The Austin Community Foundation fosters philanthropy for the lasting good of the community.
VALUES: In accomplishing this mission, the Austin Community Foundation Board holds the following values:
Caring - We treat all donors and recipients in an open, compassionate and ethical manner.
Dedication - We are committed stewards of resources to meet identifiable community needs.
- Philanthropic Leadership - We put philanthropy into action to serve the community.
A COMMUNTY OF DONORS
The Austin Community Foundation is a community foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides stewardship for more than 900 individual charitable funds. With its specialized services, the Austin Community Foundation gives donors efficient charitable fund administration.
The Austin Community Foundation qualifies as a Section 501 (c)(3) public charity under the Internal Revenue Code. Every fund created in the Austin Community Foundation qualifies for the maximum charitable deduction permitted by law.
We are here forever. We are the caretakers for permanent funds that will long outlast their donors, our current staff and the Foundation’s current Board of Governors. The faces may have changed since our first named endowment fund was created in 1978 by John Simpson in honor of his wife, Mary Neighbors Simpson, but in the years since, we have made grants from her fund in excess of the amount of the original gift while preserving principal for the next century’s needs.
Community foundations like ours focus on a local area where we can get to know every social need, every arts group, every street corner and neighborhood. That way, we know where to put our donors’ gifts so they do the most good.
Donors particularly benefit from this expertise when they adopt our general goals or choose a broad field of interest for their fund. Grants from these funds are spent in our home territory, where we can monitor changing conditions and respond to emergencies.
Other donors specify certain charities they wish us to support with their funds. They benefit from our ability to monitor the charities’ performance for generations into the future, ensuring that the donors’ funds will continue to meet the purposes for which they were intended.
Donors may recommend grantees outside our region provided that they qualify as 501(c)(3) public charities and have been incorporated within the United States (grants outside of the United States may qualify with certain restrictions).
Among the Austin Community Foundation’s fiduciary responsibilities, none is more important than the prudent investment of its assets.
The Investment Committee of the Foundation is composed of astute financial managers and business people from the Board of Governors. This committee sets investment policy and oversees the performance of the investment managers who are reviewed quarterly. Investment managers are instructed to preserve endowment principal as the primary objective while current income and long term capital appreciation are secondary objectives. Money managers are evaluated by the Investment Committee on portfolio performance and strategy.
Some contributors of mid-size and larger funds request a different investment scenario that the Investment Committee may agree to carry out, considering the best interests of the Foundation. For example, trust departments of our local banks and a donor’s own money manager have been the money managers for several of our funds.
The Foundation has achieved a very satisfactory total return on its funds since its inception. Each fund is credited with its proportionate income and market adjustment every month as well as assessed its share of investment and administrative expense, which is quite low and very competitive.
The Board of Governors of the Austin Community Foundation provides stewardship for all contributed funds. Serving without compensation, the Governors approve all grants made, review investment performance and oversee the operation of the Foundation.
The men and women who make up our Board of Governors represent Austin’s most distinguished civic and business leaders. Collectively, they offer extensive knowledge of our region and experience in institutional management, law, finance and philanthropy. Each Governor serves a maximum of two three-year terms.