Frequently Asked Questions

What is a community foundation?

A community foundation is an organization that makes grants for charitable purposes in a specific community or region. Community foundations acquire funds from a variety of donors and sources. PCF is one of more than 800 community foundations in the U.S. and a member of the League of California Community Foundations.

What is the difference between a community foundation and other foundations?

Community foundations, including PCF, are recognized by the IRS as 501(c)3 public charities, and as such are permitted to accept 100 percent tax-deductible donations to the maximum extent allowed by the law (more than allowed for private foundations). Community foundation’s assets are derived from diverse sources, whereas private foundations are typically the assets of one family or institution. Private foundations are required by law to pay out (give away) a minimum of five percent of their assets each year. Community foundations do not have an annual payout requirement, however PCF’s annual spending policy adheres to the guidelines of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA).

How Do I Create a Fund?

PCF helps donors use all types of liquid and illiquid assets as charitable contributions, including cash, stocks and securities, IRA or other retirement funds, real estate, life insurance products, and high value personal property. PCF also accepts bequests and deferred gifts an estate. PCF staff will work with you to determine the type of fund that fits your needs, you will sign a fund agreement, and PCF will assist in the transfer of assets to your new charitable fund.

How Do I Apply for a Grant?

Learn about the types of grants PCF provides, what organizations, projects, and programs are eligible, and how to apply.

Do I have to be a Pasadena resident to create a fund? Are grants made from donor advised funds restricted to Pasadena?

No! While many of fund holders live in Pasadena, PCF welcomes donors from across the country. Donor advised grants may be made to public charities anywhere in the U.S. at the donor’s discretion. PCF’s discretionary grants are the only ones restricted to the Pasadena community.

Does my organization have to serve Pasadena to receive a grant? What about the rest of the San Gabriel Valley?

Yes! PCF’s grants are restricted to organizations, institutions, programs, and projects working in the footprint of the Pasadena Unified School District, which includes Pasadena, Sierra Madre, and Altadena. An organization serving a larger area may apply for a grant, but the project requesting funding must be Pasadena-focused.

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