Type of Funds
Unrestricted Funds offer the broadest option. By and large, these funds are created by those who care about the community beyond their own lifetimes. An unrestricted fund enables the CFMC to respond to the community's changing needs and emergencies, to support the creation of innovative responses to community problems, and to enhance the quality of community life. By creating unrestricted funds, donors create a living legacy that will grow and change as the community does. Income from these funds is used for grants to nonprofit organizations serving communities throughout Merced County.
Designated Funds let donors support a specific organization(s). The donor names the charitable recipients. The CFMC administers gifts to the charities annually. In addition, the CFMC makes sure that these recipients remain relevant over time. When circumstances change and a charitable organization no longer exists, the CFMC ensures that the annual gifts from the designated fund are redirected to an appropriate charitable need, all the while keeping in mind the donor's original intent. Minimum investment to establish a Designated Fund is $25,000.
Donor-Advised Funds allow the donor, the donor's spouse, and/or the donor's specified family members to suggest grant recipients from their fund without the administrative responsibilities of a private foundation. Although the law requires that the CFMC have ultimate control of these funds, the donor's recommendations are followed as long as they are legally permissible. Although donor-advised funds are designed with permanently endowed giving in mind, donors may also request grants that invade the principal, so long as minimum of $5,000 remains in the fund. Minimum investment to establish a Donor Advised Fund is $25,000.
Scholarship Funds can be established using memorial funds, direct donations or the rollover of an existing fund. Donors can help establish the criteria for scholarship selection. Awards can be given for a specific institution, for a specific field of study, or can be built around a certain student profile. Minimum investment to establish a Scholarship Fund is $1,000.