Frequently Asked Questions

Creating a Fund

How do I create a fund?

Creating a fund is simple.  You can begin the process by sending an email to the Gift Planning team or by calling the Foundation at 502.585.4649. Our Philanthropic Services Team will guide you through a simple process based on your charitable goals and objectives.

Is there a minimum size for a fund?

There is no minimum to create a Charitable Checking Fund. Invested funds generally require a minimum gift of $25,000. You may make a charitable gift of any amount to any existing fund.

What can I name my fund?

Many donors use their family name for their fund. You may prefer a name that is representative of the types of programs you want to support, or you may choose a name for the fund that preserves your anonymity.

What kind of assets will you accept?

The Foundation can accept many types of assets including cash, publicly traded securities, closely held and restricted stock, real estate, and life insurance policies.

Read a list of acceptable assets here.

What are the investment options for my endowment fund?

Endowment fundholders may choose from four investment pools for their endowment fund: the Signature Pool, the Equity Pool, the Fixed Income Pool, and the Socially Responsible Pool. Within each investment pool, the Community Foundation hires managers who specialize in particular asset classes to ensure that there is superior performance and adequate diversification. Our goal is to benefit from a range of expertise from managers in a way that would be impractical and cost-prohibitive for individual investors. Other investment options exist with local financial institutions.

Can I get a refund for my gift made to the Community Foundation of Louisville?

All gifts represent an irrevocable contribution to the Community Foundation of Louisville and are not refundable.

Can I create a fund through my estate?

Yes, your fund can be named as a beneficiary of your estate to fulfill your charitable goals. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact our Philanthropic Services Team at 502.585.4649.

How will I be able to track my gifts and grants?

Our online platform provides full access to your fund, including viewing your current fund balance, making grant distribution recommendations, and reviewing your gift history. You will also receive a quarterly statement by email or mail.

For login assistance, please contact or 502.585.4649.

Making Gifts to My Fund

What kind of assets can I use to make gifts to my fund?

The Foundation can accept many types of assets including cash, publicly traded securities, closely held and restricted stock, real estate, and life insurance policies.

Read a list of acceptable assets here.

How can I donate shares of stock or mutual funds?

To donate stock or mutual fund shares, the donor should email the Philanthropic Services team at or call them at 502.585.4649.

In the email, please include:

  • Your name, mailing address, phone number, and email address
  • The name and number of shares of stock that you intend to transfer
  • The name or number of the fund receiving the donation

We will reply back with instructions that the donor or broker can use to make the transfer.

Can I make a gift to my fund through my estate?

Yes, your fund can be named as a beneficiary of your estate to fulfill your charitable goals. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact our Philanthropic Services Team at 502.585.4649.

What information will be on my tax receipt?

In all cases, the receipt will show the date the gift was received, the fund the contribution was credited to, and any special mentions like an honorary or memorial gift. If the contribution was a check, the dollar amount and check number will also be shown.

If the gift was in the form of securities, the receipt will list the date the securities were transferred and the number of shares. Your tax advisor will be able to determine your charitable deduction from this information.

Receipts for real estate and other non-cash gifts identify the property transferred. The IRS may require you to obtain an appraisal and to file a Form 8283 with your income tax return. We can provide you a Form 8283 on request.

Can others contribute to the fund I establish?

Yes, others can make contributions to your fund, perhaps to mark a special occasion or support a special project that interests you.

What is the Community Foundation of Louisville's Tax ID?

The Community Foundation of Louisville consists of three public supported charitable non-profit corporations: The Community Foundation of Louisville, Inc. (Tax ID 31-0997017), The Community Foundation of Louisville Depository, Inc. (Tax ID 31-1140889), and The Community Foundation of Louisville Corporate Depository, Inc. (Tax ID 61-1100993).

Making Grants from My Fund

How do I recommend a grant from my fund?

The easiest and most convenient way for you to recommend a grant is through our online platform. To log in, please click Log In at the top right of this page. For assistance with the online platform, please contact or 502.585.4649.

