You, or someone you designate, can create a fund, which enables you to make suggestions about grant distributions from time to time. While IRS restrictions require that ultimate decision-making authority resides with the Foundation, the donor’s recommendations are given the highest consideration by the SICF Board of Directors.
You may establish the fund to benefit one or more specific charities that you would like to receive the funds in perpetuity or for a specified period of time. Your wishes will continue to be honored through the years unless the charity ceases to deliver the services which you wished to support. In that case, programs with similar purposes will be identified so that your original charitable intent will continue to be fulfilled.
A charitable/nonprofit organization may establish an endowment fund specifically for the benefit of their organization. These funds will remain restricted for the named charitable organization unless the organization ceases to exist. In that case, the Board of Directors will direct the funds remaining to go to a charity or to a granting program with a similar mission to the original charity.
Rather than designating specific organizations to receive funds, you may wish to specify a more broad use for the fund which you establish within a charitable field of interest. Examples of such fields include education, youth, the arts, healthcare, etc. The trustees will maintain awareness of worthy groups in each field and make periodic grants to those charitable organizations in the fields you specify.
You may create a fund that will provide money for students’ educational expenses at academic institutions and/or specialty programs of your choice. You can specify degree fields, students’ hometown, academic qualifications, economic background, etc. The SICF board will participate with the educational institution to ensure applicants meet your scholarship criteria.
You may contribute to a fund which is short-term (less than twelve months) in nature for the purpose of directing the full amount of your contribution for one or more specific charitable purposes. For example, the Foundation can assist individuals, and organizations with their annual giving by providing the convenience and efficiency of disbursing a single contribution among several worthy groups.
An unrestricted fund serves the widest variety of charitable purposes by allowing the SICF Board of Directors to make grants responsive to current opportunities and challenges facing our region. The SICF grantmaking committee makes recommendations for grants to support organizations whose purpose best fulfills the charitable mission of the Foundation and its programs.
An important feature that encourages charitable organizations to become involved with the Southern Illinois Community Foundation is the opportunity to establish funds by opening an ”Incubator Fund.” You may begin such a fund with as little as $1,000, or an amount agreed upon by the Board of Directors, and add to it annually until the minimum of $5,000 is available to establish a permanently named fund. While in incubation, the fund will make no distributions and all earnings and growth will be retained until the fulfillment of the minimum amount is attained.