Dream Big, Start Small. Help Your Community with an Acorn Fund

It is an easy way to make a big difference with a small amount. That is the philosophy behind the Acorn Fund in the Wabash Valley Community Foundation. You don’t have to be a millionaire to make an impact on your community through this affordable, structured giving plan.

Why an Acorn Fund?
Oak trees do not spring up full grown; they start as small acorns. A vast majority of the funds started in the Wabash Valley Community Foundation did not start as full endowments through the single infusion of big money. Most of them started with small contributions and continue to grow. The important thing is that they were started. The Acorn Fund provides that opportunity for people who do not have a single large amount to donate to build a charitable fund.

How do I start an Acorn Fund?
An Acorn Fund may be started with a donation of only $100. As the donor, you may name any charitable area or field of interest to be the beneficiary of your fund. Haven’t you thought of some area, group, place or project that you would like to help? Dream for your community and turn that dream into a fund.

How do I make the Acorn Fund grow?
After your initial gift of $100, you then make regular, tax-deductible contributions of at least $1,000 annually. These gifts may be of various amounts, but must total $1,000 for the year. The money donated grows through reinvestment of interest and dividends.

When does the Acorn Fund start giving back?
When your Acorn Fund reaches a total balance of $5,000, it starts giving back in the form of grants to that group, place or dream which motivated you to start with that $100 gift. Unlike the oak, this Acorn is permanent; it will grow and give forever.

Why should I start an Acorn Fund?
Starting an Acorn Fund feels good; it makes your dream happen; it is a giving thing. With an initial gift of $100 and a total gift of $5,000, you can have your own charitable trust without all the red tape and legal fees. Your job is starting and nurturing the trust. The tending of it will be handled through investments done by expert investment managers and monitored by the Community Foundation Board of Directors. You may watch the Acorn grow through quarterly statements and your participation in the Community Foundation. As a fund creator, you are also invited to visit projects and meet the people you have assisted through your Acorn Fund.

What if something happens?
Things do happen. What if your income increases, you receive a windfall, or sell your business or property? You can increase your payments and make the fund reach the necessary $5,000 faster. If you are already at $5,000, you can increase the fund and make your dreams bigger and reach more people. What if something happens and you are no longer able to contribute to your Acorn Fund? The Community Foundation will move your fund, if under $5,000, to its general endowment fund where the money will still serve others.

You may also make a gift through your will. For many people, the most significant gift is made to charity through an estate. The establishment of an Acorn Fund by you ensures that you may endow your fund through your estate, making sure that your dream continues For good. For ever.®