Foundation Fact Friday: How to Start a Fund

Throughout the past few months’ of Foundation Fact Friday articles, the word “fund” has been used countless times, and our endowment funds have been referenced constantly.  Many of you have likely wondered at some point, “How does one start a fund?”


Despite the unintentional illusive articles thus far, beginning an endowment fund at the Rush County Community Foundation is actually very easy!  Once you have determined how you’d like your dollars allocated (the community as a whole, a specific cause, a specific organization, etc.), give us a call!  We’ll talk through your idea(s) and direct you to a fund type that best matches your goal.  Together, we’ll turn your dream into an eternal reality by putting pen to paper and getting the fund documents created.  With an initial investment of $5,000, a charitable intent/purpose of the fund, fund name, and signed documents, a fund is developed!  It’s even easier than it sounds!


A few things to note:

  • Funds are often created and named to memorialize or honor a loved one. Of our 192 funds, more than 90% are named after a person/people!  If you choose to honor a loved one, consider developing a fund with their interests in mind (ie:  if they loved nature, create a fund that benefits nature in a charitable way, our local parks, etc.).
  • Since the Rush County Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity, all funds must have charitable intent. While that provides endless opportunities, we are unable to legally support business ventures, for-profit economic development, and activities and organizations that fall outside of “charitable”.
  • The initial investment of $5,000 creates a fund, but the fund does not provide grants to benefit the cause you select until gifts to the fund exceed $10,000. With our investment and disbursement practice, this allows more to be given to the cause and protects the fund (and its granting ability) from a downturn in the market.


If beginning a fund is a long-term goal for you, we have options available to assist you with investing slowly, or investing through gift instruments such as life insurance policies, charitable remainder trusts, or through a final bequest in your Last Will and Testament.  Don’t let the dollars discourage you from making a lasting impact on a charitable need within our community!  Give us a call and we’ll happily walk you through the options available.  Ultimately, we want to ensure the intent of your gift is fulfilled, whether we receive that gift now or in the future, so having a conversation and developing documents is helpful to us all.


If you’re intrigued with the options available to turn your dream into a lasting reality, you can also visit our website at  For additional information, our office is located at 117 N. Main St., Rushville or via phone at (765) 938-1177.

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