Types of Funds

Donors to La Crosse Community Foundation can create a fund that supports a specific need or area of interest, or one that is multipurpose and flexible. The foundation administers the funds in perpetuity to serve the donors’ interests and respond to community needs. Funds are named by donors often for their family, or in honor or memory of a loved one. 

The community foundation model is about permanence. We encourage donors to establish endowed funds so that grants can be made from those funds both now and forever. That is why we say we are “For Good. Forever.”  


Donor Advised Funds 

When establishing a donor advised fund, donors make a charitable gift to the foundation and receive immediate tax benefit, then can remain actively involved in the grant making process from the fund’s distributions. These funds offer a highly personal approach to giving, as professional grant making staff can help fund advisors make grants to agencies or projects that best fit their interests. 

Designated Funds

When a designated fund is established the donor selects one or more organizations as the perpetual recipient of the fund’s distributions. The foundation ensures that the designated recipients receive support so long as they remain in existence, and continue to fulfill their intended charitable mission. These funds are commonly established through estate plans as a way to continue providing annual support to the donor’s favorite charitable entities beyond his or her lifetime. 

Field Of Interest Funds 

These funds enable individuals and groups to pool their charitable gifts into one fund that addresses a specific purpose or area of interest. The foundation’s board awards grants to organizations that are making a difference in that particular area. The fund remains flexible enough to meet community needs within the its specific purpose, even as those needs change over time. 

Scholarship Fund 

Scholarship funds provide financial support to deserving students. Donors establish the scholarship criteria (major, school, etc.), and the foundation’s staff ensures awards are made in accordance with set guidelines. 

Supporting Organizations 

A supporting organization is an excellent alternative to a private foundation for donors with significant charitable assets with only a fraction of the administrative responsibilities. Donors select some of the board members and maintain personal involvement in grant making, while enjoying the favorable tax treatment of a public charity. The foundation handles investment management, grant administration and reporting requirements. 

Agency Endowment Funds 

An agency endowment is a type of designated fund established by a nonprofit organization for its own benefit. The community foundation has fiduciary responsibility over the funds, and each year the organization can choose to take the spending rate distribution, or continue to grow the fund with its annual earnings. It’s a simple and efficient way to build an endowment to help create sustainability for an organization. 

Unrestricted Funds 

Over generations, donors have made unrestricted gifts directly to the community foundation to use in addressing changing community needs. Unrestricted gifts are put in the General Fund to gift through the foundation’s competitive grant making process. The board, with assistance from the foundation’s staff, evaluates proposals with an eye toward leveraging resources and provider expertise. Unrestricted funds are some of the Foundation’s most important, flexible resources to address the ever-changing needs of our dynamic community. 

If you are interested in establishing a fund, or learning more about your options, contact Petra Roter at (608) 782-3223 ext. 22. 


401 Main St., Ste. 205
La Crosse, WI 54601
Phone: (608) 782-3223
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