Five simple steps to starting a charitable fund

Are you pondering the creation of a charitable giving fund? The development team at the North Carolina Community Foundation is here to assist. We’ll help you choose the type of endowment that makes sense for you. We’ll take care of the paperwork and ensure that all regulations are met so you can start your journey as a philanthropist – now or in the future. Once you’ve made the decision, we can help make the rest of the process easy.

NCCF’s Vice President for Development Beth Boney Jenkins offers some tips to help as you embark on this rewarding endeavor:

  1. Consider what’s important to you and write it down. You may choose to think in the abstract: What kind of world do I want my children to live in? What is an organization that embodies values that my family deem important? Or you may consider specifics: What organizations have I supported in the past? What are some pressing needs facing my community?  
  2. Decide whether you want to give now or eventually through your estate. Or both? “It doesn’t have to be an either/or scenario,” Jenkins said. “Many people want to enjoy giving while they can, secure in the knowledge that the charitable fund that they’ve established will continue to honor their philanthropic wishes after they’re gone.”
  3. Investigate what giving vehicle/s might work best for you.  Is a donor-advised fund that allows a broad range of giving options appropriate? Is your interest in offering scholarship assistance to youth in your community? Do you want to memorialize someone important to your family? There may also be financial considerations. Do you need to retain an income stream from your assets in addition to making a charitable gift? Are taxes a concern?  “The answers to these questions and more will depend on various factors, including your personal and financial situation,” Jenkins said. She recommends seeking guidance. “Your personal professional advisor can play a key role in this, as can a trained member of NCCF’s development staff,” she said.
  4. If involving future generations in giving is part of your goal, consider discussing your plans with family members to gain both their input as well as their enthusiasm. “Many of our fundholders report family philanthropy as an excellent and enjoyable way to teach younger generations the importance of charitable giving and pass along important values,” Jenkins said.
  5. Establish your fund and enjoy the fulfillment that comes with finding and working toward your philanthropic goals. “We don’t think that people talk enough about the fun of giving,” Jenkins said. “We want to make it easy for you to enjoy your generosity!”

And remember that the NCCF can be your guide and resource through each of these steps. Visit the Giving section of our website. Contact your local regional associate, call the NCCF at 800-210-9533 or 919-828-4387 or email Beth Boney Jenkins to get started!

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