Custer County Foundation 101

There may appear to be something somewhat perplexing about community foundations because they offer so many different services and giving opportunities. To help you better understand the many services and giving opportunities the Custer County Foundation offers, below is a list and the definitions of the different types of funds that can be established with the Foundation.

· Donor Advised Fund (DAF): Allows donors to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax benefit, and then recommend grants from their DAF over time. An easy way to think about a Donor Advised Fund is like a charitable savings account: a donor contributes to the fund as frequently as they like and then recommends grants to their favorite charity when they are ready. Grants from a DAF can be made anonymous if the donor so chooses.

· Field of Interest Fund:  Allows a donor or group of donors to establish a fund that addresses issues of specific interest to them. A Field of Interest Fund, established by a single donor or family who personally funds it, sets the grant-making parameters in place (i.e. chooses the areas of interest the fund should address in its grant making), and then either establishes an advisory committee or allows the Foundation’s Special Grants Committee to make grant decisions.

· Designated Fund: Allows individuals, families, organizations, or small groups to raise funds in support of a specified non-profit organization. All distributions are made to one or more specified organization, identified at the time the fund is established.

· Scholarship Fund: Scholarship funds are established by donors, individuals, families, businesses, schools, and other foundations as a way to support students by assisting them with the costs of their education. Often times, donors wish to support a student who is interested in a field of study that is of special significance to the donor. Other donors see such funds as a meaningful way to honor or memorialize friends, teachers, co-workers, or family members.

· Pass-Through Fund: Allows organizations to raise money for a cause that would be considered “not for profit”. Organizations can be under the umbrella of the Foundation’s 501(c)3 status, allowing donors to receive the benefit of a tax deductible contribution. Organizations can also apply for grants using the Foundation’s 501(c)3 status. 

Many of these funds can be established as an endowed fund or an unendowed fund. If you are interested in learning more about these funds, please contact the Foundation at 308-872-2232 or