Create a fund

Create a fund

Creating a fund at BCF allows you as a donor to guide longterm giving to the causes and organizations that matter most to you, while at the same time having those funds professionally managed by BCF’s advisors.

Setting up your own charitable giving fund is easy, rewarding, and doesn’t require great wealth.

Creating a fund at BCF allows you the opportunity to organize your charitable activities through one expertly-managed and cost-effective charitable vehicle. Support causes that matter to you or consult with our staff on the most pressing needs facing the Brookline area.

Creating a fund at BCF helps you maximize your investment in Brookline. When you create a fund with us, you designate financial resources to be used over time to create the greatest possible benefit for the community and causes you care about. Our experienced team helps you develop and implement a charitable giving plan that achieves your goals and creates a lasting impact on the causes that matter most to you.

BCF offers numerous types of funds you can create depending on your philanthropic vision and goals. You can create endowed and non-endowed funds, as well as donor advised funds, designated funds, scholarship funds, field of interest funds, and more. Our experienced team can help you select the type of fund that best aligns with your vision and goals. Below is a summary of the fund types that BCF offers:

  • Community funds — Direct your legacy gift to one of our community funds. The community funds are permanent, unrestricted endowments that make discretionary grant-making dollars available. Future BCF staff and boards will make grant decisions based on the needs and opportunities of the day.
  • Field of interest funds — Field of interest funds benefit not-for-profits working in charitable areas you select. The cause or issue can be broad or narrow. This allows you to invest in an issue you care about while relying on future philanthropic experts to identify opportunities that make the greatest impact in that field. BCF has many existing funds that were created years ago and are awarding grants today to specific interest areas, such as the environment, health and wellness, youth and families, or arts and culture.
  • Designated funds — Designated funds let you tell us exactly which 501(c)(3) public charity or charities you wish your fund to benefit. Every year, grants are directed to the charity of your choice enabling you to “endow” your current annual gift to your favorite charitable organizations. You provide a permanent, ongoing source of support and we oversee the distributions.
  • Scholarship funds — Scholarship funds provide need-based financial assistance for students seeking post-secondary education. Scholarships can benefit students who attend (or plan to attend) a specific college or university, face a particular barrier to continuing their education, or students planning certain careers.
  • Donor-advised funds — Donor-advised funds let you make one contribution to BCF and recommend grants to nonprofit organizations. A donor-advised fund provides ease and flexibility in personal charitable giving. You make a gift that is deductible in the year of the donation, and you can add to your fund at any time. Successor advisors may be named to continue recommending grants after your lifetime. This leaves a lasting legacy that benefits your community after the advising period. This option most closely resembles a private family foundation but eliminates the administrative burdens and costs, and allows you to work with BCF staff dedicated to helping you accomplish your charitable goals.
  • Endowed funds — An endowed fund is a perpetual fund from which grants are given annually based on our spending rate. By contrast, a non-endowed fund is not a permanent fund and assets are spent down.
  • Named funds — Funds can be named for you, your family or to memorialize a loved one Or, choose anonymity and select a name reflecting your charitable purposes.
  • Unrestricted funds — Unrestricted funds are grants or donations nonprofits may use to further their mission. Unrestricted funding can also come with some limitations. When nonprofits get unrestricted funding, they can become more financially stable. That increases their ability to respond when crises arise or situations change, while also making it easier for them to innovate and take risks.

Creating a fund can benefit you in numerous ways. Creating a fund with BCF allows you to maximize impact of your giving and direct resources to causes, organizations, and community efforts you care about. We work alongside you to create and implement your vision for charitable giving in Brookline, including identifying when and where gifts can be made from your fund to support local nonprofits. We provide you with regular financial and narrative updates so you always know the impact your generosity is having in the community. Additionally, you may make additional gifts to your fund over time and, if you choose, you can allow others to donate directly to your fund and increase the impact of your collective giving.

The first step in creating a fund is connecting with our experienced team to share your vision for high-impact giving in Brookline. Our team will work side-by-side with you to identify the fund type and giving strategies that maximize your tax benefits and community impact before finalizing and opening your fund.

  • Once your fund is established, you have several options for managing it. You may manage it personally, direct an advisor or attorney to manage it on your behalf, or engage our team to help make giving decisions.
  • BCF charges administrative fees for managing funds. Please see our fund policy for more information.

All of our funds are “open” to additional gifts from the original donor or others. However, if public fundraising will be conducted, then there are rules that apply to protect the validity of charitable deductions for individual donors.

A fund may be named for the donor, in honor or in memory of someone of the donor’s choosing or for the field of interest.

Because BCF is a community foundation and classified as a public charity – meaning the majority of our funding comes from individual donations – your tax donation may be more favorable than tax treatment of donations to private foundations, according to Fidelity Charitable. They also state that, “Donations of cash or cash equivalents to public charities like community foundations are deductible up to 60 percent of the donor’s adjusted gross income (AGI).”

For detailed information about what tax benefits or consequences establishing a fund with BCF may provide, please consult your financial advisor, accountant, or contact our team to discuss more.

BCF’s fees to help cover administrative costs to maintain funds. Please refer to our Fund Fee Policy for further information.

Except for donor-advised funds, and some agency funds, funds are typically governed by the Foundation’s spending policy, which calls for a total payout typically within the range of 4%-4.75%. This level of spending from a fund’s total value allows the Foundation to make grants, pay the fund’s expenses and administrative costs, and still increase principal over time.

To get started, please contact our Development Team to begin the conversation.

Explore other ways to give

In addition to the fund creation option described above, you may also be interested in legacy giving or in making a donation today. Find the giving option that is right for you!

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