What is the difference between setting up a charitable fund through an investment firm and establishing a fund at Cobb Community Foundation?

Many of the differences are addressed in other questions on this page.  The most important difference, however, is that charitable funds established with any community foundation allow the foundation to support the community overall.


How do I justify the higher fee charged by community foundations over commercial charitable fund providers?

A community foundation’s fees not only pay for the services provided (see next question), they also pay for the work done in the community, such as creating and raising the funds for a community impact fund that will help local non-profits provide needed services.   Some community foundations even refer to their fees as an “administrative contribution”.  To the extent these fees to do not cover the community foundation’s operating expenses, they are forced to raise funds to meet those expenses.  While community foundation employees are generally natural fundraisers, they would much rather be raising dollars for community programs and organizations than for their own operating expenses.


How do your services differ from those provided through a commercial charitable fund provider?

We do much more than provide the check writing services of a gift fund at a brokerage. We work with you and your client to identify the causes that are important to them, then connect them with the organizations in our community that are making a difference. We develop personal relationships with our donors that create a level of flexibility that often does not exist at larger organizations, and we also create opportunities for our donors to meet other donors to learn how they are making the most of their relationship with Cobb Community Foundation.


Do you offer charitable fund types that are not available through commercial charitable fund providers?

Yes, in addition to donor-advised funds, we offer scholarship funds, designated funds, field of interest funds and unrestricted funds, all of which are eligible recipients of Qualified Charitable Distributions from IRAs, whereas donor-advised funds are not.  It’s not uncommon for us to determine that one of these other types of funds are more consistent with your clients’ objectives than a donor-advised fund.


If my client establishes at fund at Cobb Community Foundation, can I continue to manage their assets?

For funds in excess of $250,000, the fundholder may recommend a particular investment manager for their fund.  Our Investment Committee will then review the investment process utilized by the recommended investment manager and the investment policy for the relevant fund(s) and will ultimately make the determination of whether or not the manager will be engaged.  To date, all recommended investment managers have been approved.


What are the advantages of creating a Donor-Advised Fund (what we call “Giving Fund”) at Cobb Community Foundation over a private foundation?

A fund with Cobb Community Foundation offers the advantages of a private foundation without most of the expense and hassle. As a public charity, we offer donors the maximum charitable tax deductions available, without the limitations imposed on charitable contributions to private foundations.  Compare and contrast private foundations to Donor-Advised Funds here.


Have more questions?  Please contact Barbara Garner, Donor Services Manager at Barbara@cobbfoundation.org or 770-859-2359 and we will be glad to post them to this page.