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Yolo Community Foundation

Board of Directors President
Mary Stephens DeWall
Vice President
Jim Rodgers
Jamie Madison
Paul Harder
Michael Campbell
Susan Collins
Joan Hogan
Charles Lacy
Nancy Shapiro
Mortimer Schwartz
Amy Wilson
Cath Posehn, Executive Director

Advisors Circle
Sandy Cordoza
Paul and Gail Casson
Alan Dismuke
Richard C. Dorf
Elly Fairclough
Mohini Jain
Mary Kimball
Paul Kolarik
Jim Lapsley
Jose Lopez Rivera
Freddie Oakley
John Pickerel
Lynnel Pollock
Irma Rodriguez
Dave Scheuring
Meg Stallard
Bob Young

Financial Advisors
Mark Sievers, Epsilon Financial Group
Bob Lew, Planning and Financial Advisors

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a community foundation?
A community foundation is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization governed by a board of private citizens chosen to be representative of the public interest and for their knowledge of the community. It administers individual funds contributed or bequeathed to it by individuals, families, other organizations, businesses and other sources. Community foundations provide donors of diverse financial capabilities and interests with a vehicle for pooling their resources to accomplish charitable goals. There are more than 700 community foundations across America with a combined asset base of more than $30 billion.

Community foundations serve three distinct constituencies: donors, the nonprofit sector and the community as a whole. The purposes of a community foundation are in general to:

  1. Professionally manage and distribute revenues, and portions of the principal when permitted, from donors' charitable contributions and bequests in a manner consistent with donors' specific and general interests;
  2. Maintain and enhance the educational, social, cultural, health, civic and environmental resources of the community through support of qualified nonprofit organizations; and
  3. Through actions of the board and staff, provide philanthropic leadership and help create and promote efforts among citizens to improve the quality of life in the community.

Does the Community Foundation receive funding from city, county and state government?
No. the Community Foundation is a public 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. Its funds come from donations from individuals and organizations and from grants from private foundations.

Who are the donors to Yolo Community Foundation?
Our donors are people of modest to magnificent means and they have a lasting impact on the quality of life in Yolo County.

Who names and establishes the purposes of a fund?
The donor does. Yolo Community Foundation is here to help you achieve your own personal charitable objectives.

Can a fund be established in someone's name?
Yes. Funds are named any way you wish, so a family or corporate name can be used. Or if you prefer, funds can remain anonymous.

Are there options if one cannot afford to part with assets or income right now?
Yes. Through deferred giving vehicles such as charitable remainder trusts or gift annuities, you can plan to create a fund in the future while receiving current-year tax deductions. Some arrangements may even help you increase your current income, help you diversify your portfolio, and avoid capital gains, gift or estate taxes. Of course, you can also make a bequest through your will.

What is the difference between a private foundation and a community Foundation?
Community foundations qualify as a public charity 501(c)(3). This allows donors the maximum tax deduction for gifts and bequests. A single individual or family usually establishes a private foundation while community foundations are a pool of funds given by various donors for charitable purposes. A community foundation is what you would have if private foundations got together to pool their assets for investment purposes, reduce overhead, share staff, make grants, and address community needs.

Why should one choose Yolo Community Foundation rather than establishing a private foundation?
With a community foundation, there are no excise taxes, no payout requirements, and no excessive paperwork. As a donor, you will have access to a professional staff who can help you achieve your goals.

What is an endowment fund?
An endowment fund is a permanent fund established within the Foundation for either specific or general purposes. Because the principal will always remain intact (only the earnings are spent for grants), the fund will always be here, supporting community programs year after year.

Does the Foundation spend its principal?
Not unless a donor requests that we do so. Otherwise, funds are permanently endowed and will support the types of important community projects and programs stipulated by the donor well into the future.

What types of programs does the Foundation support with its grants?
Yolo Community Foundation is able to make grants across an entire spectrum of community concerns. Our main criterion is that the projects benefit the people who live and/or work in Yolo County.

Who decides on grants?
Foundation staff and Grants Committee members review the applications, make site visits, and recommend grants to the Foundation's Board of Directors. The Board of Directors has final responsibility for all grants and scholarships. Individuals who have Donor Advised Funds can participate in the grant making process by suggesting grants from their Named Fund.

What is the Founders' Circle?
Founding donors represent local supporters who are committed to supporting a community foundation in Yolo County. The Founders' Circle members are those individuals or organizations who contribute $5,000 for three consecutive years. This support provides start-up capital required by Yolo Community Foundation until it becomes self-sustaining. Once a Founder, always a Founder. The names of the Founders' will be prominently displayed in our materials.

What is the Sustainers' Circle?
Sustainers Circle members donate $1000 to support Yolo Community Foundation's programs and services.

Administrative Fees
Administrative fees are assessed on all funds at the Community Foundation to help defray the costs of servicing your fund. These are annual fees, calculated on the total value of the fund during that calendar year, and assessed in January of the next year. Funds are assessed 2% each year on the total value of the fund during that calendar year. These rates are all in keeping with the accepted standards and practices of community foundations throughout the United States. They are lower than those charged by many other community foundations.

How can I get more information about the Yolo Community Foundation?
Please feel free to contact us via phone (530) 312-0593 or e-mail