Frequently Asked Questions


  • What research can I use to help make my giving?

    Partnering with the Community Foundation for Brevard gives philanthropists access to expert counsel and community knowledge to elevate your philanthropy from transactional check writing to transformative social investment. Our blog and our Foundation Focus online publication brings together a wide array of featured stories on nonprofit organizations, information about local issues and strategies for effective philanthropy.
  • What is a community foundation?

    One of more than 750 community foundations in the United States, the Community Foundation for Brevard was formed in 1981 by community leaders who believed that charitable giving is an incredibly powerful way to make our local community a better place for us all. Community foundations are tax-exempt public charities that serve local philanthropists who wish to take an organized approach to giving. Community foundations are public nonprofits so their philanthropists enjoy increased tax advantages not available to private foundation donors. Community foundation philanthropists also receive professional support without hiring staff. Unlike private foundations, community foundations invest and administer a pool of funds contributed by numerous philanthropists. Together, these philanthropists create an endowment—in essence, a community savings account—designed to ensure the long-term health of the nonprofit community. To learn more, visit the Council on Foundations and read more about the history of the Community Foundation for Brevard.
  • How does the Community Foundation for Brevard invest its funds?

    As stewards of the community's funds, the Community Foundation for Brevard invests for perpetuity. Foundation assets, including endowments, are professionally invested in a balanced, diversified portfolio to strengthen grantmaking while creating sustainable growth. For more information, please contact us.
  • What is an endowment?

    An endowment is a permanent fund that is invested. The income is used for charitable purposes, while the principal is never spent. It is invested to grow over the years and continue to do good things forever.
  • What organizations are supported by the Community Foundation?

    Our funding is shaped by our donors. Grants are made to a variety of nonprofit organizations in areas such as education, arts and culture, health and human services, community development, animal welfare, conservation, and many others.
  • Who makes up the Community Foundation’s donors?

    Our donors are individuals, families, corporations, and charitable organizations who wish to make a difference in the lives of others and to make the community a better place. Donors range from people of modest means to those with substantial financial resources. By establishing a fund or donating to an existing fund within a community foundation, donors can contribute their gifts of cash and appreciated property toward a permanently named endowment fund. Many donors are interested in planned giving and have the Community Foundation in their Charitable Remainder Trusts, Charitable Lead Trusts or bequests.
  • Explain the difference between a family foundation, private foundation, and Community Foundation. Does this have importance for my taxes?

    Often, people establish a family foundation or a private foundation because they don’t know that in many cases, working through the Community Foundation offers an easier alternative. In addition to the tax benefits, setting up a fund through the Community Foundation has an extremely short turn-around time. Additionally, the staff of the foundation becomes available to help with grants, screen grant requests, and take care of auditing and financial reporting requirements. Many community foundation donors are also pleased by the fact that community foundations have none of the annual payout requirements of a family foundation, so donors may leave their funds dormant when they lack the time to focus on it in any given year.
  • What is the difference between setting up a charitable fund through my investment firm and establishing a charitable fund at the Community Foundation?

    A Community Foundation provides much more than the check writing services of a gift fund at a brokerage house. One of the most significant advantages to setting up a fund with us is our philanthropic services team, which provides custom research on a nonprofit organization or issue area at your request. Our staff will also meet with you individually to help develop a strategic approach to grantmaking. Additionally, you will be invited to attend exclusive learning and connection events.
  • Who governs the Community Foundation?

    The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors that is representative of the community at large.
  • Does the Foundation publicize its grant awards?

    We publicize many of our grant awards on our website, Facebook, LinkedIn and often also promote them to local news outlets.

For Professional Advisors

  • As a professional advisor, can I consult with the Community Foundation for Brevard?

    Yes. We provide free advice and support to the Community Foundation for Brevard philanthropists and their advisors, including attorneys, CPAs, wealth advisors and insurance professionals. We are happy to discuss options for giving, provide more detail regarding our services and prepare illustrations of possible philanthropic structures. Please contact Theresa Grimison at or 321-752-5505 for more information.
  • How can the Community Foundation for Brevard help my client with the philanthropic aspects of their estate plans?

    We offer a variety of planned giving vehicles that may be of interest to your clients. The Community Foundation for Brevard has the great honor of being named as a beneficiary in a number of wills, life insurance policies and IRAs. We would love to have the opportunity to consult with your clients on the philanthropic portion of their estate.
  • My client would like to convert their private foundation into simpler structure. Can you help?

    Yes. The Community Foundation for Brevard can absolutely help your client convert their private foundation. This situation comes up fairly often when clients find the administrative burden, tax reporting and/or required distributions no longer fit with their goals.
  • What services does the Community Foundation’s team provide?

    The Community Foundation’s team can provide a wide range of services, from working with your clients to help identify their philanthropic interests or devising a giving plan to facilitating multi-session family or personal philanthropy engagements to bring families together across the generations in support of shared interests and values. Services provided can be specifically tailored, depending upon your clients’ needs and preferences. In addition, our team has extensive experience in the nonprofit community and can be an invaluable resource for identifying nonprofits and initiatives that have an impact on the issues that matter the most to your client. Please contact Theresa Grimison at or 321-752-5505 for more information.
  • Why should my client set up a fund through the Community Foundation for Brevard?

    There are a variety of benefits for clients who choose to establish a fund at the Community Foundation for Brevard and make their philanthropic gifts via their fund. For example: Partnering with the Community Foundation to set up a fund is faster, easier and less expensive than establishing a private foundation, and includes the opportunity to engage with our experienced philanthropic advisors. Many donors also prefer the benefits of the donor advised fund platform, including the freedom from annual distribution requirement and annual Form 990-PF filings. Plus, grants can be made anonymously, an option that is not available with a private foundation.
  • Why shouldn’t my client give directly to the organization(s) they wish to support?

