Warm fall sunset over water

Advisor FAQs

Below is a list of common questions about Whidbey Community Foundation. If you have additional questions, please contact Jessie Gunn at (360) 660-5041.

What is Whidbey Community Foundation? What do you do?

Whidbey Community Foundation is a nonprofit that helps people just like you support all of your charitable interests by helping you create a customized, personal fund. It’s easy, and all of our endowed funds are carefully invested to ensure your generosity will last for generations.

How is the Foundation different from a private foundation?

Private foundations have one donor who puts the money in, and directs how and to whom grants are distributed. One fund with one donor’s intention. Whidbey Community Foundation is a collection of over 28 funds (and growing), each with its own unique purpose, and our job is to oversee and administer each of those funds in accordance with the donor’s intent. And, tax laws are more favorable to community foundations.

How is the Foundation different from other NPOs?

While most nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are very specific, mission-driven organizations, the Foundation’s mission is broader – we can help you support all of your charitable interests, whether they are health and human services, arts and culture, education, the environment or climate causes. You’re able to make one gift and support many causes.

Why should someone give through the Foundation?

We can craft your unique charitable fund in a way that it will forever honor your charitable intent. You can do much more through a fund here than with an outright donation towards a single mission. And leaving your lasting legacy through a fund at the Foundation is simple and impacts your favorite causes for generations.

Can family members be involved in a Community Foundation Fund?

Children, grandchildren, siblings or other trusted individuals may be named to the fund’s advisory committee. When the advisory period ends, the fund will perpetually support your clients’ specific charitable interests.

Can fund distributions be anonymous?

Yes, every grant can be made anonymously, or on a grant-by-grant basis.

Can someone other than the Foundation manage investment of my client’s funds?

Yes, a client may recommend the services of an investment advisor of their choosing, provided that the investment advisor is approved by our board and complies with our investment policies.

What services does the Foundation provide?

The Foundation provides all the planning to help you create your fund, including drafting the fund agreement that governs the terms and conditions of your gift. All IRS reporting and fund accounting, as well as performing the required due diligence on your requested grants is provided. If desired, we can also provide you with information on area nonprofits, causes, and issues that you want to learn more about. We can provide you with complete anonymity for all or certain grants from your fund, if you wish. All of these services are covered by the Foundation’s basic administrative fee.

Why does Whidbey Community Foundation charge fees?

An administrative fee is nothing more than an investment you’re making in the Foundation that allows it to administer your fund and support the work we do in our community. Your fee allows us to: provide a tax deduction, insure compliance with ever-changing laws, provide transparent fund accounting, process gifts and grants, provide community leadership, and manage endowment investments. Unlike when you invest with a large, national company, your fee stays here in the community. We know the needs of this community and you help us provide leadership and support on important local issues and we work every day to ensure your fund does what you want it do. And that’s a wise investment!

How does the Foundation invest the funds?

Whidbey Community Foundation uses a professional investment manager who abides by our investment policy and commitment to our donors that their funds will last in perpetuity. We invest your endowed funds in a manner designed to keep pace with inflation and allow the fund to grow over time – 10, 50, 100 years from now, your fund will be providing a growing stream of revenue for your favorite causes.

What are the minimum amounts for setting up a fund at Whidbey Community Foundation?

A donor-advised can be established with a $5,000 contribution, and can take up to 5 years to reach the $25,000 minimum for funds.

How quickly can a fund be set up?

A fund can be set up in one or two days. The process is very simple, and we need only to have a signed fund agreement from your client to set up a new fund. The fund will be formally established and available for grantmaking after charitable gifts have been transferred to the Community Foundation. To begin the process, contact Jessie Gunn at (360) 660-5041 or jessieg@whidbeyfoundation.org.