Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use ETCF to help with my charitable giving?

There are several reasons. With ETCF you can give forever, qualify for tax savings, receive management and investment services, rely on full accountability and have access to resources that will help identify grants recipients that best match your interests. Giving through the Foundation also allows you to give with an East Texas focus.

What are the tax benefits of giving with ETCF?

Because we are a community foundation, ETCF is a fully tax-exempt nonprofit under Section 501(c)(3), a publicly supported organization under Section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) and “not a private foundation” under Section 509 (a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code. This creates the potential for the greatest possible charitable deductions. As a community foundation, funds managed by ETCF are consolidated for reporting purposes, and therefore are not subject to excise taxes and other management and reporting requirements which apply to private foundations.

How do I know that ETCF is financially accountable?

An independent audit of the Foundation is conducted annually and presented to the Board of Directors for discussion and approval. The Foundation also files an information return annually which is available for public inspection. Aggregate financial information is publicly disclosed, which allows individual donor financial information to remain confidential. As an advisor to your fund, you receive a financial report on your fund quarterly.

What kinds of funds can I create with ETCF?

This depends on many factors, including whether or not you would like to have an ongoing involvement in the distribution of your fund, and whether your charitable interests are broad or specific. It also depends on how permanent you wish your fund to be. Please see fund types for descriptions on various types of funds available at ETCF.

What is the difference between a permanent fund and a pass-through fund?

In a permanent endowment fund, principal remains in the fund to generate earnings for distributions year after year. A pass-through or impermanent fund permits principal as well as earnings to be distributed from time to time. You can always change an impermanent fund’s status to permanent later.

Who administers these assets?

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 in the Foundation’s Investment Portfolio.

What fees are charged to the funds?

Administrative fees range from .25% to 1.5% annually depending on the nature and size of the fund. The policy governing each fund type has a detailed description of how fees are charged for each particular fund. Investment fees are charged based on the type of investment portfolio selected to meet your charitable objectives.

What information can donors expect to receive?

Donors who create funds at ETCF receive the Foundation’s Annual Report and newsletters as well as regular statements showing income to and grant payments from the funds they have established with us.  They may also meet with members of our staff and consultants to discuss any aspect of charitable giving.

In what ways are funds distributed from individual component funds to the community?

The Foundation distributes funds through competitive grants, nonprofit endowment funds, scholarships and at the recommendation of donor advisors.

Do I have to establish the fund in my name?

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 the donor’s intent. Conversely, if the donor desires anonymity, the Foundation will carefully protect the donor’s identity.