Types of Funds

The Southeast Virginia Community Foundation has a variety of charitable funds to meet every situation and need. Whether you are interested in awarding scholarships in the name of a loved one, supporting your favorite charities, or having a donor-advised fund, we have the perfect philanthropic solution to help you. Our fees are low, our minimums are accessible, and we award grants exactly as you intend.

Generally, all funds established at the Southeast Virginia Community Foundation are either endowed or unendowed funds (except for special project funds, which must be unendowed). However, donor-advised funds, scholarships, and unrestricted funds are typically unendowed, while agency/organizational funds are typically endowed.

  • Endowed funds are subject to the Foundation’s spending policy, allowing only a certain amount of money leave the fund each year.
  • Unendowed funds are not subject to the Foundation’s spending policy, allowing an unspecified amount of money leave the fund each year.

The minimum to establish a fund is $5,000 and once the fund reaches $10,000, you are able to start making grants to your favorite organizations. We offer the following types of funds at the Foundation:

Donor Advised Funds

Donor Advised funds allow individuals, families, businesses, or other entities to establish a fund from which they may periodically suggest grants to be issued to nonprofits of their choice. You can add to the fund at any time, receiving tax benefits with each new gift. You can establish a fund today and make grant recommendations now or in the future. And if you endow your gift, it becomes a permanent community funding resource. (Please note that grant suggestions are legally considered to be ‘recommendations’ of the donors; by law, the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors must approve all such recommendations.)

Field of Interest Funds

A Field of Interest Fund allows you to target your gift to address needs in an important area of community life — the environment, health, or women’s issues, for example . While you direct the Field of Interest Fund you establish from its creation, the maintenance is left up to us. Our professional program staff continually monitors community needs so that you can be sure grants made in the name of your fund make the most impact in your field of interest and create your personal legacy of giving. You can add to the fund at any time – and so can others. If you endow your gift, it becomes a permanent community funding resource.

Designated Funds

Designated funds, whether endowed or unendowed, are established by donors to support the good work of a specific nonprofit organization or a list of nonprofits. Because it’s given through your community foundation, your gift provides the organization(s) not only funding, but planned giving and investment management services. If the organization(s) you select ceases to exist or changes its mission, the fund can be redirected so that it continues to address your original charitable intent. You may add to the fund at any time, but unlike a Donor Advised Fund, however, the parameters for grantmaking from the fund must be established through the fund agreement at the time the fund is established, and after that point, donor involvement is limited.

Agency/Organizational Funds

Agency or organizational funds are a type of Designated Fund, but instead of being created by a donor for the benefit of a particular nonprofit, these funds are established by the nonprofit itself. They are often established to house a nonprofit organization’s endowment, thereby saving the organization the considerable expense of having to pay an investment firm to manage it for them.

Scholarship Funds

Scholarship funds are established by donors – individuals, families, businesses, schools, other foundations – as a way to invest in your community’s future and to support students by assisting them with the costs of their education. We welcome scholarship funds that will help students from our area to attend a specific school, college, or university, regardless of its location, or to pursue a particular course of study.  Donors may establish scholarship funds for any level of study, from pre-school to post-graduate, and may specify other selection criteria for recipients, including but not limited to academic achievement and financial need. If the scholarship fund you establish is renewable, you can review updated information on the progress of recipients over the years. You may even elect to meet these students – something many donors find rewarding.

Unrestricted Funds

When you establish an Unrestricted Fund, your gift can address a broad range of local needs – including future needs that often cannot be anticipated at the time your gift is made. We evaluate all aspects of community well-being: arts and culture, economic development, education, environment, health and human services, neighborhood revitalization, and more. The flexibility of your unrestricted gift enables your community foundation’s program experts to respond to the community’s most pressing needs, today and tomorrow. Because you set no restrictions on the use of your gift, it enables our experienced program staff and board to do what they do best – assess community needs and respond by awarding grants to the nonprofit organizations that undertake our community’s most critical work. Unrestricted Funds enable your community foundation to support long-term solutions and respond quickly to emergencies. Grants are made in the name of the fund you establish, creating your personal legacy of giving. You may give your gift immediately, through your will or another estate planning strategy. If you endow your gift, it becomes a permanent community funding resource.

Special Project Funds

Special Project Funds act as temporary holding funds intended to support a project of a particular non-501(c)(3) organization. An organization may set up this type of fund with SEVACF, which they may then use as a checking account to fund their project for a predetermined time period or until the project’s compeltion.

Community Needs Fund

The Community Needs Fund is the Community Foundation’s unrestricted general fund for the benefit of the community. It supports a vital component of the Foundation’s mission: responding to pressing needs in our communities in a broad-based, flexible, yet timely way. Individuals and/or organizations can donote generous and thoughtful gifts of all sizes, from one dollar to hundreds of thousands of dollars to the fund. Grants from the Community Needs Fund are awarded in a twice-yearly competitive grants process (applications due January 15th and July 15th) in which nonprofits from Portsmouth, Chesapeake and South Hampton Roads submit proposals per grant criteria established by the Foundation’s Grants Committee and Board of Directors.