Benefits of Giving
Establishing a Fund
Ways to Give
FAQs: Giving
Investment Information
Charitable Trusts
Charitable Projects
Featured Donor

Please click here to make grant recommendations online and view your fund activity.

Please click here to print a Grant Recommendation Form (for advised funds only).
Sign up here to receive «Looking Forward, Giving Back», our regular eNewsletter that includes the latest in charitable giving news.

FAQs: Giving

Why is The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC) a better choice for charitable giving than commercial charitable gift institutions?

  • TFEC offers you more flexibility in gift giving; for example, we can accept privately held stock and real property.
  • We offer flexibility in grantmaking; because of TFEC's variance power, your gift will never become obsolete.
  • We can provide local legal expertise (at no cost to the donor) in structuring a gift.
  • We allow the opportunity for others in the community to contribute to a fund such as a memorial fund.
  • We make every effort to be convenient and easy for you to use. We know you and you know us. We are your neighbors, not just a voice on the telephone or an email address.
  • We have established expert investment policies, oversight, and a total return investment philosophy. Our investments are not limited to the options offered by a particular mutual fund family or financial institution.
  • Our staff can provide advice and knowledgeable assistance in determining worthy charities and projects that respond to community needs.
  • Our fees are reasonable.
  • We provide real donor recognition in our Annual Report (or anonymity, if it is desired).
  • Local governance assures responsiveness and accountability to you.

What advantage is there to using TFEC when I could just give an endowment to my favorite local charity?

  • Most charities are expert in their particular service areas, but are they expert in investment management and oversight? Do they have investment policies that are designed to provide a predictable income, while providing for growth and avoiding the erosion of buying power due to inflation? Are there absolute safeguards in place that protect the principal from being invaded for emergencies or by a future spendthrift board of directors? TFEC can answer, "yes" to all these questions.
  • While some larger charities have development staff, many smaller ones don't. TFEC can offer you the expertise of a staff knowledgeable about sophisticated gift plans such as charitable remainder trusts and gifts of real estate.
  • Many donors have interests in supporting several charities. TFEC can set up a single endowment fund that supports several charities. It's easy to accomplish all of your goals in our "one stop shop."
  • Most of us believe that our favorite charities will continue to serve our region forever. Sadly, history tells us that this is not always the case. TFEC has the built-in flexibility to redirect funds to a similar purpose if the named beneficiary ceases to exist. This flexibility assures that your legacy endures forever, and could never be used to pay off the debts of an agency in financial trouble.

I don't have a particular charity that I want to support, but I want to create a memorial to honor my mother, who was always interested in children's health. Can TFEC help me?

  • You can establish an area of interest fund, named for your mother, which would specify that grants from the fund should be used for programs and projects that promote children's health. TFEC's expert program staff and grantmaking committee would then identify, on an annual basis, worthy and effective projects or programs to be supported by the fund.
  • Relatives and friends can add to the fund at any time and in any amount.

Is there a way I can use TFEC for my charitable giving without committing to a specific agency or even a particular purpose? I may want to change my mind from year to year.

  • TFEC offers a wide variety of flexible plans for donors who wish to be active in recommending the best use of funds annually. Through donor-advised funds, both permanent and nonpermanent, we can develop a plan that gives you the flexibility you desire. TFEC’s Board of Directors must approve all grant recommendations from donor advisors.

It sounds like TFEC can do a lot more that I realized. Are there any limitations to what you can do?

  • Of course. As a public charity, we are limited by statutes, regulations and policies, and we strive to comply with all such limitations. We make grants to institutions and agencies described under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Among other limitations, we do not make grants to individuals; to influence legislation; to pay a donor's pledges, dues, or memberships; or for any purpose that provides a benefit to the donor.
var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-24929981-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + ''; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, 200 North Third Street, P. O. Box 678, Harrisburg, PA 17108-0678,
Telephone: (717) 236-5040, Fax: (717) 231-4463