EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the final installment of a three-part series on The Piqua Community Foundation, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Part one, published on Thursday, focused on The Foundation’s history. On Friday, the group’s grant-making process was explored, as well as organizations that have benefited from Foundation funds. Today elaborates on the types of funds the Foundation offers.
PIQUA — During its first 25 years, The Piqua Community Foundation has been blessed with donors who have a variety of goals for their charitable giving. Fortunately, community foundations are able to administer a variety of types of funds which are defined by decisions made when the donors establish their funds. The Foundation staff works with donors to ensure their charitable wishes are accommodated. While each fund is unique, there are four general types of funds held within the foundation.
Donor designated funds
When Rose and Ray Loffer came to The Foundation to establish a fund, they knew exactly which organizations they wanted to support both during their lifetimes and into the future. They created the Rose and Ray Loffer donor designated fund, which distributes an automatic gift each year to six of the Loffers’ favorite organizations. The Foundation holds two designated funds.
Donor advised funds
Cliff and Joyce Alexander and their family know the great value of an education in shaping the future of young people. They established within The Foundation a donor advised scholarship fund. Donor advised funds allow a committee of advisors to meet on a scheduled basis to consider how much money should be distributed and to which organizations. In the case of scholarship funds, the checks are written to the college or university and not to the individual student.
“Usually, grants from donor advised funds are not earmarked for specific programs, so they are able to be used by the organization for their most urgent needs or for special projects they aren’t able to fund through other sources,” said Karen Wendeln, executive director of The Piqua Community Foundation.
As advisors move away from the area or are no longer willing or able to serve, the committee members choose their successors so there will always be an active advisory committee in place. The majority of the named funds of The Foundation are donor advised.
Organizational endowment funds
The Foundation holds several organizational endowment funds – such as the IPiqua Fund. This type of fund allows a charitable not-for-profit organization to turn over the administration of the fund to The Foundation while distributions may only go back to that donor organization. For groups like the IPiqua partnership, which has an active board but no staff, an organizational endowment fund allows for all investment, reporting and paperwork to be done by The Foundation staff for a small annual fee.
Field of interest funds
A field of interest fund allows distributions to be made to organizations that support certain types of activities that are selected by the donor when the fund is established. Kristin King Wright founded the Little Kinger Fund shortly after returning from the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. Her fund benefits sports initiatives for women and girls. At this time, the fund generates one scholarship annually awarded to a young woman who will participate in sports on the intercollegiate level. When the fund is large enough, it will also make grants to programs within this field of interest. This fund also operates with a donor advisory committee.
All Foundation funds are similar in several ways. Any distributions from these funds must benefit a not-for-profit organization — 501 (c) (3) or equivalent — and may not be made to individual persons. Scholarship funds make distributions to the educational institutions and not the individuals. Foundation funds do not operate programming but support those groups that have direct programs to aid the community. In addition, funds of the Foundation are usually set up as endowments with a $50,000 minimum balance required; while distributions are made from the growth of the fund, the investment strategy assures that the fund will continue in perpetuity.
The Piqua Community Foundation funds over the past 25 years have made distributions of over $16 million, with an additional $1 million coming from the unrestricted funds of The Foundation. While some of the funding goes to regional, state or national organizations, the majority has stayed in Piqua to help our residents enjoy a better quality of life.
Anyone interested in starting a Foundation fund or adding to an existing fund should contact The Foundation office at (937) 615-9080 or visit piquacommunityfoundation.org.
Belinda M. Paschal contributed to this report. She can be reached at (937) 451-3341