Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use the Idaho Community Foundation for my charitable giving?
Giving through ICF is more than a financial transaction. Our staff have a deep love for Idaho, and we can help you succeed in your philanthropy. Your giving experience through ICF will be rewarding, fun and easy.

Why should I create a fund at the Idaho Community Foundation instead of donating directly to an organization?
A charitable giving fund at ICF allows you to be strategic with your giving. You’ll have opportunities to use ICF’s deep community knowledge to give to the organizations that will meet your philanthropic goals.

A single large gift can be an administrative burden to an organization and distract from their ability to accomplish their programmatic work. Grants from your charitable giving fund can be distributed over time and the recipient will be able to rely on the funding year after year.

ICF completes due diligence before we distribute grants. If the community organization(s) ceases to exist or is not in good standing as a qualified nonprofit, we will share that information with you. For funds created by estate gifts, we will find a replacement(s) doing similar work in the same community. You don’t have the same guarantee when you make a large, direct gift to an organization.

How is setting up an Idaho Community Foundation fund different than setting up a Donor Advised Fund at a financial institution?
People who create a Donor Advised Funds (DAF) at the community foundation are active and engaged in their community. They come to us because they want to deepen their understanding of community needs and connect with the organizations making an impact.

Giving through ICF is more than a financial transaction. Our staff have a deep love for Idaho, and we want to help our donors succeed in their philanthropy. We make the giving experience rewarding, fun and easy.

What if the organization I designate to receive grants after I pass away 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 the 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 trust to fund research to find a cure for polio or cancer after a cure is found.

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

How will my charitable giving fund be invested?
Our Investment Subcommittee and investment consultants are experienced, dedicated professionals who ensure our charitable investments are managed responsibly. Learn more about our financial stewardship.

How long does it take to set up a fund?
An ICF fund can be established quickly if you know your charitable goals and which assets you 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, schools and 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.