WHAT IS A COMMUNITY FOUNDATION?

There are hundreds of community foundations across the country and around the world. Community foundations are set up by people, corporations and families that are dedicated to improving the quality of life in a specific community or region. The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky is committed to serving the people and communities of southeastern Kentucky.

The Foundation is a nationally-accredited, tax exempt public charity that allows people to establish permanent endowment funds and gift funds under the umbrella of one large foundation. We offer an inexpensive, value-added way to establish a named family foundation or to contribute any amount to a permanent endowment for a specific county, nonprofit, or area of interest. The income from these funds is available to make grants in the community that respond to donors wishes, emerging priorities and other opportunities in the community, in order to make our communities stronger.


WHAT DOES A COMMUNITY FOUNDATION DO?

The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky was established in 2006 to improve the quality of life in southeastern Kentucky and to build a culture of giving. Our primary work is to make grants to community groups focused on education, civic engagement, youth programs, the environment, housing and health initiatives. We've granted over $1,000,000 to qualified nonprofit organizations since we made our first grants in 2009. We also provide non-financial support to community groups, by offering technical assistance and information on capacity building. Finally, the Foundation provides philanthropic leadership in the community.


WHO DO YOU SERVE?

We serve southeastern Kentucky, located in the heart of central Appalachia. We are eager to work with anyone interested in promoting philanthropy or establishing a fund for their community or investing in our region.


WHERE DO YOU GET THE MONEY YOU DONATE?

Donors to community foundations range from people of relatively modest means to those with large financial resources. By establishing a fund or donating to an existing fund within a community foundation, donors can contribute their gifts of cash and appreciated property toward a permanently named endowment or an advised gift fund, in which the principal of the fund is available for grants. Donors interested in planned giving or leaving a legacy may include the Foundation in their estate plans or other planned gifts.


WHY BE A DONOR? 

Foundation donors are people with a strong sense of community and personal commitment to making a contribution to the community they love. Some donors want to support worthwhile causes in their community and the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, which offers considerable expertise and familiarity with the community, can help them find the best way to commit their funds. Other donors appreciate the speed, flexibility, and ease of using the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky. Because the legal apparatus is already in place, existing forms are available so that a fund can be established, including obtaining all applicable tax advantages, in a very short time.


WHO GOVERNS THE FOUNDATION?

Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky is governed by a BOARD OF DIRECTORS comprised of individuals who are representative of the region.


WHAT DO YOU FUND?

The Foundation has made grants to nonprofit organizations and schools promoting arts/culture/recreation, civic engagement, education, health and wellness, housing and family assets, youth development, and the environment since 2009. To learn more about our grantmaking, go to GRANTMAKING.


HOW DO PEOPLE APPLY FOR GRANTS?

Applications begin with a letter of interest or letter of intent to the Foundation. We work hard to partner with initiatives that have a strong impact on our communities and the region. Please see our GIVE WHERE YOU LOVE section for grants specific to our Affiliate communities.


WHAT ARE THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS AND TAX ADVANTAGES OF GIFTING THROUGH THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION?

Our approach offers a number of important financial benefits to donors. The Foundation manages unrestricted and discretionary funds from many donors in one place so administrative costs and service fees for any one fund are minimized – which means less overhead cost to a single donor's fund. Another important advantage is that the state of Kentucky offers tax credits for contributions to a permanent endowment in a community foundation through ENDOW KENTUCKY. The federal tax code also provides significant incentives for contributions to a community foundation.

The Foundation has various funds to accommodate donors who prefer the long-term strategy of endowments, as well as those who want to give more actively each year. Donors can choose to establish one of these funds, which allow donors to recommend grants, or can choose to contribute to an existing fund that is flexible in response to emerging needs in the community.


WHY SHOULD I THINK ABOUT GIVING EVEN A SMALL AMOUNT THROUGH THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION?

Everyone can give, and no gift is too small. Community foundations offer a variety of options for making donations. By combining your resources with those of others who share your interests, you can maximize the impact of modest contributions with minimal administrative costs.


HOW ARE THE FOUNDATION FUNDS INVESTED AND MANAGED?

An Investment Committee of respected individuals from the region’s financial sector serve pro bono alongside our professional investment manager to wisely guide the board of directors in maximizing short- and long-term investments of the funds. To learn more, see our INVESTMENT AND SPENDING POLICY.


WHAT SERVICES DO I RECEIVE AS A DONOR AND IS THERE A FEE FOR THIS?

We provide all IRS reporting, accounting and accountability. The Grantmaking Committee of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky does extensive grant review and site visit work, and their recommendations and evaluations are always available to donors. The Foundation assures that all grant recipients meet appropriate tests to assure tax-deductible status, and all scholarship recipients meet eligibility requirements. Donors are kept apprised of special community needs on a regular basis. We can also help donors publicize their funds or, conversely, act as a community liaison to provide anonymity for donors.


HOW DO I MAKE A DONATION?

Cash donations designated to the community endowment fund can be made online or by mail. To request information about other WAYS TO GIVE, including estate planning, contact us via email or phone.