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Types of Funds

We offer flexible, effective, and rewarding way to accomplish your client's philanthropic goals.

Unrestricted Funds

Predicting the future is a risky business. Clients who want their philanthropy to continue after their lifetime probably want their gift to meet the needs of generations to come.

An unrestricted fund that will support a range of New York City nonprofits is their insurance that their generosity will remain relevant. Future Trust boards and staff—who have a tradition of excellence to stand on—will make grants in their name in perpetuity that effectively deal with contemporary problems.

Your client can also set up an unrestricted fund now. If the donor wants to give back to the City, but doesn't have the time to research the more than 40,000 nonprofits that work here, our grantmaking staff is happy to do the legwork. We know the many needs in the City, and we know where private money can make a real difference. After our board approves grants, we'll let your client know where they went.

Field-of-Interest Funds

Field-of-interest funds are for people who have a particular area of charitable interest. They name the area—such as youth or the environment—or choose a more specific focus—such as drug abuse or prevention of teen pregnancy. They might create a fund to benefit the arts, or, as one donor did, further narrow the purpose to support training for talented, disadvantaged young artists.

Then we go to work, researching and preparing a grant spending plan for that field of interest. Our board double-checks proposed grants against your client's fund purpose and any other guidelines you've given us. After we make each grant (with a voucher bearing the fund's name), we carefully monitor the results.

The advantage of a field-of-interest fund is that it keeps up with the times. The arts will always depend on private philanthropy, and we'll always have to be concerned about our young people. But many new and exciting arts groups have sprung up all over the City and obstacles confronting today's youth aren't the same as those facing kids 40 years ago. Rather than locking a charitable contribution into a few specific charities, a field-of-interest fund will always be able to meet contemporary needs.

Donor-Advised Funds

Your client makes grant recommendations to charities of their choice; we vet the nonprofits, write the checks, and handle the reporting. While the recommendations can't be binding (under Internal Revenue Service rules our board—and the boards of similar organizations—has the final say), we take the suggestions very seriously. Our board has established broad guidelines for suggestion approval, assuring rapid processing of each grant, which bears the name of your client's fund.

Donor-advised funds offer several advantages. They give your client:

  • The services of professional grantmaking, financial, and experienced investment staff.
  • An immediate tax deduction without having to make quick decisions about which charities to support;
  • The maximum deduction allowed by law;
  • The opportunity to build an endowment over time;
  • Modest fees.

    Although community foundations were started to administer permanent charitable funds set up through wills, The Trust pioneered donor-advised funds in 1931.
  • Meet some of our donors

Designated Funds

If your client is firmly committed to supporting specific charities, she should consider making his gifts directly to those charities. But a designated fund may be preferable for some donors. Your clients may name the charity or charities they'd like to benefit; we take care of the investments, and regularly pay grants to the charities named.

If the charity goes out of business, changes its mission, or should a future board determine that circumstances have changed so as to "render unnecessary, undesirable, impractical, or impossible continued support," we'll redirect funds to other charities without losing time or depleting the fund by expensive court proceedings. This authority of our board, called the variance power, is an attractive feature to donors who have established funds in perpetuity and donors who have set up funds for narrow purposes but understand that the future is unpredictable. A committee of our board will carefully review the facts before recommending any change to the full board.

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The New York Community Trust is a 501(c)3 public charity.