What kind of assets will the Foundation accept to create a fund?

We can accept the full range of assets including cash, publicly-traded or closely-held securities, limited liability companies and limited partnership interests, as well as real estate. A fund at the Foundation can also be the beneficiary of bequests, charitable remainder and charitable lead trusts, retirement accounts and insurance policies.

What are the tax advantages?

While tax consequences vary according to assets, generally your clients may deduct up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income (AGI) for cash contributions, and up to 30 percent of their AGI for gifts of appreciated securities and real property. Your client’s tax situation should be viewed on an individual basis to determine the deductibility allowed for them. A fund at the Foundation is often a better alternative than a private foundation.

What happens after the fund is established?

That’s where the real enjoyment and excitement begins for your client. A member of the Foundation’s Philanthropic Services staff will be assigned to work with your client to fine-tune their charitable goals and make their philanthropy as meaningful as possible. Members of the Philanthropic Services team can do research, set up site visits, introduce your clients to other like-minded fundholders and create tailored philanthropic grantmaking programs.

How can my client start and use their fund?

Your clients establish their fund by completing a fund agreement and providing an initial irrevocable contribution of $10,000 or more.  Your client may make additional gifts to their fund in any amount and at any time.

The Foundation’s current minimum grant distribution is $250.  Your clients may request grant distributions from their fund in any amount over $250 at any time.  Grant requests can be made by email, by phone, or online.

We create and sends quarterly statements reflecting activity in all funds.

What is the advantage of Triangle Community Foundation over a private foundation?

A fund at the Foundation is less costly to establish than a private foundation, in terms of both time and money.  Our staff can help your clients establish a fund in a matter of days and then handles all the administrative details and reporting.  Establishing a private foundation can take months or longer, and the private foundation then becomes responsible for substantial legal, accounting and operational matters.

A private foundation is usually endowed by a single family or corporation and controlled by that family or corporation. In contrast, a community foundation derives its support from a broad spectrum of the general public and is controlled by a board of community leaders. Because it is publicly supported and controlled, the community foundation is accorded certain advantages over private foundations by the IRS, including the following:

  • Higher deduction limits for donors.
  • No excise tax imposed.
  • No minimum payout requirement.
  • No separate tax reporting on individual funds.

How does a fund at the Foundation differ from a charitable fund created at a financial services firm, such as Fidelity?

While the donor-advised funds available through some of the major commercial institutions offer the same tax deductibility as a fund at Triangle Community Foundation, donor-advised funds housed at the Foundation are relationship and service-based. With our expertise, we make donors aware of local needs and local opportunities, enabling us to create giving strategies that reflect the donors’ interests.  Donors to Triangle Community Foundation become part of a “community of donors” focused on strengthening our Region, and are recognized as such in our annual report.

In contrast, commercial donor-advised funds are transaction-based.  The commercial institution cannot provide guidance or insight into the community, its needs or nonprofit leaders.  Nor do the fees charged against these commercial funds support philanthropy in the Region.  Fees charged by us are recycled back into the community in programming and cultivation of philanthropy.

Finally, the Foundation can accept the full range of gift opportunities, while gifts to create funds at commercial institutions tend to be limited to cash and publicly-traded securities.


Robin Barefoot

General Counsel
Phone 919.474.8370 ext:4013
Email [email protected]