Laura McCullough

Questions? We're happy to help.

Laura McCullough
Director of Philanthropic Services
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Starting a Fund

It's easy to start a fund, and we work with individuals, businesses, nonprofits, civic groups, and faith-based organizations every day. Each fund is unique to the individual or entity creating it - no two funds are alike. Once created, we'll ensure that your charitable intentions are carried out exactly as you specify.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about starting a fund.

How much money is needed to start a fund?

New funds are created with $25,000 cash, or non-cash gifts such as real estate, securities, or life insurance.

What things should I think about?

You should consider the following:

  • Will you make your gift now, or later?
  • What would you like to name your fund?
  • What type of gift would you like to use to start the fund? (examples are cash, real estate, securities, life insurance, IRA)
  • What type of fund do you prefer? View our Types of Funds document. (Don't worry, we can help you determine which fund type best meets your charitable goals.)
  • Will the fund provide grants, scholarships, or both?
  • Do you wish to receive life income interest?
  • How does a donor-advised fund compare to a private foundation? View comparison chart. 

Can I start a fund if I don't have $25,000?

Yes, you can start a fund with less than $25,000 and become an Acorn Society Member. You'll have two years to bring the fund balance to the minimum.

You can also give to one of our 20 field of interest funds, and pool your resources with gifts from others who have similar interests. For example, if you're interested in supporting animal welfare, our Animal Care Field of Interest Fund might be a good match.

You can also opt to create a planned gift to establish your fund after your lifetime using proceeds from your estate. We'll recognize you as a Cornerstone Society member now, along with the more than 300 other members who want to ensure Frederick County's future.

Additional information and resources

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