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Connecting People Who Care With Causes that Matter

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Frequently Asked Questions


What is a fund?

A fund is a donation given to the Community Foundation of Harford County as a resource to benefit the community.  There are seven categories under which donors may establish funds.  Most funds are permanent - the donation is invested with the interest from the principal used for grant making. Two funds, scholarships and donor-advised funds, may be non-endowed (not permanent).


What is the minimum required to start a fund?

A fund starts at $10,000.  Temporary “starter” funds may be gifted with less than the $10,000 minimum if the intent is to create a permanent fund within 36 months.


Are small gifts accepted?

Community foundations were established to accept gifts both large and small.  A good way to help with a small gift is to give to an unrestricted fund, which helps meet the greatest community needs.  Donors may also support CFHC by contributing to its operating fund.  In addition, any donor may add to any established fund at any time and in any amount.


May I name my fund?

You may name your fund or remain anonymous. Many individuals name a fund after themselves or a member of their family such as a mother, father, or child.


How is my fund tracked?

For all named funds, CFHC keeps separate accounting of earnings and the grant distributions made.   CFHC informs fund donors on a periodic basis of both earnings and fund distributions.


Do I own my fund?

The IRS requires that donations given to CFHC become assets of the community foundation.  One fund type, a donor-advised fund, allows a donor to make recommendations regarding distributions.

It is important for all donors to understand the Community Foundation of Harford County honors donors' wishes regarding gifts given to it within current laws, regulations, and community needs.   The wishes of a donor who establishes a fund is spelled out in an agreement between the donor and CFHC.


Are all funds permanent?

In order for giving to be perpetual, most funds are permanent.  Donor-advised funds may be non-endowed as may scholarships.

Donors appreciate that by starting an endowed fund, they are leaving a legacy that will honor them for all time. The question, "What will be my legacy?" is answered the day a donor starts a endowed fund with the Community Foundation of Harford County.


How do I know CFHC will do as it promises with my donation?

The underpinning of the Community Foundation of Harford County is its integrity.  To ensure CFHC understands the wishes of the donor, it enters into an agreement with every donor who starts a fund. The agreement spells out the donor’s wishes and the Community Foundation’s obligations.


How is money given to CFHC invested?

CFHC funds are managed by an investment manager.  The CFHC Investment and Finance Committee composed of local investment experts oversees the investment portfolio.

A table showing the Community Foundation of Harford County's Asset Allocation Pool is below.

CFHC Pool
ASSET CLASS TARGET ACCEPTABLE RANGE
  U.S. Equities 50% 30% - 70%
  Non U.S. Equities 15% 5% - 25%
TOTAL EQUITIES 65% 35% - 95%
  Fixed Income 20% 10% - 30%
  Alternative Investments  10% 0% - 20%
  Cash Equivalents 5% 0% - 10%
TOTAL FIXED INCOME 35% 10% - 40%

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