1.   How does one set-up a fund and what is the time line?

  • The first step is to establish a fund based upon your philanthropic interests.  Your gift can be made with the understanding that only the investment income will be distributed, thereby ensuring that the fund is always available to the local community.  Alternatively, you may wish to distribute the principal as well as the interests.
  • A fund can be established also with smaller gifts made over time. This approach provides donors an opportunity to build a permanent fund over a stated time with an annual tax-deductible gift.  Earned investment returns are put back into the fund until a predetermined funding date is reached.  At the specified time, the fund becomes a named fund of the Tuskegee Macon County Community Foundation and donors can begin making grant recommendations.  More information regarding investment, management practices, and operational details may be obtained from the staff.


2.   How many funds are there and how do they operate?

A donor may make contributions or gifts of cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other forms of appreciated or converted assets today, at a future date or through a will or trust.  The contributions are used to create individually named funds that are the basic building blocks of the foundation.  The funds are created to meet the philanthropic objectives of the donor.  However, the most frequently established funds are Unrestricted, Field of Interest, Designated, Donor Advised, and Scholarship.

  • The Unrestricted Fund is established without designating how the money will be spent.  The Board of Trustees of TMCCF makes the determination of how to most effectively meet the diverse needs of the community.  This fund has the greatest impact because it is flexible enough to meet community priorities and urgencies in an immediate creative and innovative fashion.
  • The Field of Interest Fund is established to target one or more special interest of the donor.  The designated interest may be broad (arts, education, health) or narrow (ballet, elementary reading program, or breast cancer) or include a geographic area (Greenwood, Shorter, District 1, 2, or 3 neighborhoods).
  • The Designated Fund is established to permit the donor to name one or more specific organizations or agencies to benefit from the fund.  The advantage to the donor is they are assured that if the organization(s) ceases to exist, the Foundation will continue to preserve their original intent by redirecting the fund to a similar organization.
  •  The Donor Advised Fund is established to allow the donor to be more intimately involved in the decision making process regarding the use of the donation.  The donor recommends grants from the principal or income from the fund and suggests the organization(s) to receive the grant.  No money is spent without consulting the donor, however final authority rest with the Board of Trustees to ensure compliance with Internal Revenue regulations.
  • The Scholarship Fund is established to allow donors to assist deserving students.  The donor can tailor the fund to meet specific criteria, area of study, and/or academic level.
  •  “Make a Donation” to TMCCF to strengthen its ability to carry out its many functions.  This gift supports the Foundation’s efforts to raise and address local community issues and problems.  In addition, the donation enables support of special projects and programs such as a “A Non-profit Leadership Development Program.”  This program helps to strengthen the skills of administrators and managers of non-profit organizations throughout the county, making sure that dollars are well spent.
  •  Contribution to an Existing Fund is one of the simplest ways to participate.  The size of the gift or donation does not matter, any amount will be appreciated and will help meet community objectives.

It is noted that an established private foundation can be transferred under the umbrella of TMCCF.  Managing a private foundation takes a great deal of time and resources.  The private foundation can take advantage of a tax-deductible charitable fund and rid itself of the disadvantages of IRS regulations over private foundations.  The private foundation maintains its name and charitable purposes and the community foundation assumes the management and administration of the fund at a reduced cost.