August 18, 2017

25 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT SCF

1.   We're local.
We help people give where they live, in Solano County. We even have separate “interest area” funds so donors can give specifically within their own home communities.

2.   We know our Community.
We're in touch with the needs of our communities and residents in ways that government and other large institutions are not. We build partnerships that build support.

3.   We make our community better.
In 2013, we awarded almost $366,685 to nonprofits and educational institutions that improve community life.  Since 2000, we have made over $7.0 million in grants from our unrestricted program funds, and our Donor-advised funds, to help our community and residents in need.

4.   We never give up.
Endowment funds start small and grow.  You can give knowing that your endowment will be working for a better Solano County, forever.  When community needs change - even needs that we cannot fathom today - our programs adapt in response.

5.   We're flexible.
We're structured to make giving simple.  You can establish a fund, address a community need, name us in your will, or life insurance policy, or leave real estate.  We are flexible.

6.   We're matchmakers.
With so many nonprofits in Solano County, it can be tough to figure out where to give.  We work with and know our local charitable organizations and introduce donors to their work.

7.   We help you match your gift with your passion.
You can choose to make a gift to benefit local nonprofits now and we can help you decide where your contribution will do the most good.  Donors can create charitable funds at the Foundation and recommend grants that support the issues and groups they care about.  Or you can rely on us to make grants that reflect your particular interests.

8.   We're stewards of your legacy.
Like your personal savings, our endowment funds grow.  In the year 2000, we had one endowed fund, valued at $200,000. By the end of 2013, we had 22 endowment funds with a total value of over $8.5 million.  Endowed funds represent approximately 98% of the total net assets held under management at the Foundation.  As these permanent funds grow, the Foundation has greater resources to make a significant contribution to the community in perpetuity.

9.   We're well respected and recognized as "excellent" by our peers.
In 2012, we received our 2nd coveted "Certificate of Compliance with National Standards of Excellence for Community Foundations" from the Council on Foundations.

10.  We work with your professional advisors.
Our staff, and Foundation Board of Directors, composed of attorneys, financial planners, bankers, accountants, and administrators will assist your professional advisors in crafting the best and most appropriate philanthropic instruments to realize your charitable goals and objectives.

11.  We carry a big umbrella.
We offer technical and administrative support to nonprofits making a difference in the arts, civic affairs, education, environment, animal welfare, youth and senior programs, and health and human services.  We help donors assist the community in widely varied ways. We network with community foundations across the country so that Solano County residents can participate in national crisis response.

12.  We can help you give now, or we can wait.
If you want to make a difference right away, you can give now.  There are many ways to give and see the benefit of your generosity immediately. But, you can also plan to leave assets - such as a home or ranch, retirement fund, or life insurance policy - to the community foundation in your estate.

13.  You don't have to be rich to make a difference, but it doesn't hurt.
Many of our donors make modest gifts, with a desire to lift the lives of their fellow citizens and see change in their community.  People of wealth and resources also choose the Solano Community Foundation as their philanthropic partner, knowing that we have the professional expertise and standing to prudently manage large funds and maximize investment returns. Several donors work in collaboration with their colleagues, business partners, and family members to increase their endowment contributions.

14.  We foster a culture of philanthropy.
The Foundation's role is also to help people become donors.  We build a culture of giving in and for the community, and foster greater giving and volunteering in our community.

15.  We're a good value.
By combining your resources with others who share your interests, you maximize your contributions and take advantage of our expertise and low administrative costs.  Our annual fees, charged for fund and program management, meet the standards set by the national Council on Foundations, and are lower than many other administrators of donor's funds, both commercial and nonprofit.

16.  We give with care.
Our staff exercises due diligence for the hundreds of applications received for funding each year.  The members of our Grants Committee and Scholarship Selection Committee are Board members, staff, and community volunteers from many professions and walks of life. We conduct interviews, visit nonprofits, and make thoughtful and well-informed decisions when making grant awards.

17.  We're trailblazers.
We take a leadership role when we believe our knowledge and expertise will benefit the community.  We work closely with the nonprofit community as trainers and advisors, and convene discussion groups, roundtables, and forums in response to community needs.

18.  We work well with others.
We collaborate with other local and regional funders.  We host conversations with them so they can better understand the needs in this region and help local nonprofits improve their chances of receiving their grants.

19.  We've got our priorities straight.
While individual nonprofits focus on specific issues, the Foundation studies the community as a whole.  With your input, we develop grantmaking and other programs that address the most pressing needs of our local people.

20.  We've got nonprofits' backs.
We offer workshops, trainings, consultation, and research resources to help local nonprofits work more effectively. Smarter nonprofits make better use of their financial gifts, volunteers, and staff, which in turn make them invaluable assets to our community.

21.  We are a funding resource.
We have been a Funding Information Network Partner of the Foundation Center since 2006.  We are a grantwriting and grantseeking resource for those communities we serve. We also provide free access to the Foundation Directory Online, a database of extensive information on more than 110,000 private grantmakers.

22.  We teach you a thing or two.
An educated person makes better decisions about how and where to give.  The Foundation staff works with each donor to help him or her learn more about the problems we face as a community and to generate solutions. We identify community needs and generate solutions.  We introduce donors to organizations with similar dreams. We do the homework and the legwork so you can have the good feeling that comes with making a difference in your community.

23.  We make giving easy.
We are an attractive alternative to starting and managing a private foundation since you can avoid the complications and let us do the work.  We handle all record keeping, reporting to the IRS, accounting, and investment management.  You do the fun part of giving without the hassles.

24.  We save you money.
All gifts to the Solano Community Foundation are tax-deductible.  Donors who establish a fund at the Foundation benefit from the highest available tax deductions for charitable contributions.  We also offer a range of ways to give that can save you money while also benefiting the community.

25.  We make "forever" a reality.
When you establish an endowed fund at the Foundation, your contribution works forever to support the issues that matter most to you.  After your death, your gift continues to help.  Even a person of modest means can leave a lasting legacy to our region.  We preserve a donor's saved assets, long after they're gone.

Please click HERE to view and download "25 Things You Should Know About SCF" as a PDF document.