FAQ

What is the Amador Community Foundation?

When was the first Community Foundation started?

Who runs the Amador Community Foundation?

To whom is the Amador Community Foundation accountable?

Who invests the Amador Community Foundation’s money?

How does the Amador Community Foundation obtain funds?

Who receives grants from the Amador Community Foundation?

What happens if the Amador Community Foundation ceases to exist?

What’s the difference between the United Way and the Amador Community Foundation?

How long does it take to establish a fund?

How much needs to be donated?

Must all gifts be cash?

Will the Amador Community Foundation ever change the donor’s instructions?

Do I need a lawyer to talk to the Amador Community Foundation?

How would I use the Amador Community Foundation?

How does the Amador Community Foundation help our community beyond making grants?

What is the Amador Community Foundation?

The Amador Community Foundation is a tax-exempt, independent, publicly supported, philanthropic organization established and operated as a permanent collection of endowed funds for the long-term benefit of a defined geographic area.

When was the first Community Foundation started?

In 1914, Fredrick Goff, a Cleveland, Ohio attorney and president of the Cleveland Trust Company, started the first community foundation as a component of his bank.  He had two goals: to create a philanthropic vehicle to facilitate donor’s charitable intentions in perpetuity even if their original purpose became obsolete (variance power); and second, to establish a system whereby people of modest means could also engage in large scale philanthropy if they pooled their contributions.

The Amador Community Foundation was founded in 1999, read more

Who runs the Amador Community Foundation?

The Amador Community Foundation has an independent governing body representing the broad interests of the community with members of the board serving limited terms.  The board is responsible for seeing that a reasonable rate of return is achieved on all funds entrusted to the foundation.

To whom is the Amador Community Foundation accountable?

The Amadaor Community Foundation files an annual return with the IRS which is a publicly available document.  A state information return is also publicly available.  The Foundation is primarily accountable to the people of Amador County.

Who invests the Amador Community Foundation’s money?

The Amador Community Foundation has established a philosophy and policies for investments.  Currently, the investment portfolio is managed by the Finance and Investment Committee comprised of the Treasurer, Vice President, other board members and local financial professionals.  Edward Jones provides outside professional advice.

How does the Foundation obtain funds?

The Amador Community Foundation actively seeks contributions of permanent endowment funds from a wide range of donors who are generally residents of the area and provides assistance to those donors in fulfilling their philanthropic interests.  The Foundation may also write grants for funds from private and family foundations.  For example, the Amador Community Foundation was awarded a matching grant from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.  For every endowment dollar raised the Packard Foundation matched it one for one.

Who receives grants from the Amador Community Foundation?

The Amador Community Foundation has established guidelines and processes for distributing grants.  Unrestricted funds are awarded in a competitive process and restricted grants are awarded to organizations or areas of interest designated by the donor.  Grant guidelines and application are available at our website or from by calling the office at 209-223-2148.

What happens if the Amador Community Foundation ceases to exist?

The property of this corporation is irrevocably dedicated to charitable purposes.  Upon the dissolution or winding up of the Amador Community Foundation all remaining assets will be distributed to a nonprofit fund, foundation or corporation which is organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes.

What’s the difference between the United Way and the Amador Community Foundation?

The Amador Community Foundation uses the funds donated by individuals, associations or businesses to support all areas of the local community – including animal welfare, arts and culture, community development, education, health and human services, youth, and seniors.

The United Way typically serves only its member agencies, a small percentage of the total health and human services organizations in our community.

How long does it take to establish a fund?

It is a simple process involving a meeting with a representative of the Amador Community Foundation and the donor to review the fund agreement form and determine the donor’s desires and the most suitable way to accomplish them.  Once the donor and other appropriate counselors of the donor approve the fund agreement form, the initial contribution is made and the fund is established.  Generally, the fund needs to be approved and accepted by the board of the Amador Community Foundation at its next meeting.

How much needs to be donated?

The Amador Community Foundation does not require a minimum amount to be donated.  However, a minimum fund balance of $5,000 should be obtained within five years of fund initiation or the individual fund may be rolled into the unrestricted community fund.

Must all gifts be cash?

No.  The Amador Community Foundation is able to accept gifts of appreciated securities/closely held stock (which are particularly advantageous to the donor), real property, or in some cases personal property, and insurance proceeds.  In addition, the Amador Community Foundation can be named as the beneficiary in a will or trust.  The Amador Community Foundation offers the maximum charitable deduction allowed by law for estate, gift planning and all other donations.

Will the Amador Community Foundation ever change the donor’s instructions?

A common governing instrument called a fund agreement covers all gifts and funds in the Amador Community Foundation.  This agreement includes a “variance power” to modify the use of restricted funds if such restrictions become unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the community served.  Those are the only conditions under which the Foundation modifies the terms of a gift.

Do I need a lawyer to talk to the Amador Community Foundation?

The fund agreements that establish donor-named funds in the Amador Community Foundation are made available to each donor during preliminary conversations with our staff.  It is always recommended that the donors’ individual counselors review charitable gift plans.

How would I use the Amador Community Foundation?

A family may choose to establish a fund that bears their family name and continues their community giving in perpetuity.  A community group may decide to establish a fund in honor of, or in memory of a friend or loved one.  A business may choose a the Amador Community Foundation to help with its grantmaking, thus saving time and personnel for the business, yet assuring support for their selected charitable interests.  Some donors choose to make their community philanthropy anonymous and the Amador Community Foundation is a perfect partner to help them.  Nonprofit agencies may establish their endowments within the Amador Community Foundation to guarantee their endowment donors that the principal of the gift is never disturbed and the earnings will forever come to the agency.

How does the Amador Community Foundation help our community beyond making grants?

The Amador Community Foundation also provides leadership on community issues by serving as a facilitator, convener or mediator around significant community discussions.  As staffing allows, we may also provide technical advice to community organizations in the grant preparation process.