Frequently asked questions

What is a community foundation?

We like to illustrate what a community foundation is by using the image of a bridge connecting two hills (like our logo).  Chisholm Trail Communities Foundation (CTCF) is the bridge connecting donors (hill #1) together with nonprofits (hill #2) in order to more strategically and efficiently share resources that address needs in the community.

We have a variety of financial services at CTCF for each "hill":
For donors (hill #1):

  • Donor Advised Funds
  • Scholarship Funds
  • Field of Interest Funds

For Nonprofit organizations (hill #2):

  • Agency Funds
  • Donor Designated Funds
What is a Donor Advised Fund (DAF)

Essentially, a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) works like your own private foundation, but does not have the restrictions and high overhead costs of a private foundation.  Visit here for more details.

Where does CTCF get its funds?

The operational expenses of CTCF are covered from three sources:

  1. Our building, the gift that keeps giving.  In 2009, the W. D. Kelley Foundation gave CTCF a building on the Williamson County square.  Previously, CTCF had rented one of the suites from the Kelley Foundation, now, CTCF owns the building and manages the tenants.
  2. Investment income.  This is generated from the CTCF Board Designated Fund.
  3. Administrative fees.  There are administrative fees associated with establishing and maintaining a Fund at CTCF.


How do community foundations differ from private foundations?

A community foundation is supported by a broad and ever-widening group of unrelated individuals, families, corporations, and institutions. The only thing that connects all of our donors is a desire to improve local communities. Because of this broad base of support, community foundations are classified by the IRS as publicly-supported charities. Private foundations, by contrast, are generally supported by a single individual, family, or business.

By avoiding classification as a private foundation, we are able to offer greater tax advantages than does a private foundation. See our comparison of private and community foundations for more details. 

While we share giving concepts with you and others, we do not provide legal, tax or financial advice.

How do community foundations differ from other nonprofit organizations?

Most nonprofit organizations have a mission to address a particular need in a community. By contrast, a community foundation’s mission is very broad: to improve the quality of life in a given area. This breadth of mission enables us to make grants in any field of interest with a charitable benefit. This flexibility also allows us to serve a wider group of donors on one side of the CTCF "bridge" (see FAQ - What is a Community Foundation to define "bridge"), and a wider group of nonprofit organizations that are improving local communities on the other side of the CTCF "bridge".

What is an endowment?

An endowment is a type of fund that is set up to produce income for charitable purposes. The Fund will distribute only the income generated from investments; its principal will never be distributed. A typical distribution rate from an endowed fund is 3% - 5% per year.

How does CTCF invest its funds?

We invest our funds in accordance with a prudent, long-term asset allocation strategy.  We invest in a single pool that is selected by our Investment Committee which broadly represents the domestic market.

Our responsibility is to balance our overall investment program in light of our long-term investment goals; to monitor performance regularly; and to review and change management as necessary to ensure that we meet or exceed our performance benchmarks.  For more information about our investments (committee members, fees, investment managers and oversight), please contact us at

Receive announcements and event information

By filling in the fields below we will be able to update you periodically with announcements, events and grant information.