Donor Guide

The East Texas Communities Foundation is a collection of individual philanthropic funds created by members of the East Texas community for a wide variety of charitable purposes. Many donors choose to give through the Foundation because of the advantages a community foundation offers.

Fund Option Flowchart

The Foundation can manage virtually any type of gift for any charitable purpose. If you are a Donor Advisor to the Foundation, click here to download a Grant Recommendation Form.

Personalized Service
The Foundation is experienced in working with donors to design grantmaking tailored to their values and interests.

Through the Communities Foundation, donors can achieve the satisfaction of creating their own philanthropic fund while avoiding complex administrative burdens. Most funds can be established through a simple one-page governing document. Once a fund is established, there is no separate tax return to file, no federal investment requirements and no maximum distribution requirements. All grant paperwork, auditing, accounting and government reporting are handled for you by the Communities Foundation.

Foundation Within a Foundation
Affiliation with the Foundation offers the advantages of a private foundation without the attendant expense and time commitment. We relieve donors of the complications of administering their own foundations by assuming full responsibility for the efficient, prudent management of each fund entrusted to our care. Click here for a comparison of a fund at the Communities Foundation with the establishment of a private foundation.

Recognition or Anonymity
Funds may be established in the name of the donor, the donor's family, a friend, a business, a charitable purpose, or in the name of another organization, creating a permanent legacy that will be remembered for generations. All grants are made in the name of the fund as a lasting symbol of a donor's caring. Conversely, if the donor desires anonymity, the Foundation will carefully protect the donor's identity.

Community Impact
East Texas is served by hundreds of charitable agencies. The Communities Foundation is experienced in investigating needs, designing solutions and targeting dollars for the greatest impact.

Tax Benefits
As a public charity, a community foundation offers the highest level of tax deductions for income and estate tax purposes. Gifts of appreciated stock are deductible at full, fair-market value and receive 100% avoidance of capital gains tax.

Geographic Flexibility
The primary focus of the East Texas Communities Foundation is the East Texas area, where the Foundation has particular expertise in assessing community needs. However, donors may recommend that grants from a fund they have established go to nonprofit organizations in any community, provided that the Foundation can confirm the charitable status of the beneficiary.

Prudent Investment and Careful Stewardship
Under the authority of the Board of Directors, responsibility for Investment policy and manager selection rests with the Foundation's Investment Committee. Click here for detailed information on ETCF's investment policy and the current allocation of assets to the Foundation's investment portfolios. 

Annual reviews, through an independent audit, filing of tax returns, public disclosure of all grant activities and careful selection of Board members ensure continued use of funds in the public interest.

© East Texas Communities Foundation
315 N. Broadway, Suite 210 • Tyler, Texas
903-533-0208 • 1-866-533-ETCF