North East Community Foundation



What is The North East Community Foundation?

We are a collection of charitable endowments operating under the administrative umbrella of a single public charity.

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Why is this important?

Public charities are granted tax-favored treatment by the Internal Revenue Service. A collection of endowments is also able to achieve investment and administrative economies of scale. The end result is significantly increased income for local charities.

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Where does your money come from?

Local donors who are interested in creating some sort of permanent charitable legacy often seek out the Foundation as a partner that can help accomplish their charitable objectives. Generally speaking, the dividends and interest earned by our named endowments provide the income needed to make our grants. As a community service, we also establish funds that let donors make a single gift of appreciated securities which can then "pass through" the Foundation to benefit any number of named charities. Finally, we receive many smaller non-endowed gifts. These gifts are very important due to IRS regulations requiring us to annually demonstrate support by a broad base of donors within our community. We return 100% of these gifts back to the community in the form of one of our competitive grants.

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What other products do you offer?

There are nine different types of named endowment funds that can be established within The North East Community Foundation:

  1. Unrestricted funds give future trustees maximum flexibility to respond to changing needs.
  2. Donor Advised funds are a good alternative to the creation of a separate private foundation.
  3. Agency Endowments are established when a local non-profit organization turns over all, or part, of their endowment to the Foundation for management and growth.
  4. Field of Interest funds empower the Foundation to seek out worthy projects within the donors specified area of interest.
  5. Scholarships can be established to benefit students from a particular high school, planning to enroll in a particular college or university, or to encourage students pursuing a favored subject area.
  6. Geographic funds benefit charities in a specific city or geographic region.
  7. Donor Designated funds benefit one or more named charities.
  8. Annuities and Trusts pay income to a named beneficiary with the remainder used to establish a charitable endowment.
  9. Pass-through funds give the donor the ability to immediately benefit several charities with a single gift of appreciated securities.

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How are your assets invested?

We invest conservatively using a balanced approach for income and capital appreciation. Our long-term goal is to maintain and increase the purchasing power of our endowments.

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How do you decide which grant applications to fund?

It is never easy. We use a competitive grant process to distribute our unrestricted income. Collectively, our trustees have decades of experience that touches virtually every non-profit organization. We consult with other fundors, community leadership, needs assessments, and then make our best judgments.

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Do all towns have community foundations?

North East is fortunate to have a community foundation, and one that is so well accepted by local donors. There are only about 600 in The United States and the market value of our endowments is annually ranked near the top 10% of our peers. Our primary mission is to help local donors accomplish personal philanthropic and estate planning objectives in a cost-efficient manner.

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How are donor advised and donor designated funds distributed?

These funds allow the donor to receive a 100% tax deduction for the original gift and then advise the Foundation on future distributions of income and principal. Once the grant is made, charities are instructed to acknowledge the donor's generosity. While the law requires Foundation trustees have final approval of all distributions, many in our community have found these funds are a great way to "have their cake and eat it too!"

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Anything else we need to know?

There is a great story behind every grant we make, every gift we receive and every endowment fund we establish. Should there ever be questions about our work, please contact any of our trustees or staff. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

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