Frequently Asked Questions
If you have additional questions or desire more information, please contact us.
- What is a community foundation?
- A community foundation is a publicly supported, philanthropic, nonprofit organization. The Foundation accumulates, through contributions or bequests, assets, largely in the form of endowments, which are invested to produce income that is then distributed for the charitable needs of the community.
- What is an endowment?
- An endowment consists of assets, called the principal, maintained intact in perpetuity with only the income generated by such principal being expendable for designated purposes.
- What are the benefits of a community foundation?
- A community foundation provides funds which generate income for disbursement to other charitable organizations and institutions. By unifying funds from various sources, it takes advantage of economics of scale in providing advantageous investing and cost effective management. For donors it not only provides tax advantages for giving, it is an avenue for donors of all means to make significant contributions to the organizations and residents of their communities in perpetuity.
- Is the Virginia Community Foundation a public charity?
- Yes. It is a tax exempt organization under Internal Revenue Code Sec. 501(c)(3), and, as such, contributions to it are tax deductible to the maximum amount allowable for gifts to public charities.
- Does the Virginia Community Foundation conduct its own projects?
- No. The Foundation exists to support new and existing programs of other nonprofit groups. It is here to complement, supplement, and augment the fine work our many local community groups are already doing.
- How does the Virginia Community Foundation differ from other nonprofit foundations?
- The Virginia Community Foundation is a nonpartisan foundation; it does not exist to serve only one or more pre-designated organizations or groups. It exists to serve donors who wish to better their community, now and in the future. Its goal is broad-based grant making for a variety of charitable and community development areas in Virginia, MN.
- How does the Virginia Community Foundation differ from other organizations, like the United Way?
- Whereas United Way provides support only to its member organizations, under the Virginia Community Foundation, all charitable organizations are eligible to apply for grants. While United Way is a "checking account" providing continuing funding and operating support based on the needs-oriented fundraising strategy, the Foundation is a "savings account" that provides funding for projects and charitable organizations based on an asset-development strategy. The Foundation approach primarily focuses upon gifts of assets to be used in perpetuity whereas United Ways focus upon gifts of income to be spent annually.
- How are funds generated?
- The Foundation assists public-spirited donors with a heart for Virginia, MN in contributing gifts to create funds for charitable purposes. The Foundation serves donors interested in establishing Legacy Funds and other permanent endowments to produce future income for grantmaking purposes in Virginia, MN.
- How are recipients of grants determined?
- Some funds have recipients specifically designated by the donor. The income from these funds is, of course, distributed according to the donor's wishes. In the case of unrestricted, or undesignated funds, the foundation researches the communities' needs, reviews applications from groups requesting grants, and determines how available funds are distributed according to our grant guidelines. Go to our "Grants" page to learn more about our grant guidelines and applying for a grant.