Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use the Idaho Community Foundation for my charitable giving?

The Idaho Community Foundation makes charitable giving easy by providing a variety of endowed and non-endowed funds to suit your style of giving. Additional benefits include tax advantages, a professionally managed portfolio, and access to the support and expertise of our professional staff.

Why should I create a fund at the Idaho Community Foundation instead of donating directly to an organization?

Our endowed funds provide permanent support to the organizations you care about most. Even after you’ve passed away, your favorite organizations will still receive grants from your fund.

In addition, our staff performs due diligence on each organization. If an organization is out of compliance, we will find an Idaho organization with a similar mission for your grantmaking.

Our Donor Advised Funds allow you to give directly to an organization when you make your grant recommendations.

How is setting up an Idaho Community Foundation fund different than setting up a Donor Advised Fund at a financial institution?

The Idaho Community Foundation is a public nonprofit foundation that is solely based in Idaho and we provide personalized services when establishing your fund and making grants from it.

Our staff is knowledgeable about local needs and the organizations that can help fill them. We can work with you to ensure your grantmaking fulfills your personal philanthropy.

What if the organization I designate to receive grants ceases to exist in the future? Or if the charitable cause I select becomes obsolete?

An important distinguishing feature of a community foundation is “variance power,” which gives a community foundation the ability to change the charitable purpose of a fund if circumstances have sufficiently changed to make the original restriction inappropriate.

The easiest case for exercising variance power is when a charity that was the beneficiary of a designated fund goes out of existence. Through its monitoring function, a community foundation can exercise the variance power if it determines that a charity has significantly changed the nature of its operations. It can also exercise the variance power if the purpose becomes obsolete. For example, a fund that provides grants to research a cure for polio after a cure has been found.

Variance power is given to community foundations by U.S. Treasury Regulations.

How long does it take to set up a fund?

An ICF fund can be established in less than a day if a donor knows their charitable goals and which assets they will use to create it.

May I set up an anonymous fund?


How will you protect the information I give you?

The Idaho Community Foundation has a Confidentiality Policy that states we will not discuss or disclose donor records, donor financial statements or any other information without the authorization of ICF’s President/CEO or the President/CEO’s designee.

Can additional donations be made to a fund once it’s created?

Yes, anyone can make new donations at any time of any size. All donations are eligible for a tax deduction.

What types of organizations may I recommend for grants?

Any qualified nonprofit public charity, school and/or some governmental entities may receive grants.

What happens to my fund when I pass away?

For Designated and Forever Idaho funds, we will continue to follow the instructions listed in the fund agreement.

For endowed Donor Advised Funds, you may name successor advisors to make grant recommendations and continue your family’s legacy of giving. Or you can convert your Donor Advised Fund to a Designated or Forever Idaho fund upon your passing.

For non-endowed Donor Advised Funds, any remaining fund balance will be distributed according to the instructions you provided when you established the fund.

How can I get my children involved?

If your children are 18 or older, you can name them as advisors on your Donor Advised Fund. You can also name them successor advisors.