Create a Fund

Printer-friendly versionPDF version

Most donors wishing to create a legacy and provide ongoing support for the causes they care about will establish a permanent endowment fund that will provide a source of financial support to benefit charitable organizations for generations to come.

Types of Permanent Endowment Funds

Unrestricted Endowments provide flexible resources that can be deployed to address the dynamic nature of the community. Field-of-Interest Endowments provide targeted yet flexible support for your area of particular interest – such as, for example, the arts, education or persons with special needs.

Designated Endowments are created by you if you wish to benefit a named organization or multiple organizations.

Scholarship Endowments provide support for student education.

Donor Advised Funds are a simple, flexible and cost-effective charitable giving vehicle. These funds can be established as a permanent endowment or on a "nonendowed" basis - meaning that grants from the fund could exhaust the fund.

A donor advised fund is a fund into which you can make tax-deductible contributions and retain the ability to recommend grants from the fund to support any 501(c)(3) public charity in the United States - provided the grant is at least $250 and that no one receives a personal benefit because of the grant (such as tickets to a fund-raising event). The advisor also has the right to recommend investment strategies to provide tax-free growth of the fund's assets to enhance the amount available to be distributed from the fund.

Those that have created a donor advised fund with us have full access to our professional staff for assistance in researching nonprofit causes they may wish to support and developing gifting plans to most efficiently make gifts into their donor advised fund. A donor adviser also has access to information regarding the fund 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through our online Donor Central service. Donor Central allows a donor adviser to review the balance of their fund, see historical information and investment performance information, and make grant recommendations online. Click here to learn more about recommending grants from a Donor Advised Fund. To recommend a grant from a Donor Advised Fund, click here.

Click here to learn more about Donor Advised Funds with the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. Click here to learn how donor advised funds compare with private foundations.

To establish a Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, please complete this form and return it to the Community Foundation.

You may review our donor advised fund brochure or call us at (313) 961-6675 for more information about how you can create a fund today.

Donor Advised Fund Investments

Endowed Donor Advised Funds: The Community Foundation invests endowed donor advised funds in its endowment pool. This provides funds of all sizes with the benefits of diversification and the ability to maximize returns. Our endowment investment strategy is overseen by the Community Foundation's investment committee with the assistance of independent investment consultant, NEPC, LLC. The annual return on the endowment pool was 19.7 percent in 2009. Annual returns for 2008 and 20076 were -1.6 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.


Nonendowed Donor Advised Funds: Nonendowed Donor Advised Funds are invested in one of five investment strategies. Each investment strategy is based on the degree of market risk (i.e., change in value) and rate of return that is consistent with the amount and timing of grants the donor plans to recommend. You may recommend that your donor advised fund be invested in one of these five strategies.

Click here to view the current available donor advised fund investment strategies.

Note: The Community Foundation uses the money market strategy as the default investment strategy, since this strategy attempts to provide the lowest market risk. While recommendations are welcome, please note that the determination of the investments of each donor advised fund, as well as the selection of the underlying investments of each strategy, are the responsibility of, and must be made by, the Community Foundation. A donor advised fund is not to be considered by the adviser as an investment under federal or state securities laws.

You can review the underlying mutual funds that make up each pool and the current investment performance* of each pool by clicking on the link below:

*Please note that the weighted performance and fees reported for each strategy are illustrative only. The weighting of each mutual fund within a strategy will vary due to investment performance in each fund between times when the mutual funds are rebalanced within the strategy. Further, historical performance information does not guarantee future performance.