Types of Funds

A “fund” is a vehicle for a specific charitable purpose.  Donors or organizations set up a fund with the Community Foundation and can then make decisions on how the distributions from the fund are used.

There are several types of charitable funds available to support your giving goals. You can either provide a gift to an existing fund, aligning your charitable goals with your personal financial situation (there are no gift minimums for contributions to established funds), or you can establish a new fund to help you achieve your philanthropic goals and to leave a personal legacy. 

Our staff can help you choose one or more funds that match your charitable intent.  With over 250 different funds under management, the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation has something for everyone.​

Any of the following types of funds may be established during the donor’s lifetime or through the donor’s estate plan. 

Current Funds

Please click the Funds List link below to see the complete list of funds managed by the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation or the Donate Now link to donate to a specific fund.

Donor Advised Funds

A Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is a giving vehicle that provides the donor with immediate tax benefits and allows them to support the charities they care about through grant recommendations.  Individuals, corporations, families, or committees who establish a DAF advise our staff throughout the year on their desired grantmaking. Donor advised funds are a low-cost, flexible giving vehicle that is easy to establish. 

Some benefits of the Community Foundation handling the management of the DAF is that it offers administrative convenience; the donor has the opportunity to name the fund after themselves or in honor of someone else; donors can give anonymously; and there is also no annual minimum distribution  requirements.

With a donor advised fund, the donor gives assets to the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation, who will steward the fund. The donor evaluates and recommends grantees/nonprofits with the assistance of the Community Foundation. Once the grantee/nonprofit is decided on, the Community Foundation distributes the grants from the fund to the eligible grantee/nonprofit.

If you would like to have more information about donor advised funds, please call us at 218-999-9100.

Field of Interest Funds

These funds are often established to support specific interests, issues or concerns of an individual or organization. To honor the donor’s wishes, use of the funds is restricted to a specified field of interest.  A field of interest fund is similar to an unrestricted fund (see below), except that with a field of interest fund, the donor specifies a general area of use when the fund is established.  The donor does not reserve an ongoing advisory role.

This fund area is designed for those who make their connections through the arts. Through grants, scholarships, and endowments, these funds foster diverse forms of supporting arts and humanities through educational opportunities, performances, and programs that enhance individuals, families, and our community.

Individuals, organizations and families connect to our community, and each other, through projects and other service-related initiatives of volunteers, agencies and businesses.

People and organizations in this area understand the importance of connecting through education. Through scholarships, grants, programs and endowments, these types of funds provide a significant resource to make a meaningful and lasting educational impact on the lives of individuals and our entire community.

Many families and organizations connect to our environment. This fund area is for people and organizations dedicated to ensuring the quality of our lakes, rivers and forests.

This fund area is intended to reach organizations and people who connect through quality health care. The funds, grants and scholarships offered here provide concrete programs, education and resources which address the unique needs of wellness and well-being in this rural setting of the Greater Itasca Area.

We all live, work and play together in our community. Organizations and donors in this fund area provide support and resources to programs that enable us to connect to each other and our world in a safe and peaceful manner.

Recreation and caring for animals is an important part of enjoying our life here in the Greater Itasca Area. We are fortunate to have an abundance of outdoor spaces that enable recreation year-round. From grooming snowmobile trails to encouraging students to enter the field of veterinary care, these funds enable our families to enjoy being and playing together.

This fund area focuses on the importance of our local economy and workforce. Providing grants and scholarships that strengthen our current and future workforce is important to maintain a vibrant community that supports jobs and careers for individuals and families right here at home.

Youth are our future.  Donors and agencies in this fund area center their attention on supporting youth and young adult programs in the Greater Itasca Area.

Unrestricted Funds

These funds are not designated for use by a particular agency, cause or area of interest. These funds allow the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation the greatest flexibility to respond to the current and future needs of the Greater Itasca Area in Northern Minnesota.

Scholarship Funds

Donors work with our staff to establish objective criteria by which scholarship recipients will be selected;  criteria can include a variety of options.  Our staff will handle the necessary paperwork, oversee a selection committee to evaluate applicants, and ensure that the scholarship award is distributed to each recipient’s college/university/technical college.

Endowment Funds

An endowed fund is a permanent fund with sustainable distributions for charitable purposes. The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation provides a home for endowed funds established by nonprofit organizations as a way of providing for their own long-term sustainability. 

Like donor designated funds, nonprofit organization endowments return annual distributions to that nonprofit while the principal continues to grow. Any nonprofit can enjoy the benefit of the Community Foundation’s investment policies and practices for bequest gifts, or for funds set aside for long-term investment. Income from endowments is one way for a nonprofit to diversify revenue.

Why it makes sense

Endowments are at the heart of our mission, so we’re a responsible choice for smaller organizations that want to concentrate on their missions. The Foundation has an impressive track record through its 25 years, making us a good partner for organizations of any size. Because all funds are commingled for investment, we offer to every organization the diversification of risk of a well-balanced $30 million portfolio. Rigorous attention is given to benchmarks and the close monitoring of funds, whether your assets are $25,000 or $2.5 million. 

Supporting an organization

Contributing to an organization’s existing endowment at our Community Foundation is a way for individuals to invest — at any level — in that organization’s future.  

Current organizational endowments at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation

  • Advocates for Family Peace
  • Bridges Mentoring
  • Bigfork Lions
  • Bigfork Valley Hospital
  • Children’s Discovery Museum
  • Deer River Activity Boosters
  • Deer River Area Community
  • Deer River School
  • Delbert Matteson Second Harvest North Central Food Bank
  • District 318
  • Edge Center
  • ElderCircle
  • Friends of the Forest History Center
  • Ginny Wilcox – for the Arts
  • Grace Christian School
  • Grand Itasca Foundation
  • Grand Rapids Area Library Foundation
  • Grand Rapids Area Library Foundation Children’s Library
  • Grand Rapids Band
  • Greater Itasca Area
  • Greenway Area Community
  • Hill City Area Community
  • Hill City Area Lions
  • Hill Lake Trail Association
  • Itasca Economic Development Corporation
  • Itasca County Habitat for Humanity
  • Itasca County Historical Society
  • Itasca Driftskippers Snowmobile Club
  • Itasca Hospice Foundation
  • Itasca Life Options
  • Itasca Orchestra and Strings
  • KOOTASCA Community Action, Inc.
  • MacRostie Art Center
  • MDI Success at Work Scholarship
  • Minnesota Deer Hunters Association
  • Nashwauk Area Community
  • Northern Community Radio
  • Northern Minnesota Builders Association
  • Northland Scholarship
  • Reif Arts Council
  • Remer Depot
  • Second Harvest North Central Food Bank
  • Star of the North Lions – Youth
  • United Way of 1000 Lakes
  • Wayne K. Mills Salvation Army
  • YMCA Youth Program
  • Youth for Christ

Support Your Community

As a donor, you select the type of fund that best matches your charitable goals. You can either provide a gift to an existing fund or you can establish a new fund to help you achieve your philanthropic goals and to leave a personal legacy.