About Us

 

FAQs

1. What is the Community Foundation?
2. How can I get funds to help my organization?
3. What has the Community Foundation done in this area?
4. Is the foundation just for scholarships?
5. Why does the Community Foundation have a service fee? How is that determined?
6. Why would I give a sizeable amount to the Community Foundation when I have heirs?
7. What is the operating fund?
8. What credentials do the people have who manage the funds?
9. How can I learn more about the foundation's investment policy?
10. Can I designate where to place my gift?

1. What is the Community Foundation?
The Community Foundation is a premier vehicle for charitable giving. We help caring community members match their charitable interests with community needs. We make giving simple by accepting a variety of gifts in any size.

The Community Foundation creates and grows lasting endowments to fulfill donors' charitable goals while serving the needs of the community. The Community Foundations provide for permanence, flexibility, and reduction of tax burden for donors. It is a charitable public trust established under state and federal tax code, as a vehicle for people of all means to make a lasting difference in their community.

2. How can I get funds to help my organization?
Every year, each county has a grant cycle in the. Charitable organizations may fill out a grant application and then submit it to the Northern Indiana Community Foundation, Inc. Each county's Grant Committee reviews all of the applications and determines who the recipients will be.

Not-for-profit organizations can also create permanent endowments called Agency Funds. These funds support the ongoing needs of their charitable missions. While the principal of the fund is never touched, the earnings from the fund are disbursed twice a year, to provide a consistent source of income to the organizations. Organizations seeking grant money do not have to have a fund with the Community Foundation.

3. What has the Community Foundation done in this area?
There are several projects and programs that have been supported by the Community Foundations of Starke, Fulton, and Miami Counties since their inceptions. For a complete listing of grants, visit the respective county's grants page.

Collectively the three counties' Community Foundations have put over $9 million dollars back into their communities via grants and scholarships. But the Community Foundations are about so much more than grants and scholarships. We work to identify needs and find solutions for our communities' ever-changing needs. Through the capacity of a convener, a Community Foundation is able to pull together people, ideas, and resources for positive community change and growth.

4. Is the foundation just for scholarships?
Scholarships are just one facet of the Community Foundations' work. While each Community Foundation administers many scholarship funds and are widely known for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, this is just a portion of the charitable granting that is done annually.

Individuals can establish funds to benefit their church or favorite charitable organization. Not-for-profit agencies can establish endowment funds to benefit their mission or operating budget. Donor-Advised funds operate very much like a private foundation where the donor is able to advise the Board of Directors as to what charitable projects they would like to have funded through their endowment. To see a complete list of the different kinds of funds available, visit the Ways to Give page.

5. Why does the Community Foundation have an administrative fee? How is that percent determined?
The Community Foundation is a not-for-profit organization. In order to cover our costs, we must charge a modest administrative fee. Along with the income from our own Operating Endowment fund, we are able to run our office, provide professional administration, assess community needs, award grants and scholarship, and support caring community members in fulfilling their charitable goals. We also provide fundraising support and guidance; as well as serving as a convener—bringing people and ideas together for the betterment of our communities.

The administrative fee is based upon the market value of the endowment fund.  The larger the endowment fund, the smaller the administrative fee.  The Community Foundation's administrative fee varies based upon the type of fund and is usually at the low end of any national benchmarks for this type of fee.

6. Why would I give a sizeable amount to the Community Foundation when I have heirs?
Your financial objectives are obviously the most important thing to consider when you are doing planned giving. If you have a sizable estate, much of it could be taxed at 46%. However if you have planned for charitable giving, then the taxes are less and the amount available for your heirs could remain the same. There are many types of planned giving vehicles that can reduce or avoid some taxes while still providing assets for your heirs. Call our office at 877-432-6423 to learn more.

7. What is the operating fund?
Our Operating Endowment is used to provide income for our operating budget, so we can keep our service fees low. It allows us to maintain a local presence in each of the three counties, and continue to be an important facet of our communities.

8. What credentials do your fund managers have?
Fund Evaluation Group is the investment advisor for the Northern Indiana Community Foundation, Inc. They are located in Indianapolis and have over 15 years of experience with Community Foundations. They currently advise close to 35% of the community foundations in the state of Indiana. The Investment Committee of the Northern Indiana Community Foundation, Inc., which is comprised of representatives from all three counties, oversees Fund Evaluation Group. The Investment Committee includes a wide range of financial and investment experience within its membership.

9. How can I learn more about the foundation's investment policy?
All policies of the Northern Indiana Community Foundation, Inc. are available upon request. Fund Evaluation Group's latest performance report is available at this Web site under Reports & Publications.

10. Can I designate where to place my gift?
Absolutely! Between the three Community Foundations, we have over 240 endowed funds and 100 non permanent funds. All gifts through the Community Foundation can benefit the agencies or causes you care about right in your own county. And if a fund doesn't already exist to support the causes dearest to your heart, we can work with you to create one.