Naming Your Charitable Fund

hawkins@growyourgiving.org Individual & Family Giving

When you’re ready to open a new donor-advised fund, scholarship fund, or any other kind of charitable fund at the Community Foundation, one of the first things you’ll be asked to do is come up with a name for your fund.

For some, this is one of the most enjoyable aspects of setting up a fund. For others, it may be challenging. Here are some things to consider when naming your new fund:

  • Most funds elect to use their name or a family name followed by “fund,” “foundation” or “giving account.”

Carl and Harriette Winslow Family Giving Account
Art Vandelay Charitable Fund
Valerie Frizzle Scholarship Fund

The fund name must include a descriptor, like fund or foundation, that clearly shows the grant is not coming from a personal account. We aren’t able to set up funds using only a person’s or family’s name.

One descriptor that does not work well in a fund name is “trust,” because a fund is an account at the Community Foundation, not a separate legal entity. A trust may be used to make contributions to a fund, but the fund itself is not a trust.

  • Including “The” at the beginning of the fund name is not necessary; we recommend leaving it off of the fund name in most cases.
  • Some donors choose to honor a family member who has passed away by including their name in the fund name.

Grandpa Joe’s Family Legacy
Madea Simmons and Future Generations Foundation

Also keep in mind that after the fund’s advisors pass, the fund’s successor advisors will make grants from the fund.

  • If you have a common last name, like Smith or Jones, you may want to consider adding first names to the fund name to differentiate from others.

Pat and Casey Smith Family Giving
Russ and Jamie Jones Family Fund

It’s possible that you may choose a fund name that already exists in our system, so it’s important to always reference your six-digit fund ID when communicating with us. The fund ID serves as the unique account number for your fund.

  • You aren’t required to include your name or anyone else’s name in your fund name. Some funds may use an inspirational phrase or even their favorite book, poem or song title in the fund name.

Dare to Lead Charitable Foundation
The Road Not Taken Foundation
Signed, Sealed, Delivered Fund

  • When you make grants from your fund, your fund name will appear on grant checks the nonprofits receive, unless you choose to make your grant anonymous. You can always choose to include your name and contact information on the check stub so the nonprofit can easily determine who sent the donation.
  • Rest assured that we can change the name of your fund if you decide you want to go in another direction.

Ready to set up a donor-advised fund? You can get started here.

Authored by: Leanne Breiby, Vice President of Communications