Step 1: Members Set Up a Giving Circle Fund
Fund Agreement Signed. Two authorized members of the Giving Circle meet with Foundation Staff
and sign a fund agreement with the name, purpose, and composition of the Giving Circle. These two
members become the Fund Advisors or name other individuals to advise the Fund. The agreement
verifies that the Fund Advisors have read and understand the Foundation’s Guidelines for Giving
Initial Gift and Fund Balance. An initial gift and fund balance of $10,000 or more is recommended to
establish a Giving Circle Fund at the Foundation. However, many Giving Circles are not able to start
with or maintain that amount and the Foundation may allow a Giving Circle to maintain a lesser fund
balance. Giving Circle members should discuss the anticipated financial model of the Giving Circle
with Foundation staff before establishing a Giving Circle Fund at the Foundation.
Investment Portfolio Selected. The Fund Advisors select from the Foundation’s four investment
portfolios for funds of $10,000 or more. The Foundation has an endowment portfolio and three
portfolios for non-endowed funds. Giving Circle Funds with a balance of less than $10,000 will not
be invested until the minimum fund balance is reached. Up-to-date information about these
investment options is available from Foundation staff.
Fees. All Giving Circle Funds, regardless of fund balance, are charged an annual administrative fee
payable to the Foundation of 1% of the fund balance or a minimum fee of $300 per year (these fees
are assessed quarterly). There are also management fees assessed against funds which are invested;
more information is available from Foundation staff.
Online Access. Once the Giving Circle Fund is established, Fund Advisors access fund information
anytime through Donor Portal, our online portal. Information about gifts into and grants from the
Fund are posted weekly; investment earnings/losses are posted monthly. Additionally, information
about Foundation events and other resources are listed on Donor Portal.
Step 2: Make Gifts into the Giving Circle Fund
Giving Circle members begin making gifts of cash and publicly-traded stock into the Fund; members
can make donations online through www.trianglecf.org/donate (minimum contribution is $100). The
Foundation will provide written acknowledgement of all donations of $250 or more. Contributions
of complex gifts, such as real estate or closely-held business interests may also be received. Contact
Foundation staff to learn more.
Step 3: Recommend Grant Distributions from the Giving Circle Fund
Once gifts are received into the Fund, Fund Advisors recommend grants based on Giving Circle
decisions and distributions are processed by the Foundation to charitable organizations here in the
Triangle or beyond. The Foundation takes care of verifying the organization’s charitable status and
sending the check. Giving Circles will have access to Foundation staff who can help research
community needs and specific nonprofits.
Step 4: Monitor and Evaluate the Impact of the Fund
The Foundation can help the Giving Circle assess the impact of its grantmaking and connect
members with tools to grow and improve