Types of Funds
Unrestricted. These powerful funds address the opportunities and challenges within Muskegon County. Each year, our Distribution Committee decides where unrestricted funds would have the largest impact in the community. As the community changes, so will the projects that your fund supports.
Donor Advised. Advised Funds are convenient, flexible tools for individuals, families, businesses, or groups that want to be actively involved in suggesting what community investments are made. Unlike other fund types, Advised Funds are not limited to the typical 4% annual distribution. As long as the $10,000 fund minimum is maintained, you can recommend grants of any size to any qualified, charitable organization – 501(c)(3), schools, churches, or municipalities. Read more about donor advised funds below.
Field of Interest. Support the arts, education, youth, community beautification, health and human services, the environment, or whatever broad areas of interest you choose. Tell us what aspects of the community you care most about, and we’ll make grants from your fund to advance work being done in that field.
Designated. These funds support the specific nonprofit organization(s) that you, as the donor, designate. Perhaps your church, school, or another agency has made a significant impact on your life; a Designated Fund will allow you to continue to support these organizations even when you’re gone.
Scholarships. With a minimum gift of $50,000, a Scholarship Fund can help support students continuing their education. We’ll work with you to establish guidelines for eligibility, or you can leave it to us to determine where your award will fill the greatest community need and make the most impact.
Organization Endowment. These funds are typically started by a nonprofit to build endowment for their own organization. We manage the endowments of more than 100 Muskegon County nonprofits. These organizations receive regular grant distributions from their fund, while saving for the future.
Community Project. These non-endowed funds are created by groups who partner with us for help with administration of a specific program, capital campaign, or other service.
*Build A Fund. If starting a fund at the $5,000 or $10,000 level as mentioned above isn’t possible, any of these funds can begin as a Build A Fund with the goal of reaching the fund minimum within a few years. It takes a minimum gift of $2,000 to start one ($10,000 for scholarships). Once the balance is sufficient, we’ll work with you to officially convert the fund into the type you desire, and grantmaking can begin.
Donor Advised Funds
Donor Advised Funds are popular, flexible vehicles for individuals, families, and businesses that streamline your giving and can boost community impact. You can think of it as your charitable giving account.
Creating a Donor Advised Fund takes $10,000 and a simple agreement that we draft with you to reflect your interests. There’s no additional paperwork, no fiduciary responsibilities, no IRS or investment worries. It’s just you and the causes you’re passionate about. You can make additional gifts to the fund with tax advantages and we’ll handle the fund administration, investments and tax reporting. We’ll keep you in the loop about emerging opportunities, critical needs and what’s happening in the community. Best of all, you can involve your family in your giving decisions, as you build a legacy for the future. To learn more, download our Donor Advised Fund Guidelines or contact us for more information.
How a Donor Advised Fund works:
- Create a fund with $10,000 or more (or start a Build A Fund with $2,000 and use it to save up for your Advised Fund).
- Take a tax deduction whenever you add to your fund; recommend grants from it when there’s something you want to support.
- Grants can support any 501(c)(3) organization (also churches, schools and municipalities); we check out all recommended nonprofits before we put your grant to work.
- Choose to remain anonymous if you wish on a grant-by-grant basis.
- Get your family involved in giving, name your children as Successor Advisors to the fund, or honor your parents by creating a fund in their name.
- With corporate funds, you show the community that your business cares and, if you wish, you can involve your employees in choosing causes to support.
Contributing to your fund:
- Mail a check to our office at 425 W. Western Ave., Suite 200, Muskegon MI 49440
- Click here to give online via credit card
- Transfer appreciated stock—use these instructions or contact Heidi Sytsema / 231.332.4107
- Give real estate and other assets—please contact Heidi Sytsema
Recommending a grant from your fund:
- Email or call us with the name of the organization, amount and purpose of the grant, or
- Complete this grant recommendation form and send it to us, or
- Log onto the Fundholder Portal and suggest a grant. Donor Central is a secure site where you can view your fund activity (gifts and grants) and send us grant suggestions. Contact us to set up your Donor Central account.