Types of Funds

CBCF 9 Opportunities to Partner 9 Types of Funds

Many types of funds can be established to make a significant, positive impact in our Coastal Bend area communities. CBCF provides flexibility for you to create a fund that speaks to your interests and goals.

A permanent fund to support education, the arts and culture, community development, health / social services, or other charitable endeavors are the most common funds, often established by a donor or donor group as a corporate or a family fund. Types of funds are described below, with examples of existing CBCF funds to which a donor may choose to contribute.

Designated Funds
Donors who wish to support a specific agency or cause can establish a designated fund. If the original charity ceases to exist, becomes obsolete or is unable to perform their charitable purposes, CBCF’s board of directors is able to redirect grants to an organization providing similar services without the cost of expensive legal action. Donors can create a new designated fund, or contribute to an existing one.

Agency Endowments
Many nonprofit organizations establish an endowment fund with CBCF in order to grow assets to meet both current and future needs. They look to our board of directors for strong investment oversight services and ask our staff to manage all of the administrative details of the endowment. This can provide a relatively constant source of annual income and help maintain their mission in perpetuity. It also frees the nonprofit to focus on what they do best in the community.

Field of Interest Funds
Field of interest funds are often established to support particular interest areas, specific program initiatives, causes or geographic areas. At the donor’s request, use of the funds is restricted to a specified area of interest, but flexibility remains to meet changing situations.

Donor or Charitable Advised Funds
Donor or Charitable advised funds are established by donors who wish to actively participate in the grant-making process. Individuals who establish a donor or charitable advised fund recommend charitable projects or organizations they want to support. It is easy to give to multiple nonprofits through a donor or charitable advised fund. CBCF’s board of directors is legally responsible for approving all grants.

Scholarship Funds
The creation of a scholarship fund is attractive to many donors and can be structured to benefit students at any education level, or for a specific institution. A scholarship fund can also be established to honor a loved one.

While most scholarships are selected by CBCF’s Scholarship committee, donors may choose to stay involved through advisory relationships or name an advisory committee to assist in the selection of recipients. Either way, our staff will handle the necessary paperwork and will ensure that scholarships are distributed in an equitable manner.

Unrestricted Funds
Unrestricted funds are not specifically designated for use by a particular agency, cause or area of interest. Our board of directors oversees the use of these funds, setting priorities for their grants and determining how grants will be distributed to support the charitable needs of our community. Unrestricted funds give us the ability to respond to pressing and often changing needs in the community.


The Mission of the Foundation is to improve the quality of life in the Coastal Bend by building community endowment and addressing social, educational, environmental, and cultural needs through the awarding of grants and scholarships.

The Foundation’s Vision is to provide the Coastal Bend with:

  • Efficient gift options to meet donors’ charitable wishes
  • Effective grants to charitable organizations and scholarships to students
  • Ethical leadership to promote and enhance area philanthropy


Frequently Asked Questions

For Donors


What is the Coastal Bend Community Foundation?

We are one of the largest grant and scholarship providers in South Texas. We hold over $77.3 million in assets, managing 307 charitable funds started by individuals, families, businesses and foundations. From these funds, we have awarded over $115 million in grants and scholarships since 1981.

What geographic area does the Foundation serve?

We serve seven counties in the Coastal Bend region of South Texas – Aransas, Bee, Jim Wells, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio and San Patricio.

Who governs the Foundation?

A 25-member Board of Directors governs us and approves all grant and scholarship distributions from funds. At least two board members serve from each of the seven counties; members are chosen for their leadership and philanthropy in the Coastal Bend; members may serve for up to three, three-year terms.

How do you invest Foundation funds?

We specialize in endowed funds that enable us to make grants and provide scholarships while growing resources over time. To accomplish that, assets are invested for long-term performance. Our board sets investment policies and monitors performance with help from our investment committee and investment manager. Our financials are audited annually by an independent accounting firm.

What is the difference between a private foundation and a community foundation?

A community foundation qualifies as a public charity. This allows donors the maximum tax deduction for gifts and bequests. A private foundation is usually established by an individual or family. A community foundation is what you would have if private foundations got together to pool their assets for investment purposes, reduce overhead, share staff, make grants and address community needs. Many people find investing in a community foundation much less expensive and complicated – there are no excise taxes, no payout requirements, no federal tax returns and no excessive paperwork.

How does the Coastal Bend Community Foundation benefit the community?

The Community Foundation makes grants for the arts to zoology, and most things in between, as well as providing scholarships to students. Grants from unrestricted funds and all scholarships benefit the seven-county Coastal Bend area. Because many of the Foundation’s funds have their own purpose and identity, grants also reflect the charitable intent of the fund donors and may be awarded to organizations outside the Coastal Bend.

How do I make a gift to the Foundation?

Anyone can donate to the Foundation, either today or in the future. One need not be wealthy to make a difference. A current donation can be made online or with a check, a stock transfer, a gift of real estate or other assets. Future gifts can come through a bequest, a charitable trust or other planned-giving vehicle. If you donate $10,000 or more, you can create a named fund and specify the purpose of the fund. Smaller gifts may be added to specific funds, such as a memorial scholarship, or to our community funds for grantmaking. Working with the Coastal Bend Community Foundation, you can have a lasting impact on the quality of life in South Texas – right here, right now and for years to come. For more information on giving or for a copy of the “Policy Regarding Donations to the Foundation” please give us a call at 361-882-9745.

Are donations tax deductible?

Absolutely. The IRS has classified the Coastal Bend Community Foundation as a public charity, so gifts qualify for the most generous tax (income, capital gains and estate) benefits available.

How do Foundation funds work?

All funds must be used for charitable purposes to provide grants to nonprofits or scholarships for students. The majority of our funds are permanent endowments that grow over time and spend only a portion for grants and scholarships each year. Funds share modest administrative expenses on a pro rata basis.

What types of funds can I establish?

The Foundation offers a variety of simple, effective options, including:

  • Unrestricted funds, which provide the Foundation with the flexibility to respond to the most pressing and often changing needs in our community
  • Field of Interest funds, which address specific areas you wish to support, such as the arts or a geographic area, while allowing us to select specific nonprofits to receive grants
  • Designated funds, which let you name one or more specific nonprofit organizations to receive grants
  • Scholarship funds, which help students pay for their education
  • Donor advised funds, which let you remain involved by recommending nonprofit organizations to receive grants
  • Agency Endowments, which enable nonprofit organizations to sustain their organizations
How do I apply for grants or scholarships from the Foundation?

Grant applications from qualifying organizations for the Foundation’s Annual Grants are considered each summer. Scholarships using the online application have a deadline of March 1; individual scholarships have various deadlines. The Scholarship and Grants committees review all applications before making recommendations to the Board of Directors, which has final responsibility for all grants and scholarships. Donors can provide advice on grant awards from certain funds.

How can I get more information about the Coastal Bend Community Foundation?

Ask your attorney, accountant or banker about the Coastal Bend Community Foundation. Our audit and Annual Report are available for your review and you may sign up to receive our Fall Newsletter and Annual Report. The Board of Directors and staff of the Foundation are always available to answer your questions. Please give us a call at 361-882-9745.