Fostering Generosity

When it comes to a giving strategy, there are no cookie-cutter solutions. Every donor has different needs and objectives; the legacies they wish to leave are always unique.

That’s why we leverage a variety of philanthropic tools and work with our donors, one-on-one, to determine the right vehicle for them.

Last year, we added new tools that allow donors to determine their own investment strategy while leveraging their gifts through the Foundation. As a result, we saw a significant increase both in assets and in the number of funds we manage.



Leaving a Legacy

In 2017, we engaged the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship to conduct a Transfer of Wealth study for our service area. We learned that an estimated $9.2 billion is expected to transfer between generations in Hamilton County alone in the next 10 years. Capturing and endowing just 5% of that expected transfer would result in an additional $23 million annually for local community causes.


Allen and his family are passionate about our community’s natural resources, and they wanted to ensure that efforts to protect and preserve the environment we all share were supported both now and in perpetuity. We helped Allen set up a Field of Interest Fund, which provides resources for issues donors care most about while preserving the fund’s principal, ensuring that Allen and his family are able to support the health of our environment for generations to come.

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The needs of our community are always changing — often in ways we can’t foresee. The Foundation is home to numerous Unrestricted Funds, designed specifically to address our community’s immediate and pressing needs as they arise. The Fund for Chattanooga, which provides approximately $1 million in grants to local nonprofits annually, is an example of the good that results when generous donors pool their unrestricted gifts together. As a permanently endowed asset, The Fund for Chattanooga generates growth year after year, ensuring that we can respond to local needs, even as they evolve.


Looking for a way to convert her annual IRA-required minimum distributions into gifts for a specific charity and reduce her tax burden, Joanne approached the Foundation for help. By setting up a Designated Fund at the Foundation, Joanne eliminated the tax burden of her annual IRA distribution and provided support to her preferred charity—a local animal shelter—both now and for the long-term.



New Philanthropic Tools 

In partnership with professional advisors, we have continued to foster generosity in our community by providing a variety of giving options for those who wish to live their values through their philanthropy.

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Individuals and families looking for flexible giving vehicles often benefit from the creation of a donor advised fund (DAF). A DAF is ideal for someone who wants to take a charitable deduction in one given year and spread the contributions over the following years.

Mark and his wife cared deeply about supporting public education in our community, which was just one of the reasons they decided to establish a DAF with the Foundation in 2017. But they wanted their longtime wealth manager to continue overseeing the fund’s assets. We recognized that many of our fundholders have strong relationships with their wealth managers, so we began offering Individually Managed Funds (IMFs): a specific type of DAF that allows external investment advisors to manage the assets of the fund. In just one year, seven IMFs were opened, totaling almost $15 million.


Joe had a philanthropic vision for the community he loves and calls home. Working closely with Joe’s attorney, the Foundation developed a Supporting Organization, a philanthropic structure that allows Joe to engage his family in his philanthropy while also managing the fund’s investment strategy. Leveraging the Supporting Organization structure, Joe and his family can support the causes they care about during their lifetime, while providing the means for the Foundation to support those same causes far into the future.