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  • What is a Leave a Local Legacy Endowment?
    An endowment is comprised of money donated by an individual, family, or estate, to a non-profit organization. This sum of money is placed in an endowment fund, which is then invested. The return from those investments are used to fund local improvement projects and grow the endowment principal.
  • What is the minimum gift to create a Leave A Local Legacy Endowment?
    The minimum level is $20,000. This amount can be donated over a five-year period or via a one-time gift. Gifts less than $20,000 are held in a restricted account until reaching the $20,000 level. At that time, they are moved to the endowment pool and participate in the pool’s investment returns.
  • When are endowments transferred into the investment pool?
    Upon reaching the $20,000 level, endowment funds are transferred into the investment pool.
  • After entering the investment pool, when will a new endowment award its first distribution?
    Endowments begin earning income the first full quarter after they are fully funded and will be allowed to build for a minimum of 12 months to ensure sufficient earnings prior to distributions. This time period provides ample time for the endowment to grow and reduces the potential for volatility of distribution amounts in the early years of a new fund.
  • How is the endowment spending distribution calculated?
    Each year, the Community Foundation will set aside a certain percentage, not to exceed the greater of 6% or the net fund income from the prior year and use the proceeds for the purposes set out in the agreement. The balance of the principal and any accumulated income will remain permanently invested and will not be invaded for any reason.
  • Can the distribution for an endowment ever go down from one year to the next?
    Yes. The market value reported each year can fluctuate significantly. Since the overall goal is to protect the long term viability of the endowment, yearly distributions are calculated accordingly.
  • What fees are charged to the endowment?
    The Foundation assesses each permanent fund a nominal fee to cover administrative, investment expense and governmental fees.
  • What happens when endowment earnings exceed the amount needed for spending and administration fees?
    Each endowment receives its proportionate share of the investment pool’s total return. Earnings in excess of the spending distribution and the management fee are added to the balance of the endowment and are available to provide funding for spending during future periods, including periods of poor investment performance.
  • What effects do negative or very low returns have on the Foundation’s endowments?
    When the investment return is less than the spending rate, the balance of the endowment is reduced accordingly. Due to the distributions and management fee, the value of the endowment could go down even when investment returns are slightly positive. The Foundation’s distribution policy is based upon a strategy where distributions will not exceed net returns.
  • How are the endowment funds invested and managed?
    The Foundation’s Long Term Endowment Pool is held by the Oregon Community Foundation. Their broadly diversified investment portfolio is structured to produce investment returns that exceed market averages, particularly in down markets.
  • What is The Sweet Home Community Foundation?
    The Sweet Home Community Foundation (SHCF) is a public charitable organization and is a 501 (c) 3, tax exempt entity. Our overall goal is to improve the quality of life in this community. We do this by providing monetary grants to local organizations and charitable entities.
  • Can I take a tax deduction for donations made to SHCF?
    Yes! All donations to SHCF are fully tax deductible.
  • When are grants awarded?
    A competitive Community Grants Program supporting Sweet Home area charities and nonprofits is offered annually; the application period is held in the spring, with awards announced shortly after.
  • Who manages the Sweet Home Community Foundation?
    The SHCF Board of Directors is made up of local residents who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the quality of life in our community.
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