Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions we receive from professional advisors and their clients about the Idaho Community Foundation.

How are community foundations different from private foundations?

A community foundation is a publicly supported, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that maintains a diverse grant making program in a specific community or region. Like a private foundation, it makes grants in support of its charitable purpose. Its funds, however, are derived from many unrelated donors rather than a single source, as is usually the case with private foundations. Further, community foundations are classified under the tax code as public charities, subjecting them to different tax policies and regulations than private foundations.

Click Here for more information on private foundations and community foundations.

Why shouldn’t my client give directly to the organization(s) they wish to support?

ICF uses the power of endowed funds to meet both immediate needs in the community as well as future needs. By establishing an endowed fund with us or supporting an existing fund, your clients are being strategic with their giving and ensuring that the causes about which they care most can be provided for tomorrow as well as today. With each grant distribution, ICF ensures funds are being used appropriately and according to the donor’s wishes.

How much control and freedom would my client have in recommending grant recipients from their fund?

Your client can recommend a grant to any qualified organization that falls within the broad mission of ICF and is an Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) public charity qualified under Sections 509(a)(1), 509(a)(2) , in some cases 509(a)(3), or an educational or governmental entity. ICF will ensure that groups recommended for a grant meet this requirement.In complying with federal tax laws, and for the protection of your client, ICF must reject grant recommendations that would benefit an individual, fulfill a personal obligation, support a political campaign, go to a private foundation, or is not for a qualified organization.

Can my client recommend grants anonymously?

Yes, your client may request that a fund name and/or the donor’s name remain anonymous. In addition, clients may request the fund name not appear in ICF’s annual reports or other relevant publications.

What happens to the fund after my client’s lifetime?

It depends on the type of fund you client has established. For endowed funds such as designated, field of interest, Forever Idaho, and operating funds, ICF will continue to follow the instructions listed in the fund agreement in perpetuity.

For endowed donor advised funds, your client may name successor advisors to make grant recommendations and continue their family’s legacy of giving. Typically, after two generations of advisors the fund will revert to another type of endowed fund based on the instructions your client provided in the fund agreement at the time the fund was established.

Can my client serve on the board of an organization and recommend a grant from his/her fund to the organization?

Yes, as long as your client receives no personal benefit from the grant.

Can my client recommend grants to qualified organizations outside Idaho?

Yes. While ICF funds are established to “primarily benefit” Idaho, we understand donors may have close ties with other communities throughout the country. Donors may recommend grants to qualified public charities throughout the country, although endowment funds must distribute 51% of annual grants to Idaho-based 501(c)3 nonprofit public charities under IRS Code Section 170, governmental entities (including special taxing districts), or public schools, per ICF’s Articles of Incorporation.

Click Here for more questions related to creating an ICF fund.