FAQs: Giving Through TFEC

FAQ1: Why is 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 grant making. Because of TFEC’s variance power, your gift will never become obsolete and will always represent your initial charitable intent.
  • 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. Anyone can contribute to any fund at TFEC anytime.
  • We make every effort to be convenient, prompt and flexible. 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 reputable nonprofit organizations that respond to changing community needs.
  • Our fees are reasonable.
  • We provide donor recognition in our Annual Report and on our website, www.tfec.org, (or anonymity, if desired).
  • Local governance assures responsiveness and accountability.

FAQ2: What advantage is there to using TFEC when I could just give an endowment to my favorite local charity?


  • Most nonprofit organizations are experts in their particular service areas, but are they experts 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 nonprofit organizations have development staff, many smaller ones do not. TFEC can offer you the expertise of a staff knowledgeable about sophisticated gift plans such as charitable remainder trusts and gifts of real estate.
  • Most donors have multiple charitable interests. TFEC can set up a single endowment fund for a donor that supports one or many charities. It is easy to accomplish all of your charitable giving goals in our “one stop shop.”
  • Most of us believe that our favorite nonprofit organizations will continue to exist forever. Unfortunately, history tells us that this is not always the case. TFEC has the built-in flexibility, through the Board’s variance power, to redirect funds to a similar purpose if a named nonprofit organization ceases to exist. This flexibility assures that your legacy endures forever and your charitable intent is maintained and never used to pay off the debts of a nonprofit organization in financial trouble.

FAQ3: I do not 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 directs grants to nonprofit organizations that promote children’s health. TFEC’s program staff and grantmaking committees would then identify worthy and effective nonprofit organizations to be supported by the fund.

FAQ4: Is there a way I can use TFEC for my charitable giving without committing to a specific nonprofit organization or even a particular purpose? I may want to change my mind from year to year.


TFEC offers a variety of flexible plans for donors who wish to be active in recommending the best use of funds annually. We can help you develop a plan that provides the flexibility you desire with your charitable giving through either a permanent or nonpermanent Donor Advised Fund. TFEC’s Board of Directors must ratify all grant recommendations of donor advisors.

FAQ5: It sounds like TFEC can do a lot more than I realized. Are there any limitations to what you can do?


Yes, there are some limitations placed on all nonprofit organizations and as such, we are limited by statutes, regulations and policies, and we work diligently to comply with all such limitations. We make grants to nonprofit organizations described under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Among other limitations, we cannot:

  1. Make grants to individuals
  2. Influence legislation
  3. Pay a donor’s pledges, dues or memberships
  4. Provide grants for any purpose that provides direct benefit to the donor


Zachary Moore Music Memorial Fund

"TFEC is family to us. It means a lot to have the fund at a place where people cared about Zachary when he was alive, and care about this memorial fund that we’ve established in his honor."

Pillars with Purpose

"TFEC has a can-do attitude. They're invested not just in getting the job done, but also emotionally invested—which makes for a great partner."

Owen's Fund

"I think it's really important that we have a structure and an entity like TFEC to help the community thrive."