Creating a Fund at the Community Foundation

There are currently over 446 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 53.8 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 "why create a Fund" at the Community Foundation. Together with our donors and community, we are positively impacting 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 and 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 
      Community Impact Funds (Undesignated Funds) offer the broadest giving option, allowing grant direction wherever our Board and staff determine the greatest community’s needs are. Grants from this Fund type support various grant programs at the Foundation, including the Community Needs Grants program. They are helping today and 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 recommend grants 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 ensures that grants to these groups remain relevant over time and are responsive to changing circumstances.
    • Pass Through Funds
      Pass Through Funds support projects with the principal of the Fund eventually used up for the intended purpose.
    • Agency Funds 
      Nonprofit and public organizations create Agency Funds (Organizational Endowment Funds) to provide stable income to support their work. The Foundation handles all administrative and investment responsibilities, freeing the organization to pursue its charitable mission.
  5. Contact the Community Foundation

    As a final step or at any step along the way, please contact Executive Director Dan Templin at 815-748-5383 or He will guide you through the process and help connect you with causes that matter most to you.  


Funds endowed at the Community Foundation are charitable Funds that exist forever. These Funds are an excellent 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 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

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