The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry is a nonprofit foundation governed by a volunteer board of trustees. The Community Foundation administers permanent charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families, businesses, and organizations to support humanitarian, educational and cultural programs that benefit their communities. There are more than 700 community foundations across the United States and beyond.
Creating a fund at the Community Foundation allows you to help communities in the Lowcountry and beyond while fulfilling your philanthropic desires. Additional benefits include tax advantages and a professionally managed portfolio as well as the support of experienced and dedicated professional staff.
Why should I create a fund at the Community Foundation instead of donating directly to an organization?
Basically, the Community Foundation does the work for you. When you have a fund at the Community Foundation, you receive personal service and knowledge that add meaning and purpose to your contribution. We perform due diligence on each organization and our work with other donors and organizations often allows us to identify a need that fits with your philanthropic goals. In addition, with our donor-advised funds, gifts can go directly to one organization or many through your grant recommendations
Advised, designated, scholarship, field-of-interest and unrestricted funds are our established types of funds for donors.
Generally, a gift of $5,000 is required to set up a permanent endowed fund. However, you may enter into an agreement with the Community Foundation to create a fund with an initial gift of $1,000, building assets over time towards a permanent fund. A pass-through fund may also be an option you wish to explore, and it requires a minimum gift of $2,500.
Outright gifts of cash, real estate, securities and/or personal property can be donated. Bequests by will of cash or property, life insurance or retirement plan assets naming the Community Foundation as beneficiary are also possible contributions.
You may recommend qualified nonprofit public charities, schools and government programs.
No. According to IRS regulations, the Community Foundation may make grants only to qualifying nonprofit public charities. The Community Foundation staff checks all organizations for documentation of nonprofit status.
I want to make grants to a specific type of organization but I am not familiar with any. Can the Community Foundation help me identify some programs?
Yes. Our staff can work with you to identify nonprofit organizations that meet your charitable goals. We can also research organizations you would like to know more about before recommending them as grant recipients.
The United Way has an annual fund drive with a mission of providing operating support to qualifying human service organizations. The Community Foundation creates and manages permanent endowments, making grants with the income for health, human services, education, arts and the environment. Both are powerful resources for a community.
Check our administrative fees information page on this site, or contact our office at 843.681.9100.
Can I use my fund to pay off a pledge I made to my college or church?
No. Unfortunately, tax regulations prohibit grants that satisfy personal pledges.
If your children are of legal age and you have established a donor advised fund, you can engage them as advisors on your fund. In that capacity, they can recommend grants to nonprofits and will receive copies of all statements and newsletters. If you would like to name your children to succeed you as advisors to the fund after your death, you can do so.