Humboldt Area Foundation
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Most of the funds managed by the Foundation are endowment funds, meaning that the initial gift and future contributions are invested for perpetual growth. A portion of the earned income and appreciation is distributed to meet the donor’s chosen charitable purposes and the rest is reinvested. As the fund increases, the amount of the award and/or the number of awards can be increased proportionally.

Although HAF’s primary focus is on building endowment funds to provide long-term community support, we also assist donors in the creation of expendable funds. Since an expendable fund’s principal can be accessed, the donor can make an immediate impact in the community by providing a large gift or a series of large gifts for a short period of time. This differs from an endowment fund, which provides support forever at a consistent rate that keeps pace with inflation.

A donor may create a new fund with a gift in any amount, however, HAF asks the donor to increase the balance for an endowment fund to a minimum of $10,000 within five years.

The donor may choose how much of an endowment fund’s available income to spend each year and how much to reinvest. If asked for advice, HAF recommends our own policy of spending a consistent 4.5% of the fund balance, even though the market and the fund’s earnings fluctuate each year. This means a $10,000 endowment fund can support an annual award of $450-$500.

The Foundation’s fee for service is 1.5% of the principal balance to be taken from the income generated by the fund on a quarterly basis.

Creating the fund
Foundation staff look forward to working with you to define and describe your new fund. We offer a variety of options so that you can create a fund that meets your individual preferences. With your instructions we will compose a “new fund agreement letter” that will provide the Foundation with specific direction so that we can administer the fund in accordance with your intentions as the years go by. You can make changes in the agreement at any time, simply by notifying the Foundation in writing.

You may choose to write a description of your fund and have it included each year in the HAF Yearbook. We also would be glad to include a photo if you like. The Yearbook is distributed in November to approximately 8,000 people throughout Northern California.

To set up a new fund, you’ll need to decide:
  1. What will be your fund’s exact name or title? Would you like the fund to be named in honor or in memory of someone who is important to you? 
  2. Do you want the name to describe what the fund is and what it is for?
  3. What type of fund will it be?
  • Unrestricted funds give the Foundation’s Board complete discretion to address the charitable needs of the community as they change over time.
  • Field of interest funds give the Foundation Board discretion to address the charitable needs of the community within a particular area of concern, such as youth services, or within a particular geographic area.
  • Designated funds are those from which distributions are made to a particular charitable organization chosen by the donor.
  • Advised funds are those from which awards or distributions are made in consultation with the donor or other advisors designated by the donor. In accordance with the IRS, consultation is advisory only; the HAF Board must retain legal authority over all distributions.
    4. What will be the fund’s purpose?What charitable cause would you like to support? If you would like              some ideas or an update on community needs, HAF staff will be happy to provide you with information.

    5.  If your fund is donor advised, who will be the advisor(s)? If you choose to establish a donor-advised    
    fund, will you serve as the advisor, giving the HAF Board recommendations on fund expenditures from time     to time? Would you prefer to set up an advisory committee to help with those decisions? If your fund is an         endowment fund, how do we plan for perpetuity?
It may be useful to look through the fund descriptions in our most recent Yearbook for some examples. We do have several donors who prefer to remain anonymous, so their funds are not included in these pages. This choice, of course, is available to you.

Next Steps
After you’ve had some time to think about this, give us a call or stop by to talk with staff. We will draft the new fund agreement letter and send it to you for your revision. When it’s just the way you want it, we will formalize it as an agreement with your signature and the signature of HAF’s Executive Director, Peter Pennekamp.

Any questions? Please feel free to call the HAF Donor Services Director, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , at (707) 442-2993.

Thank you for your interest. We look forward to working with you.

Cascadia Leadership
Humboldt Native Cultures Fund
Northern California Non Profits
Humboldt Trinity Trust Foundation
Humboldt United Labor Health Fund
Humboldt Wild Rivers
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©2015 Humboldt Area Foundation.