests can be made in a number of ways:

  1. Through the Client/Donor Login, our online tool that is available to you at any time.
  2. In the form of a letter that is signed by you and delivered to us by U.S. mail (726 Exchange Street, Suite 525, Buffalo 14210) or by fax to (716) 852-2861.
  3. In the form of an email, as long as your request is sent via the email address we have on file for you to grants@cfgb.org.
  4. By using our grant request form.

What organizations can receive grants?

Any 501(c)(3) organization in Western New York and around the globe can receive a grant from the fund you establish.

Can my grant be made anonymously?

Any grant from your fund can be made anonymously by indicating this wish on your grant request form or by notifying the Giving Strategies team at grants@cfgb.org. Unless you request otherwise, all distributions will include the name of the fund, your name and address.

Can I make a grant to an individual?

A grant from a fund under the Community Foundation umbrella cannot be made to an individual and it is not eligible for a tax deduction. Scholarship funds can be established to support students, however scholarships awards are paid to the school.

Is there a minimum amount that I can grant from my fund?

Yes, individual grants must be $100 or more. Scholarship awards must be $500 or more depending the type of scholarship that you select.

What is the Client/Donor login and how does it work?

The Client/Donor Login allows our clients and donors to access their account, check balances and make grant requests. If you need assistance using this service, please call the Giving Strategies team at (716) 852-2857.

How long does it take for a grant I recommend to be sent to a nonprofit agency?

Grant checks will be sent within two weeks of receiving your request to allow for all due diligence to be completed on your behalf. We will contact you if we need to confirm an agency’s nonprofit status or eligibility to receive a grant.

It is important to note that year-end grant processing can take longer to process due to the volume of requests we receive at this time. Please submit recommendations by December 1 to ensure grant checks are mailed by year-end.

Can I use my fund to fulfill my personal pledges to nonprofit organizations?

You may advise your fund to make distributions to nonprofit organizations to which you have outstanding personal pledges. But the Community Foundation is prohibited from representing to the nonprofit organization that the distribution is in fulfillment of your personal pledge.

I have already established a private foundation. How would I work with the Community Foundation?

All clients at the Community Foundation enjoy the convenience of having their own private foundation without the administrative burden. They have the ability to give anonymously and access to a wealth of information on organizations doing good in the community. Additionally, clients can establish a succession plan for their funds, including what causes or organizations they will benefit after their lifetimes and those of their successor advisors. For more information,  please call the Giving Strategies team at (716) 852-2857.