Advisor Frequently Asked Questions

How are community foundations different from commercial gift funds (such as the TD Waterhouse Private Giving Foundation, RBC DS Charitable Gift Program, etc.)?

The Comox Valley Community Foundation  – a community foundation – offers a wider variety of fund options for a donor to choose from, ensuring they can have as much or as little involvement as they wish in the granting process. Also, we can provide personalized assistance in the areas of giving, community knowledge and expertise as well as draw on the professional advice of the Vancouver Foundation.

What are the differences between a establishing a fund at the Comox Valley Community Foundation and creating a private foundation?

Establishing a fund at the Community Foundation is simpler and more cost-effective than establishing a private foundation. The ongoing administration of a private foundation is typically more costly and time-consuming than having a fund at a community foundation, which handles all administrative requirements.

Does the Comox Valley Community Foundation offer services to professional advisors?

The Community Foundation works closely with all types of professional advisors, including lawyers, accountants and investment planners. We can help you design a charitable giving plan that is customized to meet your clients’ needs. We offer assistance with your research questions, sample language for estate plans and fund agreements. We can also make tailored presentations for you and your colleagues on giving strategies, and if requested, we are able to personally meet with you and your clients.

How do I get my clients started?

For some initial information on charitable gift options you can contact the Comox Valley Community Foundation’s office. To discuss gift options and different fund types (see Types of Funds page) that best fit your clients’ charitable interests and financial situation. A client may establish a named fund with an initial gift of just $1,000 (need to be verified) or more.

How does the Comox Valley Community Foundation invest the assets of a charitable fund?

The Foundation currently invests its assets with the Vancouver Foundation – which manages over $1 billion in assets. Their investment objectives, as are ours, are to protect the purchasing power of contributed capital through capital appreciation and provide an income return to fund charitable activities.

What are the Comox Valley Community Foundation’s fees?

The Foundation charges an annual administrative fee of 0.5% regardless of the type of fund that a donor establishes. There are no other charges or fees. (It should be noted that the Vancouver Foundation charges us a fee of 1.15% on the first $10 million invested with them and 0.8% thereafter.)

Will I have to pay a fee to work with you?

No. The Foundation’s Fund Development Committee and staff welcomes the opportunity to discuss a custom-tailored charitable giving plan for your clients at no charge.

How can the Comox Valley Community Foundation fit into my clients’ estate plans?

If requested, the Foundation will work closely with you and your clients to help facilitate planned gifts of all types. Establishing an endowment fund to support the community – either by specifically identifying a charity or a field of interest or having the flexibility for a fund to be used where it may be needed most – is one of the most philanthropic acts an individual or family can consider in their estate plans. We have the expertise to assist with all aspects of charitable giving, including letters of intent around planned gifts.

Will the Comox Valley Community Foundation serve as an executor of a donor’s estate?

No. Foundation policy does not allow us to act as an executor. We recommend donors appoint a qualified and capable organization or individual to administer their estate. We can work with you and your clients to develop a letter of intent as to how such a planned gift will be used.

Will the Comox Valley Community Foundation serve as a trustee of charitable remainder trusts or an annuity?

No. Foundation policy does not allow for us to serve as a trustee in either the case of a charitable remainder trust or an annuity. We recommend donors appoint a trust company or an individual as trustee. In the case of an annuity, we would recommend working with an insurance company. We can work with you and your clients to develop a letter of intent as to how such a planned gift will be used.

Can my clients’ families be involved in their charitable giving through the Comox Valley Community Foundation?

We strongly encourage family philanthropy. We are available to answer your questions and meet with you and your clients to help them through their philanthropic process. We can help you create a customized philanthropic plan, tailored to your clients’ priorities and preference with no obligation to establish an endowment fund at the Foundation and there is no fee for this service.