What is the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan?
The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan is a tax exempt, non-profit, publicly supported, philanthropic institution with the long-term goal of building permanent, named funds for the broad based charitable benefit of the individuals and families in the region. Funds are established through contributions from individuals, families, businesses or 501(c)3 organizations, each one with its own specific purpose. The Foundation’s Board of Directors oversees these funds in perpetuity, to ensure that donor’s intentions are honored, now and forever.
The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan received accreditation with the nation’s highest standard for philanthropic excellence in 2014. National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations™ establish legal, ethical, effective practices for community foundations. The rigorous accreditation process provides quality assurance to donors and to their legal and financial advisors.
The common mission of every community foundation is to enhance the quality of life in the local area. Community foundations carry out this very broad mission by building a permanent endowment fund and using the annual income to support a variety of local nonprofit organizations through grants and special projects.
Most community foundation assets are held in separate funds established by local individuals, families, businesses, or charitable institutions. Each fund may have a special purpose, but the foundation board of directors, representing the community, oversees them all. The IRS recognizes community foundations as public charities in part because they receive support from the general public and their boards broadly represent the areas served.
- Through the community foundation’s finance committee it makes investment decisions for all funds
- Through its staff it handles all tax filings, bookkeeping, and grants processing
Because of this and other built-in “safeguards” of the community foundation model, the IRS permits each fund established in a community foundation to qualify as a “component fund” of it. In effect, that means that each fund qualifies as a publicly-supported, non-profit 501(c)3 organization unto itself. It becomes, as it were, a “foundation within a foundation.” In turn, the advantage of public-charity status gives donors maximum tax benefits for all their donations.
This flexibility allows us to serve a wider group of potential donors on the one hand and, on the other, a wider group of non-profit organizations whom we consider our partners in improving local communities.
Area non-profits benefit from having a local Community Foundation because the Community Foundation helps money stay in a community. Community Foundations benefit local non-profits in other ways, too: besides having local grant money available, some non-profits ask the Community Foundation to manage an endowment on their own behalf. We call such funds “agency endowment funds.”
As it grows, a Community Foundation gradually becomes the center for all charitable giving in a community. We help make connections between the people who want to give and the people who need their support.
Scholarship awards are made payable to the institution the recipient is attending on his/her behalf.