Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What is the Austin Community Foundation?
- Is a community foundation a new kind of charity?
- Who sets up funds at the ACF?
- What are the advantages of donating to ACF?
- What is the difference between ACF and United Way of Central Texas?
- What is the difference between setting up a private foundation and creating a donor advised fund at ACF?
- What is the difference between setting up a gift fund through my investment firm and establishing a fund at ACF?
- What kinds of assets can be used to set up a fund at the community foundation?
What is Austin Community Foundation?
Austin Community Foundation is a nonprofit tax-exempt charitable organization created to serve the residents of Central Texas. Our mission is to meet needs in Austin and surrounding counties through philanthropy, education and information.
With our philanthropic partners, the Community Foundation supports nonprofit organizations and public institutions with funds for many areas of community life: arts and culture, education, environment, and health and human services. We also administer educational scholarships.
The Community Foundation provides you with simple, convenient and flexible way to make a positive difference, now and far into the future. The +1,000 charitable funds we manage for individuals, families, and corporations together constitute an endowment of more than $120 million. A gift through ACF receives maximum tax deductions, outstanding investment managment and very low administrative costs.
Is a community foundation a new kind of charity?
No-but you might think so, because of its growing popularity in recent years. In fact, the first community foundation was established in Cleveland in 1914. Austin Community Foundation was established in 1977. Today we join a field of more than 700 community foundations across the United States, with combined assets of approximately $45 billion.
Who sets up funds at the Austin Community Foundation?
Most funds managed at the Austin Community Foundation are set up by individuals, some wealthy, others of more modest means. What these people have in common is a desire to give back to their community- whether it's protecting the environment, honoring the memory of someone they loved, setting up a scholarship fund to help students in need, supporting local arts organizations, or funding any other charitable cause imaginable.
What are the advantages of donating to ACF?
ACF allows individuals and families to establish a customized charitable fund without being burdened by the tax liabilities and administrative hassles associated with setting up a private foundation. Everyone who creates a fund can personalize their giving. At the same time, funds are pooled for investment management purposes to minimize costs and achieve a greater return, making it possible for smaller individual fund to enjoy the same economies of scale as a large independent foundation.
What is the difference between ACF and United Way of Central Texas?
While our organizations share a dedication to serving the people of Central Texas, we do so in distinct, often complimentary ways. Put simply, United Way raises funds for current community needs, and ACF serves donors and builds endowment for current and future community needs.
What is the difference between setting up a private foundation and creating a donor advised fund at ACF?
Creating a private foundation subjects you to a number of regulatory requirements, such as undertaking an exemption application to the IRS, as well as ongoing administrative and fiduciary responsibilities, reduced charitable deductions and a lack of privacy. ACF makes philanthropy easy. We are a public charity, so the regulations, taxes and administrative requirements required to establish and manage a private foundation do not apply to us.
What is the difference between setting up a gift fund through my investment firm and establishing a fund at ACF?
At ACF, we provide much more than the check writing services of a gift fund at a brokerage house. One of the most significant advantages to setting up a fund with us is our commitment to our donors. We provide custom research on nonprofit organizations or issue areas at your request. We will also meet with you individually to help develop a strategic approach to grantmaking. If you are interested in learning more about these personalized services, please contact us.
What kind of assets can be used to set up a fund at the Austin Community Foundation?
One of the distinct advantages of working with a community foundation is our flexibility. As a general rule, a community foundation can accept any type of asset as long as it is marketable and is not encumbered by an unusual liability. Most often, funds are started through a gift of cash, real estate, and closely held stock-but, we may accept gifts for artwork, intellectual property and other personal assests.
There are also several convenient financial vehicles for setting up a fund at the Austin Commuity Foundation with different benefits. We offer charitable trusts, and several ways to use retirement funds to reduce estate taxes, provide for income to heirs and establish a charitable legacy. Our philanthropic services staff are experts in planned giving options, and can help you identify the one that best suits your needs.
More questions? Contact us at 512-472-4483 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.