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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a community foundation?

A community foundation is a publicly supported, philanthropic, nonprofit organization. The Foundation accumulates, through contributions or bequests, assets, largely in the form of endowments, which are invested to produce income that is then distributed for the charitable needs of the community.

  • What is an endowment?

An endowment consists of assets, called the principal, maintained intact in perpetuity with only the income generated by such principal being expendable for designated purposes.


  • What are the benefits of a community foundation?

A community foundation provides funds which generate income for disbursement to other charitable organizations and institutions. By unifying funds from various sources, it takes advantage of economies of scale in providing advantageous investing and cost effective management. For donors it not only provides tax advantages for giving, it is an avenue for donors of all means to make significant contributions to the organizations and residents of their communities in perpetuity.


  • Is the Parke County Community Foundation a public charity?

Yes. It is a tax exempt organization under Internal Revenue Code Sec. 501(c)(3), and, as such, contributions to it are tax deductible to the maximum amount allowable for gifts to public charities.


  • Does the Parke County Community Foundation conduct its own projects?

No. The Foundation exists to support new and existing programs of other nonprofit groups. It is here to complement, supplement, and augment the fine work our many local community groups are already doing.


  • How does the Parke County Community Foundation differ from other nonprofit foundations?

The Parke County Community Foundation is a nonpartisan foundation; it does not exist to serve only one or more pre-designated organizations or groups. It exists to serve donors who wish to better their community, now and in the future. Its goal is broad-based grantmaking for a variety of charitable and community development areas in the West Central Indiana Community. 

  • How does the Parke County Community Foundation differ from United Way?

Whereas United Way provides support only to its member organizations, under the Parke County Community Foundation, all charitable organizations are eligible to apply for grants.  While United Way is a "checking account" providing continuing funding and operating support based on the needs-oriented fundraising strategy, the Foundation is a "savings account" that provides funding for projects and charitable organizations based on an asset-development strategy. The Foundation approach primarily focuses upon gifts of assets to be used in perpetuity whereas United Ways focus upon gifts of income to be spent annually.


  • How are funds generated?

The Foundation assists public-spirited donors with a heart for Parke County in contributing gifts of cash and appreciated property to create funds for charitable purposes. The Foundation serves donors interested in establishing Legacy Funds and other permanent endowments to produce future income for grantmaking purposes in Parke County.


  • Is there an annual fund drive?

No. All contributions are accepted. It is the purpose of the Parke County Community Foundation to primarily focus upon soliciting gifts of assets from community-minded donors. The Foundation's desire is not to compete with other local charitable organizations conducting annual fund drives rather, to enhance and support their individual missions.

  • How are recipients of grants determined?

Some funds have recipients specifically designated by the donor. The income from these funds is, of course, distributed according to the donor's wishes. In the case of unrestricted, or undesignated funds, the foundation researches the communities' needs, reviews applications from groups requesting grants, and determines how available funds are distributed.


If you have additional questions or desire more information, please contact us.
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