Individuals, families, corporations, institutions or nonprofit organizations may establish funds with the NCCF. We offer our donors many ways to meet their charitable goals. Most NCCF funds operate as perpetual endowments.

What is an endowment?

An endowment is a permanent fund from which only the income is distributed.  The fund is invested and continues to grow through sound stewardship, and your cause/nonprofit continues to derive a perpetual and ever-increasing amount of income.

Donor advised funds allow the donor to make recommendations as to how distributions (grants) from the fund are spent. Although federal tax law requires that the Foundation make the ultimate decisions on grant distributions, the NCCF makes every effort to follow donors’ wishes. Donor advised funds operate much like a private foundation – but without the expense and tax-reporting requirements. Read more about donor advised funds.

Field-of-interest funds are established to support unspecified programs or organizations in a general field of interest important to the donor, such as education, historic preservation, children, the elderly, the environment or arts and culture.   

Designated funds are established by the donor to benefit one or more specific organizations or programs. If a designated organization ceases to exist, the NCCF works with the donor or representative to identify a similar program to maintain the spirit of the original charitable intent.

Agency funds are established by a nonprofit organization to provide an annual source of income to support the organization’s mission. An organization placing its endowment with the NCCF directly benefits from inclusion in a large portfolio with access to experienced investment managers and administration of endowment services. Read more about agency funds.

Scholarship funds provide grants for educational purposes at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Donors may recommend an academic focus for their scholarship fund (such as nursing, the arts or engineering) and eligibility criteria (including financial need, academic merit, geographic residence and/or community service). Read more about scholarship funds.

Unrestricted funds are distributed for charitable purposes at the discretion of the NCCF’s affiliate or statewide board of directors. These important funds give the NCCF the flexibility to respond quickly to emerging community needs and shifting priorities.

North Carolina Community Foundation operating funds are endowments established to strengthen and support our continued philanthropic services to the community throughout North Carolina. These funds are separate from all other funds and may be added to through donations.

Non-endowed gift funds are established by donors with no intent to preserve the principal. A donor may establish a gift fund and recommend distributions of the entire amount to a desired charitable beneficiary or cause immediately or over time. Non-endowed gift funds are not set up for long-term growth. Generally, the NCCF will only establish a non-endowed gift fund in connection with an associated endowment. The exception to this practice is a donor advised fund.

How it works

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