Fresno Regional Foundation

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Frequently asked questions

General Questions

Have a question about Fresno Regional Foundation? Browse through our frequently asked questions below, or look for an answer to questions about grants, endowments or scholarships in this section. If you don’t find what you are looking for, please contact us. We are happy to answer any question, big or small.

What is Fresno Regional Foundation?

Fresno Regional Foundation is a nonprofit community foundation that provides unique opportunities for individual donors, families, businesses, and other foundations to invest in programs that address a wide spectrum of economic, social, educational, cultural and environmental needs. With over 150 charitable funds, including donor advised funds, field of interest funds, designated funds, scholarship and unrestricted funds, the Foundation is the trusted steward of charitable giving in the region.

The Foundation provides you with a simple, convenient and flexible way to make a positive difference, now and far into the future. The charitable funds we manage for individuals, families and corporations together constitute an endowment of more than $9 million. A gift through the community foundation receives maximum tax deductions, outstanding investment management and very low administrative costs.

Is a community foundation a new kind of charity?

No—but you might think so, because of its growing popularity in recent years. In fact, the first community foundation was established in Cleveland in 1914. Fresno Regional Foundation was established in 1966. Today we join a field of more than 700 community foundations across the United States, with combined assets of approximately $45 billion.

Who sets up funds at Fresno Regional Foundation?

Most funds managed at Fresno Regional Foundation are set up by individuals, some wealthy, others of more modest means. What these people have in common is a desire to give back to their community—whether it’s protecting the environment, honoring the memory of someone they loved, setting up a scholarship fund to help students in need, supporting local arts organizations, or funding any other charitable cause imaginable.

What are the advantages of donating to Fresno Regional Foundation?

There are many reasons to give through Fresno Regional Foundation. The Foundation allows individuals and families to establish a customized charitable fund without being burdened by the tax liabilities and administrative hassles associated with setting up a private foundation. Everyone who creates a fund can personalize their giving. At the same time, funds are pooled for investment management purposes to minimize costs and achieve a greater return, making it possible for a smaller individual fund to enjoy the same economies of scale as a large independent foundation.

What is the difference between Fresno Regional Foundation and United Way?

While our organizations share a dedication to serving the people of the Central Valley, we do so in distinct, often complementary ways. Put simply, United Way raises funds for current community needs, and the Foundation serves donors and builds endowment for current and future community needs.

What is the difference between setting up a private foundation and creating a donor advised fund at Fresno Regional Foundation?

Creating a private foundation subjects you to a number of regulatory requirements, such as undertaking an exemption application to the IRS, as well as ongoing administrative and fiduciary responsibilities, reduced charitable deductions and a lack of privacy. Fresno Regional Foundation makes philanthropy easy. We are a public charity, so the regulations, taxes and administrative requirements required to establish and manage a private foundation do not apply to us. The Foundation provides several cost-effective alternatives to private foundations.

What is the difference between setting up a gift fund through my investment firm and establishing a fund at Fresno Regional Foundation?

At Fresno Regional Foundation, we provide much more than the check writing services of a gift fund at a brokerage house. One of the most significant advantages to setting up a fund with us is our commitment to donors. We provide custom research on nonprofit organizations or issue areas at your request. We will also meet with you individually to help develop a strategic approach to grantmaking. If you are interested in learning more about these personalized services, please contact us.

What kinds of assets can be used to set up a fund at the community foundation?

One of the distinct advantages of working with a community foundation is our flexibility. As a general rule, a community foundation can accept any type of asset as long it is marketable and is not encumbered by an unusual liability. Most often, funds are started through a gift of cash, real estate or closely held stock—but we may accept gifts of artwork, intellectual property and other personal assets.

There are also several convenient financial vehicles for setting up a fund at the community foundation with different benefits. We offer charitable remainder trusts, and several ways to use retirement funds to reduce estate taxes, provide for income to heirs and establish a charitable legacy. Our philanthropic services staff are experts in planned giving options, and can help you identify the one that best suits your needs.

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