Donor Frequently Asked Questions


What is a community foundation?

A community foundation is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization that is composed, primarily, of permanent funds established by many separate donors for the long-term benefit of the residents of a defined geographic area.

Can anyone donate to a community foundation?

Yes, all you need to know is what organization or what area of interest you want to donate to. All donations are welcome and will benefit local nonprofit organizations. You can give to several charitable funds at one time or you can give to the unrestricted fund, Caring Community Fund, which assists all organizations in the county.

Where does the money come from to give out grants and scholarships?

Various charities and donors (at many income levels) add money to existing funds or create their own fund. We invest the funds and each year our goal is to distribute a 4% pay-out from the earnings.

Why should I create a fund at the LaGrange County Community Foundation?

Creating a fund at the Community Foundation makes it easy and satisfying to fulfill your philanthropic wishes. Additional benefits include tax advantages, a professionally managed portfolio, and access to the support and expertise of our professional staff.

Why should I create a fund at the Community Foundation instead of donating directly to an organization?

The Community Foundation staff performs due diligence on each organization, and our work with other donors and organizations often allows us to identify a need within the community that fits with your philanthropic goals. By giving to the community foundation, you can choose to donate to an endowment fund, which will provide grants for years to come. Also, with our donor-advised funds, you are giving directly to an organization when you make your own grant recommendations.

What if I can’t give now, but I want to in the future?

The Legacy Society of LaGrange County Community Foundation was recently created to recognize and acknowledge individuals who are committed to LaGrange County and have shown that commitment by including the Community Foundation in their estate planning.

May I set up an anonymous fund?

Yes. Simply let us know that you would like to remain anonymous.

What types of organizations may I recommend for grants?

You may recommend qualified nonprofits, public charities, schools, and government programs.

Can I recommend a grant to an individual?

The Community Foundation does not make grants to individuals.  Legally, we can only grant to qualifying nonprofit, public charities.

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 good candidates?

Absolutely. Our staff can work with you to identify nonprofit organizations that meet your charitable goals.

Can I use my fund to pay off a pledge I made to my college?

No. Unfortunately, tax regulations prohibit grants that satisfy personal pledges.

How can I get my children involved?

If your children are of legal age, you can engage them as donor advisors on your advised fund. You can also name them as successors on the fund.