Donor Resources and FAQs

Madison Community Foundation is dedicated to helping you do your giving your way, on your own time frame, to maximize your giving impact.

Whether you decide to give now, or give later as part of your will or estate plan, giving to MCF is easy and effective. Below are some common questions we get from donors and people who are exploring their options. 

Donor Resources

Plan Your Year-End Charitable Giving

How to Save on Taxes Through a Qualified Charitable Distribution

Higher CGA Rates Provide New Opportunities for Donors

Donor Opportunities to Strengthen the Madison Area

Greater Madison Nonprofit Directory

Sifting Through Abundance: Outlining the Nonprofit Sector in Dane County

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Benefits of Giving to MCF?

That’s easy!

  • You receive maximum tax benefits
  • No administrative overhead, headaches or hassles of a private foundation
  • Work with professional and knowledgeable staff
  • Deep knowledge of the community
  • Secure, online access to make your gifts and monitor your fund activity
  • Investment practices are sound and reliable, with several investment options to choose from
  • You determine the level of recognition you’d like to receive

Besides Cash, What Can I Give to MCF?

Great question!

MCF accepts a wide variety of gifts, including stock and mutual funds, retirement plan assets, life insurance beneficiary designation and more.

Read more about Ways to Give.

How Do I Start My Own Fund?

Piece of cake!

Starting an endowment fund is easy. Choose from a variety of fund options to meet your short- and long-term charitable giving goals. Most funds can be created with a minimum gift of $15,000, unless otherwise noted.

Learn more about starting a fund.

What Types of Funds Can I Start?

Excellent question!

MCF offers a variety of funds that allow you to use the income from the investments you make for charitable purposes.

Donor Advised Funds enable you to make distribution recommendations to charities of your choice and are a cost-effective, efficient alternative to a private or family foundation.

Community Impact Funds are advised funds that are pooled together with MCF’s Community Impact Fund to support competitive grantmaking to nonprofits in the Madison area.

Designated Funds support a single charity forever and are created by an individual or a charitable organization.

Field-of-Interest Funds support a particular area of interest. You identify an issue important to you. We identify projects that reflect your interests.

Scholarship Funds designate distributions to specific educational institutions, churches and charitable organizations.

Can I Start Any Other Type of Fund?

Yes ... here are those options:

Maximum Giving Funds give you the option to recommend distributions of the fund’s principal, as well as its income.

Passthrough Funds allow you to make a lump sum contribution to MCF, receive the tax benefit today, and recommend distributions to charities when you’re ready.

How Do I Give to an Existing Fund?

If you know the fund you want to give to, you can search for a fund here. If not:

The best way to give to an existing fund is to find one that matches your charitable interests.

Learn more about our existing funds on the Where to Give page.

How Do I Set Up My Will or Estate Plan to Leave a Bequest to MCF?

It's really quite simple!

The easiest way to make a planned gift is to name Madison Community Foundation as a beneficiary of your retirement plan.

When retirement assets pass to your heirs, they can be subject to both estate and income taxes. As a result, many donors elect to designate Madison Community Foundation as the beneficiary of their IRAs, 401(k)s or 403(b)s. 

Another way to make a planned gift is to include language in your will naming Madison Community Foundation as the recipient of a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your estate or the residual assets after all other bequests are satisfied. Other common options include naming Madison Community Foundation as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy, or establishing a charitable gift annuity that provides you with a lifetime income.

Head over to our Gift and Estate Planning page and find what you need. Or give us a call and we would be happy to help you.

Where I Can Find Financial and Investment Information?

Read more on our Financials & Investments page. If you have questions, please email Ann Casey or call her at (608) 232-1763.

I Still Have Questions!

We’re here to help! Contact our office at (608) 232-1763 and we’ll connect you with the right person, right now. Or, visit our staff directory

Community foundations are flexible and long term. If a donor wants to give back to their community, that’s the vehicle.”
- Carol Toussaint, donor, Legacy Society

Learn more about Ways to Give