Establishing a Fund

You can help to improve the quality of life in St. Clair County by establishing your own endowed fund today. Anyone can make a real and lasting difference in the daily life of our community simply by starting a new fund or adding to an existing fund in the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. Almost anything of value can be considered as a contribution to the Foundation, and unlike establishing a private trust, there is no cost associated with creating a fund.

What is an endowed fund?

Almost all of the funds at the Community Foundation are endowed. This means that the principal amount of the fund (usually the gifts received from the donor) is generally considered restricted and is intended to last forever.

Grants are made from available earnings and/or appreciation based on investment returns and the Foundation's Spending Policy (see About section for a list of our policies). Grants are generally not made by dipping into the general principal of the fund, except in unusual or extraordinary circumstances as determined by the Foundation, or unless the donor gives explicit permission to do so.

How do you start an endowed fund?

A gift may be made or a fund established with a minimum of legal complexity, report making, and other entanglements. They can be established in your name, or in the name of your family, your organization, or anyone you wish to honor. To become a donor, you can transfer your gift of stocks, bonds, real estate, cash or other assets to the Foundation with a letter stating the nature and intent of the contribution. Pledges of up to five years may also be used to create a fund.

The Community Foundation is an extremely flexible charitable planning vehicle. As a public charity, we are committed to building community capital. Endowed gifts to the Foundation will continue to improve the quality of life in St. Clair County forever.

Deferred Giving Options such as charitable remainder trusts, unitrusts or annuity trusts, or life insurance policies may be established to benefit the Foundation. Gifts may also be made through bequests in wills. As in any significant financial decision, you should review your plans with your attorney or tax advisor.

Types of funds

Community Priorities Funds

Allows a donor to have the greatest possible impact by giving the Foundation flexibility in responding to ever-changing community needs. These are the most highly recommended funds. The annual Fund Management Fee for these funds is 1.5%.

Operating Funds

Allows donors to help the Foundation continue its efforts to improve the quality of life in St. Clair County. These funds provide support for general Foundation operations.

Fields-of-Interest Funds

Allows a donor to select a particular area of emphasis, such as education, seniors, health, recreation, etc., and then dedicates available grant dollars from that fund to address the most pressing issues within that field of interest. The annual Fund Management Fee for these funds is 1.5%.

Donor Advised Funds

Allows donors to participate in the selection of grant recipients by advising the Foundation during the selection process. This is the fastest growing, and perhaps the most popular type of fund because it allows a donor and his or her family to also participate in community philanthropy. The annual Fund Management Fee for these funds is 1.5%. More information »

Donor Designated or Agency Designated Funds

Provides long-term, annual support to one or more charitable organizations chosen by the donor at the time the fund was created. All available grant funds are then awarded to those selected organizations. An Agency Designated Fund may be established by any nonprofit organization looking to invest in its future. Contact the Foundation staff for details. The annual Fund Management Fee for these funds is 1.5%.

Scholarship Funds

May be used to further education of graduates of a particular high school, students in a specified field of study, or those enrolled at a chosen institution. The annual Fund Management Fee for these funds is 2.0%. The minimum amount for a named, endowed scholarship fund is $50,000. Gifts that are $10,000 and higher have the option to be named and added to one of our school specific scholarship funds. View our scholarship funds »

Additional Information

Tools & Links


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Community Foundation of St. Clair County
Community Foundation of St. Clair County 500 Water St.Port Huron, MI 48060 (810) 984-4761 Fax (810) 984-3394

Community Foundation of St Clair is a 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax deductible. EIN 38-1872132

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