Frequently Asked Questions

Common Questions about the Community Foundation

The Community Foundation is a public charity governed by a 21 member Board of Directors, each of whom serves a four-year term renewable for a second term. Board members reflect the diversity of this community and are elected through a nomination process. The Foundation is managed by a professional staff of twelve individuals dedicated to making Lorain County a better place to live and work.

Anyone can be a donor to the Community Foundation. Donors may be individuals, families, groups, businesses, non-profit agencies, schools, churches and synagogues. Gifts are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Donors may choose to set up new funds or contribute to one of our existing funds.

The Community Foundation invests contributions with the goal of preservation and reasonable annual growth. Each year, a modest portion (4.0-5.5%) of the average market value of each fund is made available for grants and/or scholarships. Earnings in excess of this payout 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.

Based upon recent rates of investment return and annual payout for grants, a $10,000 gift will grow to nearly $16,800 over 20 years while simultaneously distributing nearly $13,000 in charitable grants to the community.

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 or in memory of a loved one.

We have multiple grant cycles throughout the year. Please check our Grants page to access the appropriate application and check the deadlines for submission.

Scholarships are made to individual students from Lorain County pursuing education beyond high school, and the application for those awards is also available online. Check the Scholarships page for application and deadline information.

The Community Foundation adheres to a comprehensive investment policy that pools all assets to increase investment diversification and reduce costs. The Community Foundation does not make individual stock selections or engage in “timing the market.” Instead, it hires investment managers, based upon their expertise, to invest in specific market sectors. The Community Foundation works with an independent consultant to monitor each investment manager’s performance.

For more information, look at our Stats and Finances page.

The Community Foundation assesses a small amount to help offset administrative and service costs at the Foundation. This amount is 1.25% of the fund’s average market value (1.25% for scholarship funds) over twelve trailing quarters. In addition, investment costs of about .65% annually are shared by the member funds. The combined foundation support and investment cost, therefore, totals less than 2% of assets which is well below industry standards. Note however that we always report investment returns net of fees.