Establish a Fund

Establish a Fund

Establish a Fund in Six Easy Steps

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation makes it easy to establish a charitable fund that carries your name, commemorates a special event, supports a special project or honors a favorite organization, friend or family member. You choose when and how to make gifts from your fund or you can use and rely upon the Foundation’s extensive knowledge of the region to determine how best to make an impact in a community.

The assets you use to establish your fund can range from bequests and outright gifts of cash and securities to a trust that provides a steady stream of income during your lifetime. Explore your options and select the approach that works best for you.

To get started, the NNJCF works with you – and your professional advisors if you choose – to complete a simple, six-step process.


Define a charitable purpose or intent.


Select the type of charitable fund that best supports your purpose. Decide whether you will determine which grants are made (donor-advised funds) or leave those decisions to the Foundation (community grantmaking funds).


Select a name for your fund. You can use your name, that of a family member, the name of a favorite cause, or choose a name that allows you to remain anonymous.


Depending on the type of fund selected, you may designate current fund advisors such as yourself and spouse and successor advisors including your children. This information will be included in your governing document.


Complete a simple governing document to make your intentions clear.


Make an establishing gift: Contribute an initial, tax-deductible gift of cash, securities, real estate, IRA distributions or life insurance to establish the fund.

Types of Funds that can be Established Include:

Donor or Corporate Advised Funds allow individuals or companies to reserve the privilege of recommending charitable organizations as grant beneficiaries. We also provide donors the latitude to choose their own spending policies – an endowed fund generating income for grants and/or a spendable fund fully available for distribution.

Field of Interest Funds support programs, projects and initiatives in a specific area of interest. Income from these funds is expended at the discretion of the board, but only in specified fields of charitable concern as determined by the donors.

Designated Funds benefit one or more charitable institutions a donor selects. If an agency ceases to exist or a fund’s purpose becomes obsolete, the board of trustees may redirect the fund to best achieve the basic intent of the donor.

Scholarship Funds typically provide grants for tuition, room and board to college or university students. We work with donors to develop scholarship criteria and selection processes, as well as track the performance of recipients to ensure they continue to meet the terms for scholarship support.

Unrestricted Funds are best suited to meet emerging needs or opportunities in the community. Donors place no restrictions on how their funds are used and decisions are left to our board of trustees’ discretion. Because of the contemporaneous leadership of these funds, they are often timeless in terms of community impact.