Creating a Fund

why give through sevacf?

SEVACF exists to serve our donors and make your charitable giving more meaningful. When you choose to work with us for your philanthropy, you join a group of dedicated, like-minded individuals, families, and businesses united by a passion for making a difference in their community.

Seven Reasons to partner with us:

  • 1World Class Service – it is our pleasure to assist you in making your philanthropy more rewarding, any way we can.
  • 2Flexibility – our team of professionals can help you achieve your philanthropy goals whether you want to give now, or leave a legacy for future generations.
  • 3Community Expertise – from affordable housing to education, from the arts to the environment, our team of professionals has the local expertise to make your charitable gifts more impactful.
  • 4Investment Performance – a number of investment options provide you with greater asset class diversification; you may also continue to use your own private investment manager, pending board approval.
  • 5Legacy Planning – as our partner, you may specify the people you wish to direct your giving to, for many generations.
  • 6Stewardship – as a public entity led by the leaders of our community, your philanthropic intent will be protected forever.
  • 7Tax Benefits – partnering with us allows you the greatest tax benefits provided, significantly higher than charitable gifts to a private foundation. Starting a fund at SEVACF is also an attractive alternative to having a private foundation. Compare the tax advantages of a Donor Advised Fund to a Private Foundation to a Donor Advised Fund here.

How will my donations work in the community?

Funds are professionally managed to grow over time. Grants are awarded to support local nonprofit organizations, in accordance with a donor’s interests.

Why should I give to the Southeast Virginia Community Foundation instead of one or two charities I’m interested in?

There are many great ways to support the wonderful nonprofits in our community. By establishing a fund at SEVACF, you can create an endowed fund, which is a permanent charitable giving account that will grow and produce income over time and enable you to give grants in perpetuity. It is also a great way to organize your giving. Through SEVACF, you have the flexibility to address a variety of charitable priorities, whether you support many different causes or your interests change over time. You can set up a fund within your lifetime or create a lasting legacy by creating a bequest creating a bequest to SEVACF in your will. A permanent fund at the Foundation is a safeguard designed to carry out your charitable objectives in perpetuity – dedicated to making sure the spirit of your gift remains intact through changing time and circumstance. Donors may feel more comfortable making. Those gifts through SEVACF because of our permanence, professional investment management and our ability to lead collaborative solutions to key community issues.

How can I start a fund?

Setting up a fund is easy! Contact Us to learn more about the variety options and how to get started. In addition, remember to always discuss your charitable intentions with your legal, financial and/or tax advisor prior to establishing a fund.

Types of Funds

The Southeast Virginia Community Foundation has over 50 years of experience helping individuals and families make a lasting and powerful difference in the lives of others. As one of the region’s largest community foundations, we are deeply connected to the most current thinking on effective giving and to the needs of southeast Virginia. When you start a charitable fund with SEVACF, we can help you realize the power of charitable giving, customize a plan that matches your wishes, and open up the exciting and fulfilling world of philanthropy.

SEVACF 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.

The minimum to establish a fund is $5,000.


Agency/Organizational is a type of Designated Fund in which the charitable beneficiary is also the donor/nonprofit itself. This type of fund is usually established to house a non-profit organization’s endowment, thereby saving them the considerable expense of having to pay an investment firm to manage it for them. Contact us at 757-397-5424

Community Needs Fund

The Community Needs Fund is SEVACF’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 donate 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. Contact us at 757-397-5424


With this fund, you can support the good work of a specific program or nonprofit of your choosing. Your charitable gift provides that organization with a permanent source of reliable funding, investment management services, and planned giving support – forever. Because we handle the details of the fund, your designated nonprofit is freed up to focus on its mission. If the non-profit organization(s) ever ceased to exist or change its mission, the fund can be redirected so that it continues to address your original charitable intent. This fund may be added to at any time, but unlike a donor advised fund, the amount committed, or granted, is based on the current spending policy of the Foundation. As such, the spending policy may be amended from time-to-time. Contact us at 757-397-5424

Donor Advised Funds

This flexible fund allows individuals, families, businesses, or other entities to be actively involved in philanthropy by periodically suggesting grants to be issued to the nonprofit(s) of their choice. You open your fund with a tax-deductible gift, and then recommend how the money should be distributed to charity each year. If you have a range of community interests, a donor advised fund is an ideal vehicle for fulfilling your charitable wishes. It’s also a great way to involve family members in philanthropy; you can name multiple people as the fund’s advisors, including one succeeding generation. Go to our Donor Advised Fund Facts page for more information. Contact us at 757-397-5424

Field of Interest Funds

With this fund, you decide the area or field of interest, and leave the grant-making to us. You can target your fund to address any number of community needs – the environment, health, or education, for example. Our professional program staff continually monitors community needs so that you can be sure that grants made in the name of your fund make the most impact in your field of interest. Donors can add to this fund at any time – and so can others. Your gift stays flexible enough to meet community needs in your interest area – even as they change over time. Contact us at 757-397-5424


Scholarship funds are another type of Designated Fund established by donors – individuals, families, businesses, schools, other foundations – as a way to invest in their 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.  Although most of our scholarship funds target graduating high school seniors, you can establish a scholarship fund to help students at any level, from kindergarten to PhD. You can choose the name of the scholarship, the eligibility criteria, and the award amount. SEVACF administers and manages all financial aspects of the fund – and, if you wish, the application, selection, and award processes as well. Contact us at 757-397-5424

Special Project Funds

Special Project Funds act like a fiscal sponsorship intended to support a specific project or cause of a particular group that has not established its own tax-exempt status. An organization and/or individual may set up this type of fund with the Southeast Virginia Community Foundation in order to allow its donors’ gifts to qualify as tax deductible. These agreements are for a predetermined time period, but may be renewable upon request. Contact us at 757-397-5424


A donor who wants to help the community but does not have a specific program or charity in mind can establish an unrestricted fund. Because you set no restrictions on the use of your gift, it enables our professional program staff and board to do what we do best – assess community needs and award grants to the nonprofits that undertake our community’s most pressing needs and promising opportunities. Unrestricted funds help us lead collaborative solutions to key community issues; respond quickly to emergencies; and meet the changing social, cultural, educational and environmental needs of southeast Virginia. Grants are made in the name of the fund the donor establishes, thereby creating a personal legacy of giving. Donors may give their gift immediately, through their will or another estate planning strategy. Contact us at 757-397-5424

The purpose of this website is to provide general gift, estate, and financial planning information. The Southeast Virginia Community Foundation is not engaged in providing legal or tax counsel. For advice or assistance in specific cases or whether to make certain a contemplated gift fits well into your overall circumstances and planning, the services of an attorney or other professional advisor should be obtained.