Frequently Asked Questions

What is a community foundation?

A community foundation is a tax-exempt public charity with a long-term goal of building permanent component funds, established by many separate donors to carry out their charitable interests, and supporting the broad-based charitable interests of, and benefiting the residents of, a defined geographic area.

What is an endowment?

When funds are placed in an endowment, they are invested, and only a percentage of the earnings is available for grantmaking. This enables the fund to provide a long-term, stable source of funding for the intended charitable purpose(s).

Which Communities do you serve?

Our core five-county service area (as determined by the 21st-Century Endowment Fund, the Foundation’s largest source for discretionary grants) includes:

  • Kentucky – Boyd and Greenup counties
  • Ohio – Lawrence County
  • West Virginia – Cabell and Wayne counties

Additionally, we have funds in Mingo County in West Virginia and Carter, Elliott, Lewis, Lawrence and Pike counties in Kentucky.

Where does the Foundation for Tri-State Community get money for grants?

Individuals, groups, businesses and organizations have donated to the Foundation for the purpose of grantmaking.

How do I apply for grants?

21st-Century Endowment Fund grants are available only to non-profit organizations serving our core five-county area: Lawrence County, Ohio, Cabell and Wayne counties, West Virginia, and Boyd and Greenup counties, Kentucky. Other competitive grant opportunities exist for specific fields of interest or geographic locations. Information about our competitive grant process may be found here.

Why should I consider a fund at the Foundation for the Tri-State Community instead of setting up my own private foundation?

Establishing a Donor-Advised Fund or Supporting Organization through the Foundation for the Tri-State Community may serve as a cost-effective alternative to creating a private foundation or administering an existing one. 

Why should I give through a community foundation instead of directly to the charities I love?

Your charitable goals may change as community needs shift or organizations cease to exist. A fund at a community foundation protects your charitable intent and your investment. Additionally, endowed funds enable you to provide a source of permanent support for your beloved organizations.

How much does it cost to start a fund?

There is no fee to set up a fund at the Foundation; however, endowment funds require a minimum of $10,000, and scholarship funds require a minimum of $25,000. The minimum amount may be achieved over a period of five years.

What kind of assets may I give?

Outright gifts of cash, real estate, securities and/or personal property may be donated. You may also make a bequest by will or trust or contribute life insurance or retirement plan assets. All gifts made to the Foundation for the Tri-State Community are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

May I establish an anonymous fund?

Yes, we are happy to protect the identity of donors who wish to give anonymously.

How are funds invested and managed?

Endowed Funds are invested by our Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee according to the guidelines detailed in our investment policy. Fourth Street Performance Partners consult with the committee to optimize the Foundation’s investment performance. Charles Schwab serves as the Master Custodian.