Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Community Foundation?
A community foundation is a tax-exempt, nonprofit, autonomous, publicly-supported, philanthropic entity composed primarily of permanent funds established by many separate donors for the long-term diverse, charitable benefit of the residents of a defined geographic area. It's a financial framework designed to help individuals and families get the most out of their charitable giving.
How do Community Foundations differ from United Ways?
We are similar in that, while most nonprofit organizations have specific missions, both community foundations and local chapters of the United Way aim to serve a broad range of charities in a given area. The Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia and United Ways in our region both serve the same geographic area, and the types of charities we aim to support often overlap. However, we are different in three ways. First, United Ways tend to focus on essential human needs and charities which provide social services, community foundations serve all needs in a given area. We support most organizations the United Way supports, but we also support recreation, arts and culture, education, community and economic development, scholarships, and special projects. Secondly, United Ways focus their work on an annual workplace fundraising campaign. Funds raised during a given year are generally used that same year. Community foundations, by contrast, do not mount annual campaigns, seeking instead to attract large, long-term gifts. A community foundation’s grantmaking and operations are supported primarily by the annual income generated by the foundation’s endowment. Finally, community foundations focus on attracting and managing permanent endowments. Most chapters of United Way do not attempt to manage long-term funds or permanent endowments. It is sometimes said that the United Way is a community’s “checking account,” while its local community foundation is its “savings account.”
What is the mission of the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia?
Our mission is to promote and facilitate philanthropy in Northwest Georgia.
What counties does the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia service?
The Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia awards grants to qualified organizations in our affiliate communities – Bartow, Whitfield, and Gordon Counties. We help philanthropists in Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, Pickens, Walker, and Whitfield counties with their charitable endeavors.
When was the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia established?
The Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia was established in 1998.
Our office is located at 714 Thornton Ave, Dalton, Georgia. From I-75, take the Walnut Avenue exit and travel east for two miles to the intersection of Thornton Ave and Walnut Ave. Our office is on the second floor of Building F.
Where is the Community Foundation’s office?
When are the deadlines for grant application submissions?
The deadlines for grant submissions are 31 March and 01 October.
It’s easy to apply for a grant. We prefer that grant applications be completed online. Of course, you have to complete the submission process before the deadlines. CLICK HERE to get started and if you have a problem, call the office.
How can my organization apply for a grant?
How does the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia select grant recipients?
Each community affiliate has a grant committee responsible for reviewing grant applications and recommending grant recipients to each affiliate’s board of directors. Our full board of directors must give final approval to the committee’s recommendations.
The Community Foundation awards grants to qualified, tax-exempt nonprofit organizations for work directly benefiting residents of Northwest Georgia. We favor applicants who show the greatest promise of leveraging additional support from the community and/or projects that meet specific community needs and benefit a broad segment of the local population.
Our Community Foundation is less likely to award grants exceeding $5,000 or projects requiring more than one year to accomplish.
Our Foundation operates a broad grants program to multiple grantees that is not limited by mission to a single focus or cause or exclusively to the interests of a particular constituency, and widely disseminates grant guidelines to ensure the fullest possible participation from the communities it serves.
An endowment is a fund in which the principal is never disturbed. Disbursements are made from the earnings (interest) of the principal. Endowments are typically set up to serve long-term goals of a charitable cause.
What is an endowment?
We offer the best tax advantages for charitable donations available under law. We are a publicly-supported nonprofit organization, qualified under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code. By avoiding classification as a private foundation, we are able to offer greater tax advantages than a private foundation can.
What are the tax advantages of donating to a Community Foundation?
Gifts to the Community Foundation may involve many different types of assets and may take a variety of forms, including outright gifts on a one-time or periodic basis, planned gifts involving deferred gifts or split-interest gifts, and testamentary gifts created by bequest. To read our full Gift Acceptance Policy, CLICK HERE.
What is the Foundation’s Gift Acceptance Policy?
The Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia (“CFNWGA”) is committed to lawful and ethical behavior in all of its activities and requires its directors, officers, employees, volunteers, contractors, consultants, and agents to conduct themselves in a manner that complies with all applicable laws and regulations and its Code of Ethics. This Policy is intended to encourage employees and others to raise serious concerns without fear of retaliation in any form. If at any time a concern exists regarding the propriety or legality of any action contemplated to be taken or that has been taken by the President, any officer, employee, donor, grantee, contractor, consultant, vendor, or agent of the CFNWGA as the action relates to CFNWGA activities, or if an action needs to be taken in order for CFNWGA to be in compliance with law or its Code of Ethics, the reporting individual may address the issue directly by going to any officer of CFNWGA, including the President of CFNWGA, as needed until matters are satisfactorily resolved. If the reporting individual is not comfortable speaking to the President or does not feel the issue has been properly addressed, he or she may contact the Chair of the CFNWGA Board of Directors, or the Chair of the CFNWGA Audit Committee. Contact information for these individuals may be obtained by calling the office at (706) 275-9117. To read our Whistleblower Policy, CLICK HERE.
What should I do if I have an ethical concern about the Community Foundation?
In our efforts to comply with the Internal Revenue Code and regulations, the Foundation promotes and allows public inspection of the Foundation’s IRS Form 990, IRS Form 990-T, most recent audit,IRS Determination Letter, and its application granting tax exempt status. We invite you to visit the Foundation’s office to view copies of the documents marked, “For Public Inspection.” You will be allowed to review the documents in-house without a staff person present. No fee is charged. If you are unable to come to the office, please call the office at (706) 275-9117 and request electronic copies of the documents. No fee is charged. You can also visit GuideStar web site at www2.guidestar.org to view copies of Form 990 and Form 990-T. To review our public inspection policy, CLICK HERE.