Foundation Advantages

Sonora Area Foundation BuildingThere are many reasons why people choose the Sonora Area Foundation to achieve their charitable goals.

Personalized service: We work with you to ensure that your giving does what you want it to do, and when you want to do it. You can choose to be involved in selecting grant recipients, or you can rely on the expertise of our program staff to make grants from your fund that reflect your interests and concerns.

We can help you customize your giving in other ways, such as making grants anonymously or identifying other donors to join you in supporting a special project.

Flexibility: We offer a broad range of choices for fulfilling your charitable and financial goals. For example, if you want your fund to make grants in perpetuity, you can establish an endowed fund. Or you may set up an expendable fund, from which you or family members may recommend grants in any amount at any time.

You can create a fund that enables you to start making grants immediately, or you can make giving a part of your estate plan, or both.

Informed grantmaking: If you already know which organizations you wish to support, we ensure that grants from your fund are distributed efficiently. We will also make sure that each organization you recommend is a qualified nonprofit that is capable of using the grant as you intend.

Many people with funds at the Foundation choose to work with the Foundation’s program staff to help them make their charitable decisions. Foundation staff members are widely recognized for their expertise in community issues. So if, for example, you want to support resource management issues but don’t know who is doing the best work, we can recommend projects to you. Or we can arrange a meeting with key staff at agencies to learn more about their work.
And throughout the year, the Foundation offers our donors opportunities to learn more about community needs.

Simplicity: By working with us, you eliminate most administrative chores. Sonora Area Foundation prepares start-up documentation, handles complicated non-cash gifts, monitors investments, does the grantmaking, and provides you with quarterly reports about your funds’ activity.

The Sonora Area Foundation is unique among community foundations in that we do not charge an administrative fee for managing your funds and providing services. Most community foundations assess a fee ranging from 1% to 5% on your funds. The Sonora Area Foundation does not charge a single dollar for these services. You get more “bang for your buck” with your charitable investment at the Sonora Area Foundation.

Proven stewardship: The Sonora Area Foundation is governed by a board of directors who are civic leaders with many years of experience and involvement in Tuolumne County community issues. The Foundation currently has approximately $27 million in assets. The Foundation staff and board of directors oversee the investment of assets entrusted to us by working with professional portfolio managers at accredited investment firms.

Tax advantages: Sonora Area Foundation is a public charity which means that our donors benefit from the most favorable tax deductions available under IRS regulations. These include tax deductions of up to 50% of adjusted gross income for gifts of cash (compared to 30% through a private foundation), and up to 30% of adjusted gross income for gifts of appreciated assets (compared to 20% through a private foundation).

By donating appreciated properties to the Foundation (including real estate and closely held stock), you may avoid capital gains taxes altogether and possibly claim the full value of your gift as a charitable donation.

Recognition: You may name your fund as you choose—after yourself or your family, to honor someone, or to highlight an issue about which you care deeply. All grants from your fund will be made in the name of the fund you have established, or, if you choose, we can make grants anonymously.

Continuity: Future generations of your family may be involved in recommending grants from your donor-advised fund, thus helping create a family legacy of giving.

Accountability: At any time, with a phone call or e-mail, you have access to the status of your fund. You can know how much is available for grants, a record of past and pending grants, and a history of contributions made to your fund. We also send you quarterly fund statements.

Please contact the Sonora Area Foundation at (209) 533-2596 to arrange a meeting. We can help you through the process of starting your fund and achieving your charitable goals.