What is the Heron Creek Community Foundation?HCCF is a Donor Advised Fund, organized under the auspices of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (GCCF), a 501(c)(3) organization. All donations not tied to fund-raising events are sent directly to the HCCF fund at GCCF and have the same tax deductibility as a 501(c)(3) organization. HCCF was created by the residents of Heron Creek to provide a structured platform for concerted charitable giving..
What are the goals of the Foundation?
The goal of the Heron Creek Community Foundation (HCCF) is to improve the quality of life of the residents of North Port by financially supporting qualified charitable organizations that serve those in need and through other nonfinancial activities. Additionally, we continue to build and grow an endowment fund which will provide support for those in need in perpetuity.
What are the benefits of being a member of the Foundation?
- Sense of Community- You will feel good knowing you are helping to improve the lives of our North Port neighbors in need just outside the gates of our community.
- Give with Confidence- You can rest assured that worthy grant recipients have been properly vetted and that 99+% of money raised by HCCF goes to local North Port charities and individuals.
- Various ways to contribute- Your $100 annual membership funds future grants; and/or you can choose to participate in our fundraisers, food drives, and other charitable activities throughout the year.
Be a good neighbor and help improve the lives of those around you. Join the Heron Creek Community Foundation today!
What is the difference in giving to the Foundation and giving directly to a charitable organization?
The money given to the Foundation in the form of donations will be deposited and grow in a managed account. The principal will remain in the managed account while the income (investment gains, interest and dividends) will be added to fund-raising net income and awarded each year as grants to worthwhile charities. HCCF secures stipulations that the awarded funds will be utilized solely to benefit North Port citizens in need.
On the other hand, your direct donations to various charities, which typically have immediate needs for on-going projects and expenses, is usually spent within one year and may not be earmarked for the local community. By donating to HCCF, you are creating a legacy that will help our neighbors in need for years to come.
Is one method of giving better than the other?
No one method of giving is superior to the other. There will always be needs to be filled, both immediate and long-term. For example, a monetary or in-kind donation to a food bank helps fill an immediate need. A donation to the Foundation will provide benefit for years to come because the principal will continue to generate income which will be awarded as grants to charitable organizations year after year.
Who decides where the money goes?
A Grants Committee, composed solely of Foundation members, accepts yearly grant requests from 501(c)(3) organizations serving the North Port area. The committee reviews grant requests, financial documents, and makes site visits as appropriate. The Grants Committee findings and recommendations are passed along to the Foundation’s Board of Directors, who then approve or deny each grant request.
How do charitable organizations qualify for grants from HCCF?
The requesting charity must be a 501(c)(3) organization which serves North Port and has been fully operational for at least two years. Each charity submits a grant application as well as a list of required documents to the Grants Committee, including but not limited to a list of its Board of Directors, a copy of its current 501(c)(3) letter from the IRS and its budget or latest audit. Each prospective recipient must also provide an explanation as to how the requested donation moneys will be spent.
How do charitable organizations know how to submit grant requests to HCCF?
The HCCF grant application and submission instructions are provided on our website. Charitable organizations are encouraged to contact the Foundation to see if their request is within our guidelines before spending its staff and volunteer time writing a grant proposal.
How many grants will be awarded each year?
The number of grants awarded annually is a function of the grant requests received, coupled with the amount of funds available. The available funds are a combination of the net proceeds from our fund-raising events plus investment returns, less investment expenses.
How do I know the grant is used for what it is intended?
Upon making a grant request, the requesting charitable organization executes a form which allows the Foundation reasonable access to evaluate the grant request and they are required to provide details regarding the planned usage of any grant money awarded. As appropriate, additional follow-up and/or site visits may also be made to approved grant recipients.
Why is HCCF affiliated with the Guf Coast Community Foundation?
By affiliating with GCCF, the Foundation is able to provide donors with full deductibility under IRS Section 501(c)(3), while enjoying considerable savings of both time and money. This affiliation also allows us to draw on the experience and expertise of a well-established and respected philanthropic advisor. GCCF provides us with IRS documentation, administrative support, fund raising ideas, training and its full vetting procedures for all organizations applying for a grant.
How do I find out what the Foundation is doing and where grants were awarded?
The Foundation website provides a list of all grants awarded by year and by recipient. The website also provides access to the minutes of all Board meetings and monthly financial statements. HCCF believes in full transparency.
How does HCCF raise money to make grants?
HCCF raises money through membership and other contributions, as well as ongoing fund-raising events. The HCCF Board of Directors is responsible for determining the amount of money available for distribution and the final approval of all grant request disbursements.