The Erie Community Foundation

How to Create a Fund

Our goal is to be a resource to you and your clients. The Erie Community Foundation is an effective tool to help donors accomplish their personal philanthropic and estate planning objectives in a cost-effective fashion.

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. The following describe the type of funds available.

Named funds are typically established with a minimum gift of $10,000 or more. Funds may be established during a donor's lifetime, or via bequest. Scholarship funds established with a minimum gift of $20,000 and Agency Funds with a minimum of $25,000 or more.

It's simple to create a fund. Just call Mike Batchelor or Susannah Weis Frigon at (814) 454-0843.


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.

Field of Interest

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

Donor Designated

These are created to perpetually benefit 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.

Donor Advised

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


Donors whose charitable interests are limited to a particular geographic area within Erie County can establish geographically restricted funds.


The Erie Community Foundation is home to nearly 100 different named scholarships. Scholarships can support students who are graduating from a particular school, attending a particular school, or studying a specific subject. Each scholarship is unique and each is accomplishing the wishes of the original donor. Scholarship funds are established with a minimum of $20,000.

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.

Click here for more information on Annuities and Trusts.

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.

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. Individual donors can also establish agency endowments. The Foundation provides basic planned giving services to the agency to help attract additional gifts. Agency endowments are property of The 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. Agency Endowments are established with a minimum of $25,000.

Click here for more information on Agency Endowments.

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