No two community foundations are alike, and yet they share common characteristics. Community foundations are a collection of individual funds invested together to benefit a broad range of community needs. They are shaped by local traditions, history and culture and are designed to meet the needs in a defined geographical area. Community foundations do not champion one cause over another, but rather work on behalf of the entire community. Their ability to meet the need(s) in their communities is limited only by available resources and the richness of their donors’ imagination.
Community foundations are a popular choice for donors because of the services we provide connecting donor interests with community needs. A donor can select, 1) when to give, 2) what asset is most appropriate to give, and 3) who or what their money will benefit. There is very little paperwork and no need to set up a separate board of directors or go through the lengthy and expensive process of setting up a private foundation.
- Donor Advised Fund: A donor sets up the fund with a minimum gift and retains the right to actively participate in awarding grants.
- Field-Of-Interest Fund: The fund is established to make grants to broad areas, such as disadvantaged children, the elderly, or the performing arts.
- Designated Fund: The donor may name a specific charitable organization(s) to be assisted by distributions from the fund.
- Unrestricted or General Fund: The donor may choose to leave their gift unrestricted, allowing the community foundation to make grants to meet emerging needs of the community.
- Scholarship Fund: The donor’s main interest is in providing scholarships to individuals in the community.
When a donor contributes to the Renton Regional Community Foundation they can watch their dollars grow, not just in dollars and cents, but in helping to grow a stronger community. Our donors invest with a purpose. They are our partners and together we strive to achieve high-impact philanthropy. As such, RRCF remains current on the issues facing our community and serves as a hub of philanthropic information where ideas are shared, needs are identified, and common agendas for the future are developed.
For donors, the Renton Regional Community Foundation:
- Provides a broad range of giving opportunities to meet donor interests.
- Provides tremendous flexibility in setting up a fund.
- Eliminates the set-up costs of a private foundation, IRS paperwork, or the need to establish a business license.
- Eliminates administrative overhead and the need to establish a separate board of directors.
- Provides access to community leaders and local professionals who have a deep understanding of local issues, nonprofit organizations and available resources in the community.
- Provides the framework to award scholarships and effective grants.
For local non-profit agencies, the Renton Regional Community Foundation:
- Provides a lucrative investment tool without the headache of oversight management.
- Provides broad exposure to potential new donors through our website, publications, seminars and community events.
- Connects the affiliate to community leaders throughout the South King County and East King County area, helping to educate them on relevant causes and interests.
- Offers expertise on fundraising, planned giving and non-profit management.
The goal at the Renton Regional Community Foundation is to invest an ever-increasing pool of assets in a way that will maximize return while moderating risk. An investment committee made up of Foundation board members, business owners and community leaders guides the Foundation’s investment strategies, making recommendations to the board on policy, strategy and management. For more information, visit our Financials page.
RRCF keeps expenses low by spreading costs over its growing collection of funds, careful management and the use of volunteers. Small funds particularly benefit from pooling with our size and diversified portfolio. Each RRCF fund pays a proportionate share of the investment management fee. Administrative fees are in addition to this and are based on the size and type of fund. Currently administrative fees run between 1-3%, depending on the size of the fund and how much activity (number of contributions, grants, special projects) the fund generates. For more information, see our Fee Schedule or visit our Financials page.
Most donors don’t want to be burdened with complicated, legal proceedings to do something good for their community. The process of setting up a fund with a community foundation is simple. Donors can visit our Establish a Fund page, call the Foundation at (425) 282-5199, or contact us through the form at the top of this page to get a sample fund agreement and/or schedule a meeting. For more information, visit our Give and Connect page.
RRCF can accept most types of gifts, including cash, securities, life insurance policies, real estate and personal property (subject to Gift Acceptance policies of the Foundation). The Foundation also can accept remainder trusts, lead trusts, life estates and bequests.
RRCF is not in competition with other local not-for-profit organizations. Instead, we work to support and enhance our local partners. How do we do this? While most non-profit organizations have a very specific mission, community foundations have broad missions and are thus free to make grants to address any charitable purpose.
This flexibility allows us to serve a wider group of potential donors on the one hand and, on the other, a wider group of nonprofit organizations whom we consider our partners in improving our local community. Area nonprofits benefit from having a local community foundation because the community foundation helps money stay in the community. Community foundations benefit local nonprofits in other ways, too: besides having local grant money available, some nonprofits ask the community foundation to manage a fund on their own behalf. We call such funds agency funds.
RRCF is a tax exempt, 501(C) 3 organization. All contributions to RRCF are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. In addition, RRCF can accept specialized forms of giving such as gifts of stock, bonds, mutual funds and real estate. RRCF can also work with donors to set up planned gifts, which allow the donor to achieve a tax deduction and a stream of income.
If you have additional questions, please contact us.