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What does the Jewish Community Foundation of the West do?

We work with individuals, families and organizations to create endowment funds and donor advised philanthropic funds that provide recurring financial support for charitable organizations and causes, within our community and worldwide. The Foundation retains professional investment advisors who work closely with the Foundation’s Investment Committee to guide the management of funds according to our investment management strategies and policies. On a monthly basis, the Foundation processes and administers donor recommended grant distributions to donor designated charitable organizations.

What is the difference between a philanthropic and an endowment fund?

A Philanthropic Fund can be compared to a philanthropic checking account. You make donations to this account as you wish and then distribute as much as you want until the funds are gone. These funds can help you budget your philanthropic dollars and streamline your giving.

An Endowment Fund is a permanent fund, designed to continue generating grants into perpetuity. Once money is deposited in an Endowment it must follow a preapproved spending policy, usually distributing between 3-7% of the fund annually. In this way, the fund will continue to benefit a non-profit long after the original donors are gone.

For additional information, please see our Funds page.

My family already gives to charity. Why should I participate in the Foundation?

Participation in the Foundation offers many benefits, both to individual donors and to the community as a whole.

A donor advised philanthropic fund will allow you to simplify your charitable giving. This type of fund provides you with the ability to easily budget and manage your annual contributions to the charities of your choice. All that you need to do is make one contribution to the Foundation to open your account, at which time you will receive your full tax deduction. You maintain control and flexibility over the distribution of your funds, plus you can distribute your funds in whole or in part at any time by simply sending us an email.

By using the Foundation as a vehicle for your giving you are adding resources to the Jewish community, even if you give to secular causes. Our mission of helping our community raise funds to support key programming and operations is supported by our donors’ participation in the Foundation.

Our family would like to start a permanent endowment fund, but we don’t have a lot of money. What flexibility does the Foundation offer?

While the Foundation requires a minimum of $10,000 to create an endowment fund, a philanthropic fund can be opened with only $1,000. By initially opening a philanthropic fund, dollars can be put aside and saved over the course of time to raise the value of the fund. Once the $10,000 goal is reached, the Philanthropic fund can be “rolled over” to become an Endowment.

How does participating in the Foundation benefit the Jewish Community?

By pooling our resources, our community gets access to better interest rates, lower fees, and better service from the financial world. Our philanthropic dollars go farther and accomplish more when invested together. In addition, the Jewish Community Foundation of the West employs a director, who works to help our institutions create and implement long-term financial plans for stability and growth. When the Foundation is successful, the community is successful.

Our goal at the Foundation is to grow our resources big enough to be able to offer our own grants for projects that will benefit the Jewish Community.

How can an organization benefit from opening an endowment fund?

A true sign of a mature organization is the ability to establish a permanent endowment fund. Because an endowment provides a permanent source of income, organizations can be less financially dependent on fluctuations in membership or donations. Plus, the Foundation can participate by helping to build strategies for growing your endowment.

Consider these tools for helping to build an organizational endowment:
• Bequests or Legacy Gifts
• Endowing Dues Program
• Designated Giving.

Why give through the Foundation rather than giving directly to the charity?

By participating in the Jewish Community Foundation of the West, your dollars are doing double duty. Investing with JCFW creates benefits for the Jewish community on the whole through access to better interest rates, lower fees, and better service from the financial world. In addition, the Jewish Community Foundation of the West employs a director, who works to help our institutions create and implement long-term financial plans for stability and growth. When the Foundation is successful, the community is successful.

Another benefit of giving through the Foundation is the additional oversight of your charitable dollars. We can help ensure that your donations are being used by a charity in the way you intended.

Finally, endowing your gift to a charity will allow your donation to live in perpetuity. Rather than making a single gift, your endowment will continue to support your chosen program or organization forever.

I don’t have a fund with JCFW. Can I still participate?

Several Jewish organizations in Sacramento have endowment funds and philanthropic funds managed by the Foundation. Many of these funds were created to benefit services and programs in the greater Sacramento community that are fundamental to core Jewish values and beliefs. You can make a contribution to any of these pre-existing funds to help accomplish the mission of the organization or fund .

You can also donate to the Jewish Community Foundation of the West’s unrestricted endowment fund, which is intended to become a community grants program when adequate funds are available to provide grant distributions to community organizations.
If you have additional questions, please contact us.