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Community Foundation of Southern Maryland

Giving Back ~ Starting A Fund

CFSOMD is a 501 c3 tax exempt, public charity created by and for the people of southern Maryland. We are made up of charitable funds from many different local donors which are used to address local, regional and national needs.
 
The Funds at the Community Foundation are used to provide grants and scholarships for 501 c 3 non-profits, educational institutions (private/public/religious) and governmental agencies. Funds may be endowed (perpetual funds – grants given annually) or non-endowed (grants given throughout the year).  
 
Community Foundations are not limited in their focus and represent a broad area of interests including but not limited to:
  • Arts and Culture
  • Education and Scholarships
  • Environment
  • General Community Improvements – Housing, Recreation and Transportation
  • Health and Wellness
  • Youth Initiatives
 
Opening a fund is simple.
  1. Decide on the name of the Fund and its purpose and/or recipients;
  2. Decide on the type of Fund;
  3. Make a tax deductible gift; Sign the agreement; and Start Giving.
 
There is no maximum amount to establish a Fund.
 
The minimum amount needed to open a fund is $5,000.
 
The advantages we offer to a donor lie in our ability to simplify the giving process, by offering flexibility, local expertise, and administrative convenience.  We can accommodate nearly any kind of giving a donor wants, either a present gift or deferred.  We have staff members who can help you define your giving interests, arrange site visits, research worthy charities in all areas of the country, we handle all check writing, and other backroom functions. We have investment advisors who handle all the investments for our endowed Funds.  

Types of Funds

Unrestricted Fund
Used to support CFSOMD’s annual grantmaking. There are no restrictions on its use, but typically follows grant guidelines.

Ideal for: Bequests, CFSOMD’s board and friends, donors who want to give back to his/her community but not be directly involved.

Field of Interest Fund
Dedicated to a specific cause or "field" of grantmaking (e.g. arts, youth, education, environment). Allows CFSOMD to make grant decisions per fund agreement.

Ideal for: Bequests, CFSOMD board and friends, donors who are committed to certain causes but not specific nonprofits.

Donor Advised Fund
Like a private family foundation, allows donors to make grants from his/her fund. Final approval rests with CFSOMD. Successor advisors okay if included in fund agreement.

Ideal for: Donors who want to help decide on grants, but don’t want the hassle of setting up their own private foundation.

Scholarship Fund
Educational or vocational scholarships for area youth. Follows CFSOMD scholarship process and guidelines. Donor may participate in process, but can't make final decision alone.

Ideal for: Bequests, donors who want help administering a scholarship program.

Designated/Organization Fund
Established by a donor to benefit a specific nonprofit. Can also be set up by a nonprofit to benefit itself. Funds are used solely to support named NPO beneficiary.

Ideal for: Bequests, nonprofit organizations and their board members, donors who are committed to helping a specific nonprofit.

Supporting Organization Fund
A separate 501 c 3 nonprofit under the umbrella of the Community Foundation. The CFSOMD must nominate 51% of this organization’s board; donor may nominate the rest.

Ideal for: Donors (for their professional advisors) who want more control and are willing to pay the extra set up charges.

What is an endowment? An endowment is a permanent fund on which the earnings are available for grants for nonprofit organizations while the principal (the amount deposited into the fund) remains intact. The amount available for the grants are based on the Community Foundation’s spending rate. Our current spending rate is 4%.

Every donor who establishes an endowed fund at the Community Foundation of Southern Maryland receives quarterly statements detailing all transactions in and out of the fund and investment performance. Wherever the funds are invested, the donor may recommend to the Foundation on where to spend/grant the income/earnings only, based on the Foundation's spending rate. The non-endowed funds may be spent/granted in whole or however the donor chooses and the spending is not based on a spending policy. Both endowed and non-endowed funds are able to accept donations at anytime.

The advantages we offer to a donor lie in our ability to simplify the giving process, by offering flexibility, local expertise, and administrative convenience. We can accommodate nearly any kind of giving a donor wants to do, either a present gift or deferred. We have staff members who can help you define your giving interests, arrange site visits, or research worthy charities in all areas of the country. We have a financial staff that handles all the investments (if desired), check writing, and other backroom functions.

Because we are a public charity and not a private foundation, federal law does not require us to distribute any set amount in grants each year, so donors can contribute more to the fund in one year, then recommend grants over time as their giving interests dictate. Most gifts from donor advised funds go to IRS-recognized public charities.Endow Maryland

A new Maryland state tax credit called "Endow Maryland" will reward donors who help build permanent charitable funds for local communities across the state—and right here in Southern Maryland.  Learn more about the benefits and how to apply.

What is philanthropy? The word is of Greek origin, meaning, "Love for humankind." Today, philanthropy includes the concept of voluntary giving by individuals or groups to promote the common good.

Philanthropy addresses contributions by individuals or groups to other organizations that in turn work to alleviate the causes of poverty or social problems—improving the quality of life for all citizens.

Philanthropic giving also supports a variety of activities in the areas of research, health, education, arts and culture, and environmental issues.

Ways to become a philanthropist with the Community Foundation of Southern Maryland

  • Do you want to give; but are only "rich" in assets? Donate a piece of personal property (art, jewelry, etc.) or real property (land, farm, acres, etc.) to the Community Foundation and we will take care of the rest. The funds made on the sale can go to a specific charity; an area of interest (like art; youth; etc.) or to the Community Foundation’s Capacity Building Fund. You pick.
     
  • Create a Fund in memory of someone special; in honor of someone special; in your family’s name or call it whatever you would like... This Fund will distribute grants to a specific nonprofit or to several. You can be involved in the giving or let the Community Foundation handle the giving for you. As long as the Fund is giving money, you or whomever the fund is named after will always "get credit" for the contributions.
     
  • Are you a non-profit saving money for a capital improvement project or just want to have additional funds always available for operating? Start your own agency endowment and invest money while you are saving it.
     
  • Getting tired of the paperwork with the IRS -- Dissolve your family foundation into a fund within the Community Foundation;
     
  • Contribute to the Community Grant Fund – the CFSOMD’s own unrestricted grant fund used for distributing grants to non-profits serving Southern Maryland.

The Community Foundation of Southern Maryland Accepts:

  • Appreciated Securities
  • Assets of private foundations
  • Cash
  • Charitable IRA Transfers
  • Life Insurance
  • Planned Gifts
  • Real Estate or Personal Property