How do I make a contribution?

There are a number of ways for a donor to make a contribution to the Permanent Endowment.  The easiest is to contact our staff to discuss your philanthropic interests and giving options.

What are some of my options for giving?

The Endowment offers a number of flexible ways of giving.  You can make a contribution to our General Discretionary Fund, which provides grants to a wide range of Island public and charitable organizations as identified by the Board through our semiannual competitive grant application process.  Contributions also can be made to establish donor advised funds, donor designated funds, field of interest funds or scholarship funds.  An endowed fund requires a minimum initial gift of $20,000.  A non-endowed fund can be established with a gift of $5,000.  The Permanent Endowment accepts gifts of cash, stock, real estate, life insurance and other marketable securities.

Is there a minimum or maximum size for a gift?

There is no minimum or maximum contribution to the General Discretionary Fund.  The minimum amount for an endowed fund is $20,000 and $5,000 for a non-endowed fund, although you may give any amount to one of our existing funds.

Will my grant requests be honored?

All grants must be made to public organizations or charities with Section 501 (c) (3) status under the Internal Revenue Service Code.  As required by the IRS, the Permanent Endowment’s Board has the final responsibility for approving distributions from funds under its auspices.  However, the Board strives to honor donor recommendations unless there is a legal reason to disallow a particular grant.  If there are special issues regarding the distribution of your grant funds, our staff will contact you to address these matters.

Are grant recommendations limited to a certain amount?

Grant amounts are governed by the type of contribution.  Donor advised funds are extremely flexible.  Depending upon how the fund is set up, you can recommend grants based on a spending policy, which is a percentage of the fund’s fair market value, or on a larger proportion of the fund’s assets.  Individual grant recommendations, however, must be for $500 or more.

What is a spending policy?

Grant amounts are governed by the type of contribution.  Donor advised funds are extremely flexible.  Depending upon how the fund is set up, you can recommend grants based on a spending policy, which is a percentage of the fund’s fair market value, or on a larger proportion of the fund’s assets.  Individual grant recommendations, however, must be for $250 or more.

What are the costs of establishing a fund?

There is no cost to create a fund at the Permanent Endowment.  The Endowment files the appropriate state and federal tax returns, provides an independent audit, processes contributions and disbursements, handles all of the administrative work associated with issuing grants and prepares financial as well as grant reports for the donor.  We also can help you identify organizations on the Island that are engaged in the causes that interest you.

The Endowment assesses a modest fee for its services based on the size of the fund.  The current fee is 1.5% of a fund’s asset value.  In addition, an investment management fee of approximately 67 basis points is charged by the Martha’s Vineyard Financial Group which manages our portfolio.

What kind of assets can I contribute?

The Endowment accepts many types of assets including cash, stocks and bonds, real estate, insurance policies, and other marketable securities.

What tax benefits can I expect?

Contributions to the Permanent Endowment are eligible for the maximum state and federal tax deductions allowed according to the rules and regulations governing charitable gifts.  Cash gifts may be deductible up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income.  For gifts of appreciated publicly-traded securities, the full market value may be deductible up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income.  We recommend that you consult with your financial advisor to determine the specific amount of your tax benefits.

Can I name the fund?

Yes, you certainly can name the fund.  In fact, many donors use their name for their fund, which will appear in the Endowment’s annual report and other publications.  You can also choose a name that is representative of the types of programs you want to support or you may maintain anonymity.

Can I get a refund of a gift made to the Endowment?

Once accepted by the Endowment, all contributions represent irrevocable gifts and are not refundable.

Becoming a Donor

Establishing a fund with the Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard is a simple and effective way to accomplish your goals for charitable giving.  The Endowment invests the gifts it receives and applies the earnings to grants supporting programs and projects that affect our community and to scholarships for Island students.  As your partner in philanthropy, we will work together to improve the quality of life on the Vineyard not only today but forever.

For more information

To establishing a fund with the Permanent Endowment, or to discuss your philanthropic interests and giving options, contact us directly at:
508-338-4665 or by email, below.

Permanent Endowment for Martha's Vineyard - The Island's Community Foundation