Grantmaking with NCCF

General policy
The North Carolina Community Foundation’s standard policy is to distribute 5% of the fund’s average balance (less any outstanding pledges) annually. All fund advisors are sent an annual year end grant-making packet in February of each year indicating the amount available for spending based on the current 5% payout rate. The fund’s primary contact should fill out the form and return it to the Foundation. Advisors who do not wish to make a payout in any given year in favor of endowment growth are permitted to do so for up to five years. Funds established after Oct. 1 in any given year typically do not receive a distribution in the following year to avoid invasion of principal.

Contributions to enable additional distributions
Donors may make contributions to an endowed fund, which would enable additional distributions to be made beyond the Foundation’s 5% annual recommended payout. Such information needs to be noted in writing when the contribution is made.

Minimum grant distributions
The Foundation’s current minimum grant distribution is $100.

Where grants may be made
The Foundation makes distributions to organizations in any geographic region of North Carolina and outside of North Carolina if stated criteria are met. We make grants wherever the donor requests for donor advised funds if stated criteria are met.

Tax-exempt status determination
Members of the Foundation staff research the beneficiary organization to determine that it is recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)3 or similar organization and that it is in general good standing in the charitable community. Foundation staff will contact the fund advisor if basic criteria are not met.

Completing the recommendation for charitable distributions form
To initiate the process of recommending a grant from your fund, complete the Recommendations for Charitable Distributions Form sent to you annually in your year-end grantmaking packet sent in February. If you would like assistance locating nonprofit programs within your field of interest, please contact the grants and scholarships department.

Grant check processing
The Foundation distributes grant checks every two weeks from Feb. 1 – Dec. 15 each year. Checks to nonprofit organizations are accompanied by a letter from the Foundation indicating the fund name as well as the donor’s name and address (unless anonymity has been requested) as well as the project name or program area for the designated funds.

Due diligence
All charities receiving grants must complete a report form and submit it to the Foundation within 60 business days of receiving the grant. If there is sufficient evidence to believe that a grant has not been used for the specified purpose, the Foundation will request that funds be returned to the Foundation immediately. If there is an organization with an outstanding grant report, no grant will be made to that organization until the obligation is fulfilled. Discrepancies or irregularities in the recipient’s handling of distribution(s) will be reported to the donor.

Extraordinary distributions
An extraordinary distribution is a request for a distribution greater than the standard 5% spending rule and considered an exception rather than the norm. Extraordinary distribution requests must be made in writing and addressed to the President/CEO of the Foundation and will be routed to the Grants Committee of the board of directors of the North Carolina Community Foundation. For more information about the extraordinary distribution process and the steps required to submit a request, please contact the NCCF President and CEO.

Supporting our fundholders
If you have questions regarding your fund, the grantmaking process, contributions to your endowment or the Foundation in general, please call our main number at 919-828-4387, and we'll assist or connect you with the right contact.

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