    Giving directly is one option; however, there can be a variety of benefits for clients who choose to establish a fund at the Community Foundation for Brevard and make their philanthropic gifts via their fund. For example:
    • If a client has a high-income year (due to a fluctuation in earnings, the sale of a business or property, etc.) he or she may wish to “pre-fund” future charitable giving by contributing an optimized amount to a fund with us. She or he would then benefit from a larger-than-usual charitable deduction, which can be taken in the year of contribution to a charitable fund at the Community Foundation, to offset his or her higher income tax obligation. Plus, she or he would have funds set aside to use in future years for their ongoing charitable giving.
    • If a client wishes to become more strategic in their philanthropy, and move beyond transactional check-writing to more focused, impact-driven giving, he or she may want to take advantage of the advice and consulting services provided to the Community Foundation for Brevard philanthropists by our experienced team to develop and implement a giving plan that meets those goals.
    • Some clients prefer to remain anonymous when making some or all of their charitable gifts. A fund at the Community Foundation for Brevard permits them to make grants to the organizations of their choice while keeping the source of the grants confidential.
    • The Community Foundation for Brevard’s fund statements makes it easy to keep track of grants made throughout the year and can be a useful tool in ensuring that a client’s giving is distributed across the desired organizations and in the desired amounts. Plus, there is only one “contemporaneous receipt” generated upon each contribution to the fund, which may simplify the client’s record keeping at tax time.

For Philanthropists

  • How can I open a fund?

    We are pleased that you are interested in taking the steps to learn more about opening a fund. Starting a fund is simple and can easily be done in a day. Partnering with the Community Foundation will give you the benefits of flexibility and efficiency in your charitable giving. Because our legal status as a public charity, a fund can be established, and the maximum tax advantages secured, in a very short time. To get started, please fill out our Fund Inquiry Form. You may also contact us at or 321-752-5505 and one of our philanthropic advisors will be in touch shortly.
  • If I’m interested in establishing a fund, how do I know which kind to choose?

    The first priority is to determine your charitable goals. Next, the Community Foundation for Brevard staff and your financial or legal advisor can assist with recommendations about which type of fund would best suit your goals. You can set up an unrestricted fund to help meet a variety of needs within the community, or specify a purpose or area of concern to support with a field of interest fund. Some donors choose a designated fund which identifies a single charitable organization to support. Others opt for a donor advised fund, which allows active involvement in recommending grants. You also may name the fund you create – for yourself, a spouse, family members, a company, or a friend.
  • After I establish a fund, how can I add to it?

    You may add to your fund at any time and there is no minimum requirement for additional contributions. Additional gifts may also provide additional tax benefits.
  • Is it possible to make a gift now that will provide charitable benefits in the future?

    Absolutely. A simple way to achieve this goal is through a bequest in your will, a distribution from your retirement plan, insurance policy or trust, or Charitable Gift Annuity.
  • What are the costs in setting up a fund?

    There is no cost to establish a fund at the Community Foundation. We will handle your fund’s grant administration, IRS tax reporting, record keeping, investment management, due diligence, and safeguard that the monies granted are used for the intended purpose for a low annual administrative fee. This ensures that more of your charitable dollars go to the projects and issues close to your heart.
  • How do I make grant recommendations from my fund?

    You can recommend a grant directly from the Grant Recommendations tab in your Fund Advisor Portal. Recommendations may also be submitted by email. Email our Director of Philanthropy, Donna Sewell, at with your recommendation. Please include the fund name, grant amount, grant purpose and any additional instruction in the email. She will email a confirmation of the recommendation.
  • Can I recommend that grants be made anonymously?

    Yes, absolutely. You may choose that your name, the name of your fund, or both remain anonymous in the transmittal letter that accompanies your grant checks in some or all of your grants. It is a simple process, and we are keenly aware of the importance of maintaining anonymity for our philanthropists who request it.
  • Can I buy a ticket to a nonprofit event from my fund?

    No portion of event expenses can be paid through your donor-advised fund. In 2006, the IRS ruled that the costs associated with fundraising events cannot be separated. Therefore, event tickets, auction items and other such benefits cannot be purchased through your fund.
  • Can I recommend a multi-year grant from my fund?

    It is possible to set up a multi-year commitment from a Community Foundation for Brevard fund. However, this has to take the form of a letter of intent from the Foundation and the grantee. The Community Foundation cannot honor any pledge commitments from a donor to an organization. If you plan to make a multi-year commitment that will be paid out of a Community Foundation for Brevard fund, it is crucial that you work with us from the outset and do not sign any pledge documents.
  • Can I specify exactly what I want my grant to be used for when I recommend a grant for a particular organization?

    You can be as specific as you like. Simply detail your request in the ‘Purpose’ section of the DAF Grant Recommendation and we will include your restrictions in the check letter and grant agreement that is sent to the organization with their grant check.
  • Can my family be involved?

    Yes. Philanthropy offers an opportunity to pass on the family's philanthropic traditions and family values. Creating a donor advised fund with children as the successor advisors can be one of the most powerful and meaningful gifts a parent can make. Our team can work with you on the best ways to involve children and grandchildren in the joys of philanthropy through a fund at the Foundation.
  • How often are fund statements produced?

    The Community Foundation sends semiannual statements, and more frequently upon request. Statements reflect contributions, disbursements, investment activity, and the overall change in the fund balance.
  • Can philanthropic funds established at The Community Foundation for Brevard benefit organizations outside of Brevard County?

    Yes. We help donors achieve their philanthropic goals in Brevard County and beyond.

For Nonprofits