What You Need to Know

The Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri, Inc. exists to build and hold charitable component funds and a permanent and growing endowment for the changing needs and opportunities of the communities in our region, and to honor the intentions of donors who create those funds.

Incorporated in 2009, The Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri, Inc. is a qualified publicly supported charity under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)3 and 509(a)1 allowing us to offer tax deductions for gifts made to The Community Foundation, just as they would receive for gifts to other nonprofit organizations.

Since our beginning 5 years ago, The Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri, Inc. has grown to serve the 18 counties of Northwest Missouri and become known nationally for our innovative approach to regional vitality. Donors have entrusted us with 100 charitable funds, we’ve established relationships with nonprofits through the 18 counties of Northwest Missouri we serve, and we are a leader and a resource for philanthropy for individuals, companies, and families.

We encourage professional advisors access the materials available and to review our Financial Policies and Investment Guidelines, and explore other information.

The following is an overview of some of the guiding principles of The Community Foundation.

A volunteer group of qualified financial professionals and investment savvy individuals makes up the Finance, Investment & Grant Committee. This group is responsible for oversight of The Community Foundation’s investments and investment managers, and the Committee reports to the Board of Directors on investment matters, including the acquisition, disposition, administration, and management of investments and the performance of investment managers.

The Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri, Inc. investment objectives are to maintain and increase the purchasing power the funds donors have invested in our pools, and to produce a solid return for distribution to maximize The Community Foundation’s donors ability to meet current community needs.

The Community Foundation can offer flexible options for investment management of funds to ensure the donor is pleased with the investment. Donors are always encouraged to select their own investment manager for their funds with The Community Foundation.

Charitable funds provide resources for grant making and can help make a positive difference anywhere. Carrying out the wishes of donors, The Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri, Inc. disburses grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the United States recognized as public charities exempt from income tax under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Grants provide support for the work of nonprofit organizations in areas “from arts to zoology” including but not limited to the arts, humanities, conservation, education, health, and social services.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of a community foundation is its variance power. The variance power permits The Community Foundation to modify a restriction on a fund. This may happen when the Board of The Community Foundation determines that the restriction is unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment, or inconsistent with the charitable needs.

Inclusion of the variance power in The Community Foundation’s governing documents is a requirement of the tax regulation.

Perhaps more importantly as a practical matter, the variance power allows The Community Foundation to protect donor intent and liability. For instance – a grant cannot be made for purposes not laid out in the establishing document. The Community Foundation would only exercise the variance power with great care, giving full consideration to the original intent of the donor and attempting to arrive at the closest similar purpose.

All grants are ratified by the Finance, Investment & Grant Committee, assisted by a professional program staff that reviews and evaluates eligibility of all grantees.

The Board of Directors is the governing body of The Community Foundation responsible for administrative policy and guidance of the organization. Each of the members bring his or her own experience and background, whether in business, community service, law, education, finance, or other areas, to bear on the direction of The Community Foundation’s work. This diverse group of individuals represents the 18 counties of Northwest Missouri. Their familiarity with local issues and knowledge of changing economic and social conditions sharpens their ability to function and advise The Community Foundation staff. It is their responsibility to represent donors’ interests, to monitor grantees, and to ensure, through the years, a most advantageous application of time and resources.