May 24, 2017

RECOMMENDING A GRANT FROM YOUR FUND

ALL grant recommendations require the final approval by SCF Board of Directors. Our Board meets once a month, except in November, to consider and approve any recommendations received.  We ask that Grant Request Forms be submitted at least five (5) business days prior to each Board meeting.
Donors/fund holders can request information about their Fund, their Fund balance, or the amount available to grant, at any time.  Any changes in legislation, or IRS procedures and policies, are sent to fundholders as soon as possible, and before they are implemented by law. SCF in-house grantmaking processes are amended to reflect these changes, and action is taken to notify our Fundholders.

GRANTS FROM NON-SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS

Only the donor/fundholder of record is permitted to recommend grants from his/her fund. We follow a stringent, in-house procedure that governs our grantmaking process.

  1. The donor completes and returns a copy of our Grant Request Form, providing information about the recommended grantee, the amount to be granted, and the purpose of the grant.
  2. SCF staff conducts due diligence about the eligibility of the recommended grantee (we check 501(c)(3) status, Form 990 filings, current Board of Directors, and financial documents).
  3. If eligible, the recommendation is listed on the agenda as an action item for the next SCF Board meeting.
  4. The SCF Board votes on all such recommendations, and is documented in meeting minutes.
  5. All approved recommendations are processed for award (disbursement); grant checks are cut, in-house accounting records are updated, and a grant letter is signed and sent to the grantee along with the payment. A copy of the grant award letter is also sent to the fundholder.

GRANTS FROM SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS

Only the donor/fund holder of record is permitted to recommend scholarship award disbursements from his/her scholarship fund. In compliance with recent federal legislation governing scholarships administered by community foundations, we follow precise selection, award, and processing procedures. If you have questions about the steps listed below, selection criteria, or award payments, please contact the Foundation.

  1. All scholarship recipients must be selected by a committee, and it must be a competitive process.
  2. The donor’s advice is limited to his/her role of serving as a selection committee member.
  3. The Foundation Board must annually approve procedures for selecting recipients insuring they are objective and nondiscriminatory. The Foundation Board of Directors must approve all members of the selection committee.
  4. The Foundation Board must annually review and approve application forms and documents, the rating criteria, and the selection procedures before the application process begins.
  5. The Selection committee reviews applications and conducts interviews and recommends scholarship recipients to the Fundholder. The committee chair lists the recipients on the Award Recommendation form and submits it to the Fundholder for payment authorization.
  6. Scholarship award recommendations are placed on the agenda as an action item for the next SCF Board meeting.  If approved, recommendations are then considered scholarship grants.
  7. Scholarship grant payments are made only to the institution at which the scholarship recipient will attend, not to the student directly.  Award notification letters are sent to scholarship recipients along with an Enrollment Verification Form.
  8. Scholarship checks and award letters are sent to the school.  A copy of the award letter is also sent to the fund holder and the scholarship recipient.

HOW MUCH CAN I GRANT AND WHEN?

For Endowed Funds:  Annually, you can grant up to four percent (4%) of the total value of your Fund, as long as this calculated amount doesn’t “invade the principal” when it is deducted from the total value of the Fund. The “Available to Spend” or ATS calculations are made for the Endowed Funds at the end of each fiscal/calendar year. You can plan to make grants (up to your 4% limit) at any time during the upcoming fiscal/calendar year. As the total value of your Fund grows, so will the amount available to spend on grants increase.

Example:

  1. Your Fund value as of 31 December 2016 is $114,456.90
  2. The Principal (establishing gift and all additional gifts made) is $95,483.50
  3. Four percent (4%) of $114,456.90 is $4,578.28
  4. $114,456.90 (Fund value) minus $4,578.28 is $109,878.62
  5. Because $109,878.62 is greater than $95,483.50, the principal is not “invaded”
  6. You can make up to $4,578.28 in one or more grants during the upcoming fiscal year
For Non-Endowed Funds:  There is no limit on the amount of money you can grant during a fiscal/calendar year. The amount available to spend depends on your current Fund value (balance), including gifts received but not yet posted.  As long your current year fees are paid, and money remains in your Fund to cover upcoming annual Community Development Fees (as indicated in your Fund Agreement), you may recommend one or more grants at any time during the year.
We routinely provide information to SCF fundholders about community needs.  This includes referencing new material posted on our website, letters to all donors during the year summarizing requests we have received for grants, and invitations to meetings and workshops that we conduct and facilitate.