The VGCC Fund
Early in our history, we decided to work under the charitable umbrella of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, which provides us with administrative, financial, and technical expertise, at an extremely low fee (0.5% per year). Importantly, the Fund that we established at Gulf Coast is a "donor-advised" fund, meaning that our own Board of Directors specifies which local organizations receive our grants each year.
The Foundation's board of directors was recently notified that the name "Community Foundation" is reserved for tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporations. As unincorporated donor-advisors, we do not qualify for that name, so we have dropped "Community" from our name. Nothing else has changed. There are 32 community foundations in Florida, including Gulf Coast, Sarasota County, Manatee, etc.
Our Relationship with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation
- The "VGCC Fund" is one of more than 500 separate funds established at the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.
- Our own Board here at VGCC is responsible for fundraising and recommending grant awards from the Fund.
- Gulf Coast provides all fund administration including mailing grant checks and letters to nonprofits, sending gift acknowledgements to the donors, and providing required due diligence on grantees.
- Gulf Coast provides all required recordkeeping, accounting, and tax filing for VGCCF to ensure compliance with the IRS and nonprofit best practices.
- Gulf Coast oversees the investment management of the fund and provides online account access and monthly fund statements.
- All donations made directly to VGCCF at Gulf Coast are tax-deductible contributions, because of Gulf Coast's charitable status.
New in 2013 - The VGCC Endowment Fund
Early in 2013, the Foundation's Board of Directors unanimously authorized the creation of a second fund at the Gulf Coast Community Foundation - the VGCC Endowment Fund. The Board also authorized moving an initial $50,000 from our original fund to our new endowment fund.
Like our original fund, established in 2005, the purpose of our endowment fund is to carry out the charitable work of The VGCC Foundation. Both funds are "donor-advised", meaning that only our own directors can specify who will receive grants from the funds each year.
Why Two Funds?
The third listed power of the Board of Directors under Article II of the Foundation's original bylaws (Click Here to view) is:
"To establish and maintain an endowment fund from the net proceeds generated by member contributions, investment income, fund raising events that are not otherwise conducted for a specific charitable purpose, and from all other funds received by the Foundation."
The original VGCC Fund was not strictly an endowment fund. It served two purposes:
- To grow an "endowment" that would generate income and provide stability to ensure the long-term viability of the Foundation's mission, and
- To disburse funds annually in the form of grants to non-profit organizations in support of local community projects.
Our agreement with Gulf Coast did not cap the amount that could be granted each year. Thus, only our own bylaws prevented the Board from distributing 100% of the fund at any particular time.
The agreement for the new endowment fund caps the annual disbursement at 5% of the average fund value over the prior 12 quarters. While our endowment fund will not be immune from variations in the financial marketplace, we expect that it will provide a sense of permanency that is the essence of a true endowment. Meanwhile, grants will continue to be made from our original VGCC Fund, which will remain sufficient to ensure that grant commitments can be honored each year.