Establishing a donor advised fund at the Telluride Foundation is like creating your own private foundation.
You have the power and flexibility to make recommendations for grants to specific nonprofit organizations from your fund, without the time, paperwork and expense of running your own foundation. A donor advised fund allows you and your family to focus on the charitable giving, while we handle all the administration. Additionally, with a donor advised fund, you are able to take an immediate tax deduction for full market value of appreciated assets and avoid capital gains tax.
Donor advised funds can be started by individuals or corporations. They can be established as temporary (expendable) or permanent (endowed) funds. They may be named to recognize the donor(s), a family, a friend you would like to honor or an organization. Or, you can name the fund to ensure your anonymity.
Many donors know exactly which nonprofits they plan to help through their funds. However, if you should need assistance, our professional staff and grants committee are available to help you to achieve the maximum impact with your charitable dollars. We are on hand to answer questions, provide information on local organizations, research areas of interest to you and any other support you may need for your grantmaking.
We hold, manage, and invest the funds and send you a monthly statement showing all transactions and gifts. There is no fee to establish a fund. We can accept any asset as a donation, including stock and real property (see our "Overview of the Foundation" brochure for more information on asset ideas).
How it works...
10 Easy Steps to Becoming A Fund Advisor
1. Discuss your overall philanthropic goals with your family members and legal or tax advisors and decide how much you can afford to give.
2. Meet with us to discuss your plan. Ask questions, explore the different gift vehicles available to you, decide whether you would like to set up an endowed fund or expendable fund and what sort of investment strategy you would like to pursue.
3. Review the documents needed to implement your plan and share them with your family and your professional advisors.
4. Transfer your gift to us.
5. The Telluride Foundation then creates the fund in the name of your choice. The assets are invested in our professionally managed and monitored pool of funds. Your fund is combined with other funds for better security, higher performance and lower investment costs.
6. Think about what organizations/causes will address the issues you wish to support or learn more about local organizations from the Foundation staff. Make grant recommendations with the forms we provided to you (recipient organizations must be tax-exempt charities having 501(c)(3) status).
7. After receiving your recommendation, the Foundation confirms the recipient organziation's tax-exempt status and other eligibility criteria, then processes the grant.
8. The grant check, listing your fund as the donor, is mailed to the approved charity by the Foundation. In most cases, the grant will be mailed to the recipient organization within 10 business days of your grant recommendation.
9. Review your monthly activity report from your fund.
10. Continue to build your fund and/or make grant recommendations from it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the minimum amount required to start a donor advised fund?
$50,000 is the suggested minimum, but TF is eager to work with you to accomplish your charitable goals. Contact us to discuss your circumstances.
How large do my grants have to be? And how often can I make them?
TF suggests a $250 minimum for your grant awards. You may recommend as many grants locally, regionally, or nationally as you wish from both the income and principal of your fund.
How quickly are my grants sent out?
Your grant request will be processed and the grant check will be mailed within 10 business days, subject to receiving required eligibility criteria from the organization which is receiving your grant award.
What are the fees?
There are no start-up fees. After your asset is transferred to us, your funds are pooled in income-producing accounts with income and gains allocated to each fund. The annual fee for administering the fund is 1.5%.
How do you monitor the investment of my fund?
The Telluride Foundation has a Finance and Investment committee with members who offer extensive investment experience. They work with professional investment firms and oversee long and short-term investment decisions on all of our assets. The Finance and Investment committee is available to discuss the Foundation's overall investment strategy with you as well as the options you have for your fund.
How permanent is my fund?
You have the choice to determine how permanent your fund is. Many people elect to endow their charitable commitments. This decision means that TF will invest fund assets to ensure that the fund's purpose can endure in perpetuity. A fund created using this approach is an endowed fund. The principal is left intact and allowed to grow with inflation while the interest income from the fund is used for your grant awards.
Others elect to see their charitable assets fully spent during their lifetimes. A fund created using this approach is an expendable fund and both the income and principal are used for your grant awards.
Still others wish to see their assets distributed freely during their lifetimes, while wanting successive generations of advisors to treat the remainder of their fund as a permanent endowment. A fund created using this approach is a conversion fund.
How will I know about the status of my fund?
You will receive monthly statements from us showing all activities from your fund. Additionally, we are developing a password-controlled website so that you can access information on your fund at all times. In the meantime, feel free to call us anytime to inquire about your fund or any other questions you may have.
Why choose us?
We know our community. When you choose to invest in the future of our community, you want to work with someone who knows the territory. The broad cross-section of leaders who guide our work lends valuable insight that will help your charitable giving achieve maximum results.
We help you achieve superior tax benefits. Since the IRS considers us a public charity, contributions are eleigible for the highest available tax deductions. In most cases, these tax benefits outweigh using your assets to establish your own private foundation.
We make set-up and administration easy. Establishing a fund can be done in less time than it takes to open a bank account. We take care of all the administrative and grantmaking activities, eliminating the need for you to set up a separate institution, formulate policies, file innumerable forms and monitor the status of grant recipients. We save you precious time and money.
We share your interests. We are here to help you become connected to the issues you care about most. Your charitable interests and prioritites are important to us becuase committed, caring citizens are vital to our community's well-being.
We care about the future. By setting up a fund, you have the ideal opportunity to create a legacy for yourself and for the Telluride region.