Frequently Asked Questions
• What is the Marion Community Foundation?
Marion Community Foundation is a non-profit Ohio corporation. It is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity and, therefore, is tax-exempt. It is a philanthropic organization supported and created by the public to enhance the quality of life in Marion County (Ohio). Donors create endowed funds with Marion Community Foundation. Marion Community Foundation invests and manages the donors’ funds, using the income for charitable purposes suggested by the donors.
• What is an endowment?
An endowment at Marion Community Foundation is a charitable fund that lasts forever. Generally, the principal is invested and the growth generated by it is used by Marion Community Foundation to bestow charitable grants and scholarships.
• Who governs Marion Community Foundation?
Marion Community Foundation is a local organization governed by a board of directors — 15 dedicated volunteers who live or work in Marion County. The Board is comprised of attorneys, educators, financial experts, and business professionals who live and work in the Marion area and have the community’s best interest at heart. Directors serve 3-year terms which are renewable.
• Is there a minimum dollar amount needed to create new funds?
A contribution of $5,000 is required to create most types of funds; $10,000 is required to create a scholarship fund. Funds can also be established with less and added to over time; known as Acorn Funds. Similarly, Legacy funds can be created with as little as $100 and added to in the future through estate and planned giving. Both of these options begin making awards when the minimum contribution is reached. And, a gift of any size can be added to any existing fund.
• Is it difficult to create a fund?
No, actually, it’s quite easy. If you have a financial plan to create a fund and a charitable goal, we can create a vehicle for you to do good things forever. We would be happy to meet and work with you and your professional advisors.
• Are contributions to Marion Community Foundation tax deductible?
Yes. Since Marion Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity, donors can enjoy the maximum tax advantages allowed by law.
• Can I contribute assets other than cash to Marion Community Foundation?
Yes. An outright gift of cash is the most common form of gift; however, securities, real estate and personal property, as well as other forms of assets, can also be donated. In fact, gifts of appreciated securities and other property can provide extra tax advantages. Call us at (740) 387-9704 to find out more.
• Can I make a contribution to Marion Community Foundation even if I don’t want to establish a fund of my own?
Yes. Anyone can make a gift of any size to any existing fund. You may search our list of existing funds here.
• Can I create a fund at Marion Community Foundation through my will or estate plan?
Yes. We can help you and your professional advisors with opportunities and suggested language. Foundation President/CEO, Dean L. Jacob, has been an attorney since 1986. His legal experience and familiarity with local professional advisors make the process easier for donors and their professional advisors.
• How does Marion Community Foundation invest and manage its funds?
Marion Community Foundation’s investment decisions are governed by an Investment Policy, which was carefully crafted by the Foundation’s Investment Committee and Chief Investment Officer. Marion Community Foundation has hired investment advisors to manage its assets in accordance with the terms of the Investment Policy. The Investment Committee and Chief Investment Officer continually monitor the performance of the investment advisors. It is our fiduciary responsibility to make certain that our donors’ endowed funds last forever.
• Will my fund be safe at Marion Community Foundation?
Yes. A carefully crafted Spending Policy determines how much your fund will spend for charitable grants and scholarships. It assures that the fund will last forever, but spend as much as fiscally reasonable for causes that are important to you. Our Investment Policy assures that your gifts will be invested prudently and wisely. Marion Community Foundation undergoes a full audit every year by an independent auditing firm. Marion Community Foundation is managed by an experienced and dedicated staff, and is governed by a Board of Directors that takes its fiduciary responsibilities very seriously.
• When are grants and scholarships awarded?
Marion Community Foundation awards grants from its endowment funds year-round, according to the wishes of the fund creators. A competitive Community Grants Program is offered once a year, awarding upwards of $350,000; this application period is June-July and awards are made in September. The Scholarship Program has an annual application period in January-February, with awards announced in late May and paid in August for the upcoming academic year.
• Is information about donors and gifts confidential?
Yes. Click HERE to see our Policy on Confidentiality.
• What is your policy regarding active grant activity by donor advised funds?
Click HERE to see our Donor Advised Funds Policy.