Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a community foundation?

A community foundation is a tax-exempt charity that is dedicated to improving the lives of people in a particular geographic area. In partnership with donors, community foundations direct resources to effective local nonprofit organizations. A banker established the first community foundation in 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio.

What is the role of the Community Foundation in the Palm Beach and Martin County community?
The Community Foundation was founded 50 years ago to support the ever-changing needs of our communities through philanthropy. The Foundation acts on behalf of nonprofit organizations, families, individuals, civic leaders, entrepreneurs, and business executives to ensure our community grows and evolves.
What’s the impact of the Community Foundation?

Since 1972, the Community Foundation has distributed more than $200 million in grants and scholarships, helping people and programs reach their potential.

How do donors characterize their involvement with the Community Foundation?

Many Community Foundation donors find themselves transformed by their gift and their giving. The security of permanent and strategic philanthropy is welcomed by our donors. Working with the Foundation, you can create a productive plan of action that is fulfilling and joyful and carries out your vision.

Why should I give through the Community Foundation instead of directly to my charity of choice?

You can do both. Giving through the Community Foundation allows you to support a variety of charities through a single donation. Through us, you can have a greater impact on the community as a whole.

Why would I invest with the Community Foundation rather than a bank?

By pooling your dollars into our portfolio — with has assets under management in excess of $230M — your money grows. Our portfolio is broadly diversified across a number of asset classes and our performance is just as strong as a bank’s.

Our difference:

  • We are closest to your community’s needs and solutions;
  • We are advocates for the community you love;
  • We can be a strong partner with your professional advisor.
Why should I give directly to the Community Foundation?

Philanthropy is more than a transaction; our work together is personal, and we offer the full resources and expertise of our organization with each donor. As a civic leader, the Community Foundation counts on funds that sustain our work to address real issues critical to the economic competitiveness and health of our area.

Our continued success depends on two areas: endowments, which permanently support our work; and annual support, which helps us operate with excellence and innovation each year.

What types of gifts are acceptable?

The Community Foundation is equipped to accept many different types of gifts, including cash, checks, securities (marketable and not readily marketable), real estate, real estate with retained life interest, tangible personal property, bequests (outright, residuary, and contingent), charitable gift annuities, charitable trusts, insurance policies, and retirement plans.

A donor may make a one-time gift or a pledge payable over multiple years.

What is a DAF? How does it work, why should I be thinking about it?

Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) are the fastest-growing type of charitable giving account. They allow individuals, families or businesses to make a charitable distribution, and you get to recommend how the funds should be distributed.

Donors receive an immediate tax-deduction for a contribution and the funds are invested and grow tax-free.

At what point do I have a taxable estate?

The estate tax-threshold (the amount you can give to heirs tax-free) is $11.2 million for individuals and $22.4 million for couples. For more information on how the new tax law affects your giving, please consult your tax advisor.

Can I donate private stock?

Yes, private stock can be donated to a Donor Advised Fund. Donors receive an immediate deduction based on present value and can keep their voting rights on the stock.

Can the Community Foundation ensure that my gift will remain in Palm Beach and Martin Counties?

Yes, you may restrict your grants to any geographic location.

Can I change my mind about the causes I would like to support?

Yes. You may change the direction of your charitable giving within the Community Foundation at any time during your lifetime. We work to preserve your long-term philanthropic interests.

What if I’m not a resident of Florida?

A donor’s residency makes no difference in giving to or through the Community Foundation. Through your fund, you may support charities anywhere in the U.S. Residents who are new to our community often enjoy being connected to local charitable individuals and nonprofits through the Community Foundation.

Does the Community Foundation charge management fees for its services?

Yes, a small fee helps to professionally manage your funds and facilitate your grantmaking.

What role do my advisors play at the Community Foundation?

The Community Foundation works with you and your advisors to fulfill your intentions. Your attorneys, family office representatives, financial advisors, investment and wealth managers, and other trusted advisors are important to you and to us.

You may even choose to invite your investment managers to continue managing your assets with the Community Foundation. Many of our donors and fundholders have been referred to us by their advisors, who recognize the value of partnering with the Community Foundation.

Does the Foundation compete with other nonprofit organizations?

No. Although the Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization, we are a partner to more than 3,400 organizations that we have supported over 50 years through grants.

We aim to bring donors and charitable organizations together for mutual benefit. We are better together and are not in competition with other nonprofit organizations.

How will the Community Foundation safeguard my philanthropic intentions into the future?

Today you identify your philanthropic intentions — where and how you want your assets directed during and after your lifetime. The Community Foundation honors your intentions, assuring that your assets will be directed by your philanthropic intentions in perpetuity.

Why should I move my private or family foundation to the Community Foundation?

With the Community Foundation, it’s easier. We offer many benefits of a private foundation without the complexity, administrative burden, or added expenses.

You can take advantage of our community expertise and resources to leverage your impact on an issue.

And the Community Foundation’s structure is here forever — moving your private or family foundation under our auspices ensures your legacy will endure.

What’s the history of the Community Foundation?

With a $50,000 seed gift, Winsome and Michael McIntosh started the Community Foundation in 1972 after moving to Palm Beach from New York City in 1972. Their goal was to build a charitable endowment that would meet the changing needs of the community in perpetuity.

For over five decades, the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties has been meeting that mission. Working together, we help amplify philanthropy to build a stronger, more resilient community.