What is a community foundation?

A community foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit, publicly supported philanthropic institution with a long term goal of building permanent, named component funds established by many separate donors for the broad-based charitable benefit of the residents of a defined geographic area.

How did Southern Illinois Community Foundation (SICF) start?

Initial research and funding for SICF came from the Council for Food and Agricultural Research (C-FAR) Rural Development Initiative at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. The initiative seeded the establishment of the regional community foundation to address the charitable needs that face rural southern Illinois and to develop a tradition of regional philanthropy. Early in the planning stages the regional group joined forces with a small, but established, single county community foundation to form the regional and broad-based Southern Illinois Community Foundation. SICF was chartered in 2000.

What specifically does Southern Illinois Community Foundation do?

SICF operates as a 501 (c)(3) corporation. It professionally manages and distributes income from charitable bequests consistent with the donor's wishes and interests. In other words, SICF manages charitable funds, making grants to local, nonprofit organizations based on advice from donors. Donors can specify a specific organization or a general area of concern within the community to which their gift be directed.

What are the distinct features of a community foundation?
  1. Permanency. Community foundations build permanent endowment funds that are strategically invested to protect principal, distribute earnings in the form of grants and allow the creation of donor legacies.

  2. Broad & Flexible Community Improvement Tool. Funds held by community foundations can benefit arts and culture, economic development, education, environment, health and human services, recreation and community improvement initiatives.

  3. Highly Personal Approach to Giving. Community foundation giving opportunities can be structured and crafted to meet the charitable goals of individuals, families, businesses and nonprofit organizations. Community foundations can accept contributions of cash, stocks, real property, other appreciated assets and bequests for the benefit of a specific fund or cause. These donations gain the maximum tax advantages for the giver and are used to create a philanthropic legacy that will live on in perpetuity.

How can I make a donation through SICF that will benefit my particular interests?

You and/or your financial advisor/estate planner/attorney can contact the professional staff at the community foundation for more specific information about the various fund options that are available to donors.

The process to leave a bequest through the Southern Illinois Community Foundation can be as simple as including the following statement in one's will or trust document, IRA, insurance policy or other forms in which you designate a beneficiary:  "I leave e.g. $ amount, % of your estate, residue to the Southern Illinois Community Foundation, a not-for-profit, 501C-3 Illinois corporation, to support or endow the following: name of fund, cause, charity or nonprofit organization."

For further assistance contact the planned giving advisor at the Southern Illinois Community Foundation for further important information to insure your wishes are carried out.


All communications are strictly confidential and are without obligation.




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