Making an investment in tomorrow, today...

Types of Funds

LICF Offers Four Types of Funds:

Unrestricted / Community Response funds leave discretion to the LICF’s governing board to use the donor’s gift to meet contemporary needs, forever. The donor allows the Foundation to direct the fund proceeds to critical Long Island needs through its professional grantmaking program.

Predicting the future is a risky business. If you want your philanthropy to continue after your lifetime, you're probably concerned whether your gift will meet the unimagined needs of generations to come.

An unrestricted fund is your insurance that your generosity will remain relevant. Future LICF boards and staff—who have a tradition of excellence to stand on — will make grants in your name in perpetuity that effectively deal with contemporary problems.

You can also set up an unrestricted fund now. If you want to give back to Long Island, but don't have the time to research the thousands of nonprofits that work here, our grantmaking staff is happy to do the legwork for you. We know the many needs on Long Island, and we know where private money can make a real difference. After our board approves grants, we'll let you know where they went.

Field-of-interest funds, we make grants to nonprofits to tackle issues of concern to the donor. The donor selects the general areas in which grants should be made (e.g., housing, the elderly, the Town of Hempstead, etc.) and leaves the selection of specific grant recipients to the Foundation’s professional staff based on their knowledge of current issues and organizations.

Field-of-interest funds are for people who have a particular area of charitable interest. They name the area—such as troubled youth—or choose a more specific focus—such as drug abuse or prevention of teen pregnancy.

Then LICF goes to work, researching and preparing a grant spending plan for that field of interest.The board double-checks proposed grants against your fund's purpose and any other guidelines you've provided. After each grant is made (with a voucher bearing the fund's name), our staff carefully monitors the results.

The advantage of a field-of-interest fund is that it keeps up with the times. Many of the issues now facing Long Island were not around 40 years ago, and neither were many of the nonprofit organizations addressing these new issues. Therefore, rather than locking your charitable contribution into a few specific charities, a field-of-interest fund will always be able to meet contemporary needs.

Donor-advised funds are legally unrestricted funds, but the donor recommends the organizations to receive grants.

Donor-advised funds allow donors to recommend that grants be made to charities of their choice. While the recommendations cannot be binding (under Internal Revenue Service rules the NYCT board has the final say), we take the suggestions very seriously. Under board guidelines, our staff reviews basic information provided by the charity to ensure that its fiscal affairs are in order and that it is actively serving the public. The NYCT board has established broad guidelines for suggestion approval, assuring rapid processing of each grant, which bears the name of your fund. We take care of all the record keeping and reporting.

Donor-advised funds offer several advantages. They give you:

  • the services of professional grantmaking, financial, and investment staff of a $2 billion institution.
  • an immediate tax deduction without having to make quick decisions about which charities you want to support.
  • the maximum deduction allowed by law.
  • the opportunity to build an endowment over time.
  • very modest fees.

Designated funds name specific nonprofits to receive grants, subject always to the variance power of The NYCT, which ensures that the fund remains relevant over time.

If you are firmly committed to supporting specific charities, you can make your gifts directly to those charities, but a designated fund may be preferable for some donors. You may name the charity or charities you'd like to benefit; we take care of the investments, and regularly pay grants to the charities you've 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 through 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 The NYCT board will carefully review the facts before recommending any change to the full board.

Note: Combinations of these fund types are also possible. And donors can elect to devote a percentage of fund proceeds to the LICF's community response grantmaking.

Long Island Community Foundation | A Division of The New York Community Trust
900 Walt Whitman Road | (Rt. 110) Suite 205 | Melville, NY 11747
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