FOUNDATION Q&A

  • On July 28, 2016

Why do we need a Foundation?
The First Community Foundation provides for needs that are not included in the operating budget.  It provides for the church into the future; not just for “now”.  Foundation funds enhance the ministry, programs and missions of the church.

 

Why is the Foundation separate from the church?
As a separate 501(c)(3) the Foundation works in partnership with the church to continue the ministries of First Community Church into the future. Your gifts are invested and a percentage of the assets are used for grants for ministries, maintenance, missions, education, Camp Akita etc., whereas the operating funds provide for daily operations of the church and its ministries.

 

Who sits on the Foundation Board of Trustees?
Fifteen members are nominated and approved by the Governing Board for 3 year terms and may continue on for a second 3 years. A Governing Board liaison is appointed annually. Ex-officio members are the Director of Stewardship and Development, Director of Finance, Executive Minister, First Community Church Treasurer, and the Foundation Administrator.

 

Is the Foundation just for wealthy donors?
No, anyone is welcome to contribute. The Foundation is an effective and efficient way to maximize our charitable giving now while leaving a gift for future generations.

 

What is the minimum amount of donation?
There is no minimum amount. Any gift is welcome, essential, and appreciated. Gifts are tax deductible.

 

May I designate my gift?
You may designate it to an existing non-endowed fund or endowment fund. If not designated, your gift will be placed into a general fund, the Burkhart Fund.

 

May I make a gift in honor or memory of someone?
Yes. We will acknowledge your gift to the honoree or family if you include their name and address with your gift. No mention of the dollar amount is made.  These gifts are placed in the Burkhart Fund unless otherwise designated.

 

May I make my gift anonymously?
Yes, if you request that your name not be listed at the time you make your gift. However, by listing your name as a donor, you may inspire others to donate as well.

 

May I include the Foundation in my planned giving/estate planning?
Yes, we can help you determine the best way to do so.  For a Legacy Society gift (estate gift) you may wish to contact your attorney, tax advisor or investment professional. We can also help you determine the different opportunities for Legacy gifts.

 

What is the Legacy Society?
The Legacy Society honors those who have remembered the Foundation through planned estate giving. Examples are gifts from your will, trust, securities, insurance, etc. The Foundation can help you determine a means that will provide for your needs and those of the church. You will be invited to a special recognition event as well as receive Foundation communications.

 

What is the Heritage Society?
The Heritage Society Sustaining Members are those who in a given year have given $2500 or more to the Foundation. Those who have given $25,000 or more in accumulated gifts become Lifetime Members of the Heritage Society. They are honored with an invitation to a special recognition event as well as receive Foundation communications.

 

What is an endowment fund?
An endowment fund is a gift of $25,000 or more (may be an initial gift of $5,000 with the remainder given within 5 years) that establishes an endowment to provide for an area of your special interest.  The money is invested and the earnings (or a specified percentage of the principal) may be allocated to grants, according to the spending policy of the Foundation. This allows for your gift to continue making an impact for years to come.

 

What is a non-endowed fund?
A named fund may be established with a gift of $10,000 to support a ministry or program of interest to the donor. The fund may be established with an initial gift of $5,000 with the remaining $5,000 to be given within three years. While the fund is subject to the spending policy, all monies may be used for grants.

 

What is a Donor Advised Fund?
A Donor Advised Fund (DAF) may be established with a gift of $25,000 (funding over 3 years is possible, but no grants may be made until the full $25,000 is gifted). Many people prefer this route, because they receive an immediate tax deduction, plus they may stipulate annually the charities of their choosing. The donor suggests annual grants (75% of the grants must go to First Community Church ministries or missions, with the remaining 25% to qualified charities within the United States or to additional FCC ministries or missions). An annual fee will be charged for administrative costs to manage and administer the DAF through an arrangement between the First Community Foundation and The Columbus Foundation.

 

What happens to my gift?
Your gift will be invested and managed by professional investment advisors. It will be used according to your wishes, either deposited into existing funds or used to establish a new non-endowed fund or endowment. The Foundation has an application process for grants.  After careful consideration of the grant request, it is determined whether to approve the grant within the parameters of the spending policy and the fund that best suits the request according to donor intent.

 

How do I know my gift will be used for the intended purpose?
The Foundation Board has a fiduciary duty to manage funds and disperse grants according to the donor’s intent and in accordance with best practices of non-profit foundations.  Each fund is tracked separately and noted as to its intent. There are clear parameters as to how funds are to be distributed.

 

How does someone apply for a grant?
The application form and process is spelled out clearly on the website under “Apply for Funding”. After application is made, the Grants Committee reviews the grant application and decides which fund may be used according to donor intent. They make their recommendation to the Foundation Board of Trustees who then discuss the application and vote on whether or not to grant the funds. Most grants are for enhancement of First Community Church programs, although some are for areas outside the church per the wishes of the donor and only if the organization’s principles are consistent with those of First Community Church.

 

What kinds of grants has the Foundation given?
In recent years we have helped with maintenance issues at the two campuses and Camp Akita. We have provided seminary opportunity for members. We have assisted with mission projects here and abroad. We have provided for early childhood through youth ministries as well as camper scholarships. We have supported the media ministry and music programs. All of these projects and others would not have been possible had it not been for earlier gifts to the Foundation.

 

I would like to make a gift; what do I do next?
Contact the Foundation office at csgepfert@FCchurch.com or (614) 488-0681 ext. 263 and we will be happy to help you determine what gift opportunity best suits your needs.

 

To whom do I send my check?
Checks should be payable to First Community Foundation and mailed to:

First Community Foundation
1320 Cambridge Blvd.
Columbus, OH 43212.

You may also make your donation through the Foundation website.

If we have missed answering your question, don’t hesitate to contact us at (614) 488.0681 ext. 263 or csgepfert@FCchurch.com