Who can make grants from a Donor Advised Fund?

Throughout your lifetime, or until you resign from the Advisory Committee, you may recommend grants from your fund. You may also designate your spouse or partner, your child, or another member of your family or a friend to the Advisory Committee. You can name your children and grandchildren as successors to the Advisory Committee. At the end of the Advisory period for your fund (after your death or resignation or your successors) the Foundation’s Board of Directors will make grants from your fund in accordance with your wishes.

Charitable Checking Funds do not allow for successor advisors, but remaining funds at the time of death can be designated to charities of your choice.

Are my grants tax deductible?

Grant distributions from your Community Foundation fund are not tax deductible. You receive your charitable tax deduction when you make a gift to the Community Foundation. Even if a nonprofit sends you a receipt for your grant distribution from your fund, you may only claim a charitable tax deduction for your original gift to the Community Foundation.

To whom may I recommend a grant?

You may recommend grants to qualified nonprofits and government entities. To comply with applicable IRS regulations however, the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors retains the final responsibility for approving distributions from funds. Grants are generally made to organizations recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

What is the minimum I can grant?

The minimum grant amount is $100.

What if I need assistance with my grantmaking?

We have professional staff members who are available to help you make effective and meaningful grants. We can help you learn about nonprofits who work in your areas of interest or conduct research on causes that matter most to you. Contact Michael Pfaff, Senior Manager, Grants Administration at 502.855.6959 to discuss your charitable interests and goals.

May I recommend a grant through my fund to buy a ticket to an event?

According to IRS regulations, the cost of a ticket to such an event cannot be paid from your fund, even when only a portion of the ticket price is identified as tax-deductible and another portion as non-tax-deductible. Two examples illustrate this point:

  • If a nonprofit’s fundraising event is $250 per person, and the nonprofit states that $100 are tax-deductible and $150 is non-tax-deductible, you may not divide the event support between a Donor Advised Fund and your personal check. You must pay the full $250 personally.
  • If you wish to sponsor a nonprofit’s event (at which individual tickets cost $200 per person) at a $5,000 level, you may recommend a grant of $5,000 from your Donor Advised Fund to support the nonprofit and personally pay $200 per ticket to attend.

You may support the event by recommending a general operating grant so long as you do not attend the event.

May I recommend a grant for membership dues?

In some cases, membership dues can be paid from a fund, as long as any benefits or privileges received are considered “incidental benefits” that would not reduce the value of a charitable deduction in return for an annual contribution. If you refuse a membership benefit you can a recommend a grant for membership through your fund, but only if you explicitly reject the benefit at the time the gift is made. You cannot choose to refuse the benefit after you already received it. In a case like this, we suggest that you recommend the grant for general operating support in order to avoid the appearance of conflict. General operating grants to a nonprofit are always allowed.

Please contact the Community Foundation at 502.585.4649 if you have any questions regarding grants that may include membership benefits.

How long does it take to process a grant recommendation?

Grant recommendations will generally be processed within five business days. Grants to nonprofits that require additional time for verification may take longer to process. Grant recommendations over $250,000 require additional review and may be delayed.

Can a grant from my fund fulfill an irrevocable pledge to a nonprofit?

Although you may not fulfill an irrevocable personal pledge through your fund, you may recommend that the Foundation make a multi-year grant from your fund to a nonprofit.

May I recommend an anonymous grant?

Yes, you can recommend a grant anonymously at any time. You may request all grants to be made from your fund anonymously, or you can do so on a grant-by-grant basis. Both the name of your fund and your own name can remain anonymous to grant recipients.

May I recommend grants outside of Louisville?

Yes, you may recommend grants anywhere in the U.S., as long as they are made to IRS-approved, 501c(3) nonprofits, schools, or churches.

Can you send me the grant check so I can deliver it to the nonprofit?

The Foundation sends checks directly to nonprofits. You can, however, present a Grant Certificate to inform the nonprofit of your pending grant.