Fund Creation FAQs

Do I have to be wealthy to be a donor to the Community Foundation?

Not at all.  The Community Foundation welcomes donations of any size, from $1 on up, to any of its funds. Most Community Foundation donors do give to an existing fund, according to their ability and interest. Popular funds for donations of all sizes are community funds, Excellence in Education funds, and community scholarship funds.

To create a new fund, however, the Community Foundation requires a minimum gift of $10,000 depending on the type of fund the donor wishes to create. The Community Foundation staff will work with you to help you meet the minimum fund requirement.

Why should I establish a fund at the Foundation instead of giving directly to a favorite charity?

If you want to support a specific ongoing activity of a charity—such as a building campaign—by all means make a direct gift. If you wish to provide ongoing support to one or more charitable causes, then the Foundation offers you a framework in which to make those gifts.   Our permanence, our professional investment management and our oversight role in making sure your wishes are honored by the recipient organizations ensure that the fund you create supports your charitable goals forever.

What is the minimum amount required to establish an Endowment Fund at the Foundation?

The minimum ranges from $10,000 to $50,000 depending on the type of fund and we will work with you to create a plan to reach these minimums over time if you so desire.

What are the fees to start a fund and what are the ongoing fees?

It costs nothing to start a fund.  Our quarterly service fees depend on the type of fund established.

I am interested in establishing a fund, but some of my interests are not in Southern Wisconsin.  Can I recommend gifts to organizations outside of the Community Foundation’s service area?  


Can I get my money back if I change my mind?

No.  Gifts to the Community Foundation are irrevocable.  The decision to partner with the Foundation is a serious one, and we encourage you to discuss your intent with your financial or legal advisers.

Can I make a gift to the Foundation and retain income for myself or a family member?

Yes, we offer several opportunities to make life income gifts. We are happy to work with you and your professional advisers to determine which type of gift is right for you.

What is the Foundation’s policy about donor confidentiality?

If you so choose, you may establish an anonymous fund or make anonymous gifts through the Foundation.  When your fund is established, we will ask you your preference about anonymity.  Fund holders who do not request anonymity may have the name of their fund listed in our publications, or may have the grant or scholarship work of the fund reported to the public.  We do not share the balance of any of our funds with the public.

What is the difference between a community fund and the Community Foundation?

Each community fund affiliated with the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin serves a specific Southern Wisconsin community, not the entire region.  Each community fund has its own advisory board of local citizens that determines the mission of the fund, leads fundraising efforts and makes the fund’s annual grant awards.  All 16 community funds operate under the umbrella of the regional entity, the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin.  The Community Foundation holds the assets of each fund and provides investment management and accounting services.  The Foundation’s spending and governance policies apply to all funds.  The Foundation staff supports each community fund with its efforts to carry out its mission.