What is the Community Foundation of Lorain County?
The Community Foundation of Lorain County (CFLC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to making Lorain County a better place to live and work. Currently the 10th largest Community Foundation in the state of Ohio, CFLC manages more than $65 million in donor funds and distributes more than $3.5 million each year in the form of grants and scholarships. Click here to learn more about us.
Where did the Foundation come from?
CFLC was created in 1980 with a challenge grant of $500,000 from the Nordson Foundation. Interested citizens raised more than $1 million to match the challenge. The Nordson Foundation staffed CFLC until 1987 when the first executive director was hired.
Who’s in charge?
CFLC is a public charity governed by a 20 member Board of Directors each of whom serve four-year terms. Board members reflect the diversity of this community and are elected through a nomination process. The foundation is managed by a professional staff of ten. Click here for our Board of Directors and staff.
Where does the money come from?
Anyone can be a donor to CFLC. Donors are individuals, families, groups, businesses, non-profit agencies, schools, churches and synagogues. More than 3,000 donations are received each year, and gifts are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Donors may choose to set up new funds or contribute to one of the more than 400 existing funds.
How do I set up a fund?
With a gift of $10,000, a donor can establish a named fund ($25,000 for scholarship funds) for almost any charitable purpose (elder care, environmental issues, the arts) and at any of various levels of involvement. Gifts can include cash, stock, insurance - almost any type of asset for which a value can be established. Gifts can also be made in honor of (or in memory of) a loved one. Click here to find our more about becoming a donor.
How do I apply for a grant or a scholarship?
Grants are made to support charitable programs in the areas of Arts & Culture, Civic Affairs, Education, Health and Social Services. The grant application is available online (click here) and application deadlines are February 1 and July 1. Scholarships are made to individual students from Lorain County pursuing education beyond high school, and the application for those awards is also available online (click here). The application deadline for scholarships is February 10.
How are the Foundation’s assets invested?
CFLC pools all assets to increase investment diversification and reduce costs. The Foundation adheres to a comprehensive investment policy that calls for 23% Large Cap Equity, 10% Small/Mid Cap Equity, 25% International Equity, 21% Bonds, and 21% Alternative Investments. Investment managers are hired based upon their expertise, to invest in specific market sectors. The Foundation works with an independent consultant to monitor each investment manager’s performance. CFLC does not make individual stock selections or engage in market timing. Click here to learn more about the assets and finances of the foundation.
What are the fees?
CFLC assesses a small administrative fee to help offset administrative costs. The fee is 1.25% (1.5% for scholarship funds) of the fund’s average market value. In addition, investment costs of about .6% annually are shared by the member funds. The combined administrative fee and investment cost, therefore, totals less than 2% of assets which is well below industry standards.
How does an endowment fund work?
CFLC invests contributions with the goal of preservation and reasonable annual growth. Each year, a modest portion (about 5%) of the average market value of each fund is made available for grants and/or scholarships. Earnings in excess of this amount are reinvested into principal to keep the Funds growing so they not only meet the needs of Lorain County today but also in the future. For example, an initial gift of $10,000 will likely double in value to $20,000 within a 25-year period and, during that same timreframe, the gift will distribute an estimated $16,000 as charitable grants.
Did you know …
• There are about 770 community foundations in the United States?
• Community foundations now exist in more than 50 countries worldwide and almost ½ of all community foundations reside outside the United States?
• The Cleveland Foundation was the very first community foundation, created in 1914?
• CFLC is one of the 100 largest community foundations in the United States?
• CFLC was the first community foundation in the world to create school endowment funds in partnership with our local school disctricts.
• CFLC was one of the very first community foundations confirmed in compliance with National Standards for US community foundations.