Donor resources and frequently asked questions

Our resources are at your disposal

Our Community Foundation offers a range of services and resources to help donors learn about community issues and make the greatest possible impact with their charitable giving.

In order to help donors be effective and efficient, we offer you:

  • Personal service: Our staff members are available to speak with you about any aspect of your philanthropic giving. We'll also provide you with information about your favorite causes and nonprofits.
  • Educational and networking events: Throughout the year, the foundation hosts special events including a reception for Legacy Society members and an annual breakfast. We can also arrange site visits for our donors so you can see firsthand the charitable work being done in the community.
  • Funding opportunities: The foundation offers donors opportunities to leverage their giving through the foundation's annual competitive grant awards process and to learn about critical needs in the community.
  • Donor's Bill of Rights: Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have certain rights regarding privacy, transparency and professionalism. Read more about our Donor's Bill of Rights.
  • Our credentials: The Capital Region Community Foundation is:
    • A certified Michigan community foundation
    • A Michigan nonprofit corporation
    • A publicly supported tax-exempt organization classified under Section 501(c)(3) & 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the Internal Revenue Code
    • A member of the Council of Michigan Foundations
    • Confirmed in Compliance with the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations
    • A member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the American Council of Gift Annuities, the National Committee on Planned Giving and the Michigan Nonprofit Association
  • Financial information: An independent audit of the Capital Region Community Foundation is conducted annually. Currently, the auditing firm is Maner, Costerisan & Ellis, PC. Hard copies of the following documents are available upon request, and are also available for download: Form 990, Form 990-T (if applicable), application for tax-exempt status (Form 1023), IRS Determination Letter, Audited Financial Statements. Excluding specific donor and personnel information, the financial records of the Capital Region Community Foundation are public. See more of our Community Foundation's financial information.
  • Annual report, news and events: These items and our Community Foundation's latest press releases can be found on our News & Events page.

Questions you might have about Our Community Foundation

The Community Foundation doesn't sell a particular charity. It caters to donors. What's your dream? They can make that happen. They're more stable and secure than any one nonprofit.”

— Pattie Reynolds, former CRCF president and donor

What is the Capital Region Community Foundation?

We are the center for charitable giving in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties. A tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) public charity established in 1987, CRCF is a public resource for donors, professional advisors, nonprofit agencies, municipalities, corporations and others who have questions about how to achieve their charitable goals.

A collection of endowed funds, CRCF is a grantmaking institution. We use income from invested assets to support the humanities, education, the environment, health care, human services, animal welfare and public benefit. There is an open application process.

CRCF is a community leader, serving as a facilitator, convener or mediator around significant issues and by providing technical advice to area nonprofits. And CRCF is a protector of community capital. Community Foundation funds are invested to preserve the value of the contributions received as permanent assets of the organization. Annual audits are performed and investment managers undergo periodic review by the governing body to ensure a reasonable rate of return on all funds entrusted to the Community Foundation.

What is the mission of the Capital Region Community Foundation?

The mission of the Capital Region Community Foundation is to serve the charitable needs and enhance the quality of life in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties. We serve and seek out a wide range of donors to build permanent endowments that are used to meet the changing needs and interests of the community.

How does the Community Foundation differ from a private foundation?

We derive our assets from many donors rather than one, have broad charitable purposes and a demographically diverse, non-compensated board of trustees. Because we are a public charity, we receive more favorable tax treatment, do not pay excise taxes on income, and have more flexibility in our operating ability.

Do you compete with other nonprofits?

No. We are a resource for and supporter of them. We hold many of their endowment funds, work to develop their assets and make grants to their institutions.

What types of funds do you offer?

We have a variety of funds that enable you to start giving immediately or giving strategies that will make gifts to your fund later. You may also choose to do both. Professional staff at the Community Foundation are ready to help.

How many funds does the foundation manage?

We manage more than 400 funds and oversee more than $83 million in assets. And we have disbursed more than $40 million in grants since 1990.

I'm ready to give now. What are my options?

There are several fund types from which to choose. You may donate to an established fund or establish your own named fund with a donation of $10,000 or more, depending on the type of fund. Options include: named, undesignated funds; field-of-interest funds; donor-advised funds; named scholarship funds designated funds and agency endowment funds. We accept gifts of cash, securities and real estate.

I'm thinking of giving later. What are my choices?

Bequests, retirement assets, charitable remainder trusts, charitable gift annuities, charitable lead trusts and life insurance are all welcome gifts.

Is there a tax benefit to working with CRCF?

Yes. Your contributions qualify for the maximum allowable deduction for income, gift and estate tax purposes since the Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity as classified by the Internal Revenue Service.

What other advantages are there to setting up a fund at CRCF?

We manage all the administrative details, while offering you personal service, educational and networking events and notice of funding opportunities that align with your giving preferences. We'll also keep you abreast of emergency and critical needs in our community.

Are the details of my gift made public?

Not if you don't want them to be. While we would love to share your story on our website, multimedia and other distribution channels, we respect and honor our donors' wishes regarding publicity or anonymity.

What's the Legacy Society all about?

Members of the Legacy Society have planned a future gift through a bequest, trust, life insurance, charitable gift annuity or charitable remainder or lead trust. We established the Legacy Society to honor those people now for what they're doing for our future.

Will you work with my professional advisor?

Yes. We have great relationships with a host of local professional advisors and provide them with all they need to get the process started.

What is YAC?

Our Youth Action Committee is a youth advisory committee to the Board of Trustees. These young people, ranging in age from 13 to 18, represent approximately 16 school districts in the tri-county area and are committed to community service, philanthropy and volunteerism. They are also grantmakers. In 2014, YAC disbursed $43,806 to 24 nonprofits in mid-Michigan and $4,550 to 14 local elementary and middle school classrooms for environmental and anti-bullying projects.

Have other questions? Contact us. We love hearing from our donors.

Contact Information

330 Marshall St. | Suite 300 | Lansing, MI 48912 | Directions
P: (517) 272-2870 | F: (517) 272-2871 | Email Us

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