Creating a Fund at the Community Foundation

There are currently over 431 charitable Funds at the DeKalb County Community Foundation. Each Fund is unique in its creation and what it supports. Collectively, these Funds have awarded over 49.7 million since the Foundation's inception in 1993.

Creating a Fund is easy to do. Before we get into the steps for "how to create a Fund," we encourage you to learn more about the "why create a Fund" at the Community Foundation. Together, with our donors and community, we are making a positive impact in DeKalb County. Take a look at the videos below to learn more about the "why."

How to Create a Fund

  1. Decide When to Give

    You can create your Fund now, in the near future, establish it in your will, or generate a trust arrangement that benefits your family as well as charity.

  2. Decide What to Give

    Almost any kind of asset can be used to start your Fund. Examples of assets include cash, publicly traded securities, closely held stock, real estate, life insurance, and tangible personal property.

  3. Choose the Name for Your Fund

    Most of our Funds are named for the donor, the donor’s family, or as a memorial to someone special.

  4. Choose a Type of Fund

    We offer a variety of Funds that are flexible to meet your different charitable interests:

    • Community Impact Funds (Undesignated Funds)
      Community Impact Funds offer the broadest giving option, allowing grants to be made to wherever our board and professional staff determines our community’s needs are the greatest. Grants from this Fund type support a variety of grant programs at the Foundation including the Community Needs Grants program. Helping today. Shaping tomorrow.
    • Field of Interest Funds
      Field of Interest Funds provide support to a particular field or geographic area that is of interest to you.
    • Donor Advised Funds
      Donor Advised Funds enable you, the donor, to make grant recommends to eligible organizations.
    • Scholarship Funds
      Scholarship Funds provide scholarship awards to students for continuing education. You may define guidelines for candidacy, the advisory committee, the school and the field of study.
    • Designated Funds
      Designated Funds provide support to specific and eligible organizations in the community. The Foundation makes sure that grants to these groups remain relevant over time and are responsive to changing circumstances.
    • Pass Through Funds
      Pass Through Funds provide support to projects with the principal of the Fund eventually used up for the intended purpose.
    • Agency Funds (Organizational Endowment Funds)
      Agency Funds are created by nonprofit and public organizations to provide stable income to support their work. The Foundation handles all administrative and investment responsibilities, freeing the organization to pursue its charitable mission.

For questions or additional information on how to start a Fund at the Community Foundation, please contact Executive Director Dan Templin at 815-748-5383 or


Funds that are endowed at the Community Foundation are charitable Funds that exist forever. These Funds are a great vehicle for donors to leave their legacy and support the causes and organizations of their choice through grants. Over time, investment performance grows the Fund while grant distributions are made that make a real difference to the quality of life in our community. Let us partner with you to fulfill your philanthropic dreams!

$10,000 initial contribution - Estimates over 10 years

$10,000 initial contribution - Estimates over 50 years