Agency Endowment Funds

It’s all about sustainability.  Agency endowment funds provide a long-term, dependable source of operating revenue to nonprofits and are traditionally created by the organization itself. Nonprofits establish their agency funds at the Community Foundation as a simple and efficient way to build an endowment or a reserve—and help create sustainability—for their organization.  Our staff can also help your organization develop planned giving programs and assist with investment management and administrative details.  And, in some cases, there may be a match from the Community Foundation for your initial fund amount.

Why set up an agency endowment fund?

Sophisticated Professional Investment Management – The fund is professionally invested under the supervision of local, community-based financial experts who have experience in building and preserving funds in perpetuity.  Agency funds are pooled with other assets of the Community Foundation to achieve better investment diversification.  Each fund accrues its own share of the earnings.

The Community Foundation’s Strong Reputation for Fiscal Stewardship – The fund enjoys increased visibility by being a part of our larger giving community.  Having an endowment fund may enhance the organization’s fundraising capability because some donors want to make sure that their gifts are endowed forever through the long-term security of the Community Foundation.

High Quality, Cost-Efficient Administration and Stewardship ServicesHaving an endowment fund at the Community Foundation frees a nonprofit’s staff and board from some administrative responsibilities.  Community Foundation staff processes timely, personalized gift acknowledgements and quarterly statements of fund activity.

Acceptance of Unusual AssetsWith an endowment fund in place, a nonprofit can receive the benefits of a gift that may be difficult for the organization to process directly – such as privately held stock, mutual fund shares, and real estate. 

Planned Giving Services – The Community Foundation administers charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, and lead trusts.  This service allows nonprofits to avoid the cost and liability of offering their own planned giving programs.  The Foundation serves as a partner by administering the gifts, providing advice on marketing planned gifts, and working with potential donors and their professional advisors to answer technical questions about planned giving.

Fundraising Advice and Counsel – While the Community Foundation is not able to serve as the fundraising arm for nonprofits with endowment funds, our experienced development staff is available to consult with agency directors, board members, finance committees, development committees, and donor prospects to discuss fundraising strategies and techniques.

Important distinctions…

Both income tax and securities law require that the Community Foundation owns the assets in the funds it administers.  This means that establishing a fund requires that the nonprofit transfer fund assets to the Foundation.

Do you want your agency endowment fund to be permanently endowed or agency-advised?  Nonprofits can choose to endow funds permanently, with regular distributions in accordance with a policy established by the Community Foundation in an attempt to provide long-term protection of the principal. Agency advised funds give the nonprofit the right to recommend distributions of both income and principal whenever desired.

Understand that the Community Foundation is permitted to return the entire balance in this fund to the agency, but title to monies in the fund is held by the Community Foundation. Recommendations for subsequent distributions may not be binding.

Do grants have to be made every year from an agency endowment fund?

No. Many agency funds start with the intention of growing for several years before beginning to make disbursements.

Which nonprofit organizations have established an agency endowment fund with the Community Foundation?

Click for a list of nonprofits that have endowed Collier County’s future by establishing their endowment funds with the Foundation. You can also make your personal donation directly to one or more of these funds on our Donate Now page.