Power of Endowment

A gift to the Community Foundation is unlike any other gift.

The first Community Foundation endowment fund was sparked by a $500K gift from the Nordson Foundation in 1980. It paved the way for hundreds of endowed funds that collectively have paid out more than $100M into the community. But what are endowment funds and how do they work?

Endowments are permanent funds where the principal is invested, while a portion of the fund is distributed annually to a variety of causes. Gifts are preserved in perpetuity, meaning they reach beyond a donor’s life to benefit our community forever.

The Community Foundation of Lorain County can now accept cryptocurrency donations, including Bitcoin, USD Coin, and Ethereum. The donation process is easy and straightforward through Every.org or Crypto for Charity. Each of these collaborators may have separate fees for accepting and liquidating these gifts. Please get in touch with Laura Malone, Development Officer, for more details.




in endowments


donors over the past 40 years


Olivia’s Story

Watch this video where Olivia explains how endowment has helped her family and community.

Establishing a Fund

Funds can be established in your name, the name of your family, your organization, or anyone you wish to honor. You may also choose to honor a treasured mentor in your life by establishing a League of Mentors fund. Grants and scholarships made today and in the future are awarded to nonprofit organizations and students in the name of your fund.  It will continue to grow and have a lasting impact on our community.

Community Responsive Funds offer the greatest flexibility in responding to the community’s changing needs and allows the Community Foundation to address issues as they emerge. By creating a Community Responsive Fund or by donating to the Community Foundation’s existing Community Responsive Fund, the Touch the Future fund, donors create a legacy that will grow and change as the community does.

When you establish a fund you can do so by making gifts of cash.  You can grow your fund for up to five years by making small gifts over time, getting gifts from friends and family, or asking your employer about charitable matching.  You may want to also consider gifts of appreciated stock, real estate or other personal property.   If you are over 70 ½ years old, you can take a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) without claiming that income.   Gifts can be also be made later as a bequest in a will, beneficiary designation of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA, 401K, 403B), gifts of life insurance, charitable gift annuities or charitable trusts.


Types of Endowment Funds

The Community Foundation of Lorain County offers many types of endowment funds to meet the needs of our community and the desires of our donors to provide long-lasting gifts that will continue for generations to come.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions about Endowments & Donations

Our goal at the Community Foundation of Lorain County is to help donors find options that make sense financially for them and have the most significant impact on the community. We provide a wide variety of giving options, types of funds, and complete support services to allow donors to turn their charitable dreams into permanent legacies. Starting an endowment begins with three simple steps: 1) Give it a name, 2) Give it a purpose, and 3) Give it funds.

With a gift of $10K, a donor can establish a named fund ($25K for scholarship funds) for almost any charitable purpose and at any of various levels of involvement.

  • The principal of your fund is never spent, and it can grow over time to generate an increasing stream of funding devoted to your interest areas and this community.
  • The $10K principal balance can be reached over five years. The fund will not start making grants until it reaches $10K.
  • Earnings, or the interest gained on your fund, are used to make grants that meet community needs.

Your gift – and all future income from your gift – is a permanent source of community funding that produces good works possible, forever.

Personalized Service

  • We make giving easy and effective. We offer several great giving options, and we accept a wide variety of gifts. You can contribute cash, stocks, bonds, property, bequests, and more. You may establish a fund in your name or the name of a loved one. In most cases, your gift qualifies for maximum tax advantage under federal law.

Local Expertise

  • Our in-depth understanding of the issues, opportunities, and resources that shape our community is at your service. We monitor all areas of community need – including human services, education, the environment, healthcare, the arts, and economic development. We can help you learn more about local organizations and programs that make a difference in areas you care about most.

Community Leadership

  • We bring diverse people and organizations together to address local issues and opportunities. We invest in the long term. Our business is building a strong community.

  • A fund at the Community Foundation of Lorain County is easy and inexpensive to establish. A private foundation requires a donor to create a new organization, apply for tax-exempt status, and pay taxes and legal and accounting expenses.
  • A gift of cash to a fund at the Community Foundation of Lorain County allows a deduction of up to 60% of a donor’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). A gift of cash to a private foundation allows a donor to deduct up to 30% of AGI.
  • No tax is imposed on the investment income of a fund at the Community Foundation of Lorain County because it is a public charity. A private foundation pays up to a 2% federal excise tax on its net investment income and realized gain.
  • A donor may remain anonymous. A private foundation must make available to the public the name and address of any substantial contributor.
  • Gifts from a fund of the Community Foundation of Lorain County are almost always considered “public support,” thus helping the recipient charity retain its public charity status. A private foundation grant is usually not considered “public support” in its entirety and, therefore, is not as helpful to the recipient charity in retaining its public charity status.

To donate to any of our funds from another Donor Advised Fund program, please make a grant through your donor portal with that Donor Advised Fund provider.  If needed, our Tax ID is  34-1322781.   Your Donor Advised Fund provider may ask, “How do you want the charity to use this grant?” or “What would you like the charity to know?” where you can indicate the name of the Fund(s) at Community Foundation you would like to support.

Whether you are starting a new fund or looking to grow an established fund, the staff of the Community Foundation is here to work with you.  Check out our Endowment Tool Kit to learn more about your available resources.

Please visit our Donor Learning Portal for more detailed information or feel free to contact our Development Officer, Laura Malone, at 440.984.7390.