The Erie Community Foundation

Create Your Own Fund

Because the overall goal of your Erie Community Foundation is to build a permanent source of philanthropic support for our community for generations to come, the vast majority of our named funds are permanently endowed. In all cases, The Erie Community Foundation works with individual donors and professional advisors to create funds that meet unique philanthropic and estate-planning needs.

NAMED FUNDS are typically established with a minimum gift ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 to start. Funds may be established during a donor's lifetime, or via bequest. The following lists the various funds from which you can choose to establish an endowment that best suits your philanthropic goals.

Donor Advised

An attractive alternative to the creation of a private foundation, a donor-advised fund receives a 100 percent tax deduction for your original and any future gifts. You may suggest deserving charities to benefit from fund income. Grants are then made, in the name of the fund, to your favored charities.

The Erie Community Foundation provides special educational mailings to our donor advisors. We also encourage donor advisors to meet with Foundation staff to discuss local charitable needs.


If you value education and want to give others an opportunity to pursue their dreams, you may want to establish a scholarship fund to honor a loved one and establish a legacy. Scholarships within The Erie Community Foundation are often a perfect option.

The Erie Community Foundation is home to nearly 100 different named scholarships. Each scholarship has different criteria. Some scholarships support students who are graduating from a particular school; other funds provide scholarships for students attending a particular school or studying a specific subject. Each scholarship is unique and each is accomplishing the wishes of the original donor.

To establish a scholarship fund, a minimum of $25,000 is needed.

Agency Endowments

When a nonprofit organization transfers all, or part, of its endowment to a designated fund within The Erie Community Foundation, they establish agency endowments with a minimum of $25,000. Individual donors can also establish agency endowments. The Erie Community Foundation provides basic planned giving services to the agency to help attract additional gifts. Agency endowments are property of The Erie Community Foundation and are managed in accordance with FASB 136. This type of fund is not appropriate for operating reserves; it is for true endowments. These partnerships bring investment economies of scale, expertise and reduced fund management costs to other nonprofit organizations.

Click here for more information on Agency Endowments.

Donor Designated

If you choose to establish a donor designated fund, you created an endowment that perpetually benefits one or more specific charities. Grants will be made in the name of the fund so long as the organization remains in operation and is consistent with its original charitable purpose.

Community Impact

Typically created by individuals with broad charitable interests, these funds offer The Erie Community Foundation maximum flexibility to respond to the changing needs in the community.

Annuities and Trusts

An active Charitable Gift Annuity program is available, at no cost, to organizations with Agency Endowments. We also have significant experience with charitable remainder and lead trusts. These planned giving alternatives often create beneficial situations for both donors and local charities. Your professional advisor can provide you with an enrollment form.

Click here for more information on Annuities and Trusts.

Field of Interest

Perfect for you if you wish to support a particular broad charitable cause, such as education, the arts, health, youth or the disabled, to name a few.


If your charitable interests are limited to a particular geographic area within Erie County, you can establish a geographically restricted fund.

Pass-Through Funds

Named funds can be established that allow a gift to The Erie Community Foundation to "pass through" to their favored charity. This may be appropriate when anonymity is important, unique property is used to make a gift, many gifts are planned for a single asset or in other unusual circumstances.

It's simple to create your own fund—you can do it in a matter of minutes. Just call Mike Batchelor or Susannah Weis Frigon at (814) 454-0843.

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