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).

  • Unrestricted Funds are for the greatest community needs, new programs, emergencies, innovative programs, or future needs that often cannot be anticipated at the time the gift is made.
  • Field of Interest Funds support an area of charitable giving such as children or the arts.  Donors also may limit distribution of funds to a specific geographic area.  CFHC will direct grants to the nonprofits providing solutions to the area of interest.
  • Designated Funds are those where beneficiary organizations are specified by the donor at the time the fund is established.
  • Scholarship Funds may be endowed or non-endowed.  Donors may decide the type and nature of the scholarship.
  • Donor-Advised Funds enable the donor to periodically recommend to CFHC which charitable organizations receive grant distributions.
  • Agency Funds are endowments established by nonprofit organizations.  CFHC provides investment services and financial expertise needed by many organizations.
  • Administrative Funds are endowed funds used by the community foundation to pay for its day-to-day expenses. This fund helps the community foundation keep its fees low.
  • Accumulator Funds are temporary, “starter” funds begun with the intent of creating a permanent fund within 36 months. No distributions may be made until the fund reaches the minimum $10,000.

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.

  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%