Starting Your Own Fund

Why Consider an Endowment Fund?

At the Gorge Community Foundation, we connect people who want to make a difference with local organizations and nonprofits creating lasting change. By establishing a fund with the Gorge Community Foundation, you can establish your own legacy during your lifetime, and receive a tax advantage for doing so. You can give now and see the ways your contribution is making our communities better and stronger—now and for years to come.

An endowment at the Gorge Community Foundation is a permanent fund that provides you with a return of 5% annually. You receive an annual statement and may suggest grants to allocate your distribution or reinvest it. Because your fund is invested with many others, it grows faster, and administrative and management fees are lower.

An endowment grows over time with interest income as well as additional donations, making it possible for our Donor Advisors to grow their funds now and as part of their estate planning.  A family fund is like having your own foundation.  You experience the satisfaction of supporting worthwhile causes without the complex legal and tax requirements of operating a family foundation.  Our administrative fee is 1% annually.


Starting a fund is simple, flexible, fast, and easy. These are the steps:


A fund is usually named for the donor, donor’s family, or as a memorial to a friend or family member.


Our most popular funds are donor-advised funds. This type of fund allows you to participate in the grant-making process each year by suggesting grant recipients. You may also choose to dedicate your fund to the support of one or more specific charitable organizations or to a field of charitable interest, such as education or the environment. 


You can use cash, securities, real estate, or other property. You may open your fund with a contribution of $1,000 and a commitment to bring the fund to $10,000 within five years.  There is a one-page document to open the fund that will be signed by you and the GCF board president. Once your fund reaches $10,000, you will be able to recommend grants from your 5% annual return. 

Why place your endowment at the Gorge Community Foundation?

We’re here for the Gorge

We are uniquely dedicated to serving the Columbia River Gorge, including Skamania and Klickitat Counties in Washington and Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, and Gilliam Counties in Oregon.  Funds raised here to stay to build our communities and improve the quality of life for all Gorge residents.

We handle the paperwork and ensure compliance

The Gorge Community Foundation has over 20 years of experience ensuring compliance with all legal and IRS requirements, so you do not have to worry about annual meetings, tax reporting, and legal issues.  Our administrative fee is 1%. 

Join other Donor Advisors throughout the Gorge

Over 40 individuals and families have entrusted their endowments to GCF.  We meet annually with fundholders as a group and more frequently upon request to answer questions and provide updates.

Funds are professionally managed and benefit from a pooled portfolio

Funds are pooled to maximize returns and benefit from an investment strategy that emphasizes growth and stability. Our professional firm of advisors is managed by the investment committee of the board and reports regularly. Our investment policy is on our website and available upon request. The Gorge Community Foundation is a member of the Council on Foundations.

“When I started receiving income from windmills on my farm, I realized it wasn’t just for me, and I needed to find a way to use it responsibly. I like to give near home, so GCF plays right into that. I get to say how the money is handled now, and when I’m gone, the money will be managed in the way that I want.”
Millie Moore-Voll

Moro, OR

You can find a list of local individuals and families who have established donor-advised funds here and a list of funds started to benefit particular organizations or fields of charitable interest here.