While the Foundation was established to serve all the communities in Niagara, we recognize that our region is made up of many different communities, each having a unique history. We have worked with donors and volunteers in a number of communities who expressed interest in creating a fund to help charities in their home town. As a result, a number of Local Community Funds were created. Gifts to these funds are endowed and held in perpetuity to support their local community.
The earnings on these funds enable our Board of Directors to respond to current needs in the local communities through the provision of grants to charities providing programs and services at the local level.
Local Community Funds have been established for Fort Erie, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Niagara West, Wainlfeet, Pelham and Port Colborne. Just as each of our communities is unique, so too are each of our community funds. Donors can establish a named fund within any Community Fund with a $5,000 gift. Donors can also established donor advised, community impact and donor designated funds within a Community Fund.
The Niagara Community Foundation offers a number of ways to support our community's well-being. We have a variety of funds available for our donors to consider. Many of them are open funds where gifts may be made by any interested contributor at any time thereby allowing even modest contributions to be joined with others' gifts for maximum charitable benefit.
The Niagara Fund is comprised of donations, large and small, from a variety of sources, individuals, corporations and foundations. A donation to this fund gives the Foundation the greatest flexibility. The earnings on this fund enable our Board of Directors to respond to current community needs through the provision of grants to charities throughout the Niagara Region or in a local community.
Local Community Funds have been established for Fort Erie, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Niagara West, Wainfleet, Pelham and Port Colborne. Donors can establish a named fund within any Community Fund with a $5,000 gift.
A Designated Fund gives donors the opportunity to specify, at the time the fund is established, which particular charities to support in perpetuity. If unexpectedly, an organization ceases to exist, we can redirect the fund to support a similar cause. The minimum donation to open a designated fund is $10,000 per beneficiary.
A Donor-Advised Fund enables donors to have ongoing participation in the selection of charities that will benefit from the fund. Donors may choose this type of fund instead of creating a family trust or private foundation. Existing foundations may transfer their assets to the Niagara Community Foundation to reduce administration while still remaining involved in allocating grants. The minimum donation to open a donor-advised fund is $25,000.
Charitable Organization Endowment Funds can be created and administered by the Foundation on behalf of registered charities. This allows the organization freedom from investment responsibility and gives donors the confidence of knowing that a permanent foundation is in place to professionally administer the charity's endowment. Once established, the charity can encourage their donors to contribute to their endowment fund. The minimum donation to open this type of fund is $10,000.
Community Impact Funds work much like our Community Fund, except that donors identify an area of interest that they would like to target their support. Examples include the arts, heritage, environment, health, seniors, children, recreation, relief of poverty, or education. With these funds, the donor defines the area of interest but empowers the Foundation's Grantmaking Committee to select worthwhile projects to support. The minimum donation to open a community impact fund is $25,000.
Emerging Funds enable donors to establish a fund in any of the above categories with an initial donation and a pledge to meet one of the minimum donation levels as described above within ten years of the initial gift, either on a monthly or annual basis. The earnings generated will be invested back into the fund until such time as the pledge is fulfilled