Frequently Asked Questions

About the Coral Gables Community Foundation

What is the Coral Gables Community Foundation?

One of over 800 community foundations in the United States, the Coral Gables Community Foundation is a tax-exempt, nonprofit philanthropic institution serving those who live, work, learn and play in Coral Gables. Through the Foundation, individuals, families, businesses and organizations create charitable funds that improve the quality of life in our community. The Coral Gables Community Foundation makes giving easy by offering philanthropic options for donors and tax savings along the way. We are proud members of the Florida Philanthropic Network and Community Foundations of Florida.

The Coral Gables Community Foundation is a grantmaking charity, supporting local nonprofits that address issues within our focus areas – education, arts & culture, historic preservation and social & health services. Through our discretionary, donor-advised and scholarship funds, the Foundation has awarded over $8 million dollars in scholarships and grants. 

All gifts, large and small, allow the Coral Gables Community Foundation to advance its tradition of financial support to benefit the needs of the community we serve.

When was the Coral Gables Community Foundation founded?

The Coral Gables Community Foundation began as a community-based foundation in 1991. For almost thirty years, the Foundation has enriched many local organizations through gifts and grants. The Foundation was also a vital member of numerous community efforts such as the Coral Gables Museum initiative, the establishment of the Coral Gables Art Cinema, the Umbrella Sky Project and many others. Click here to view our history. 

Whom does the Coral Gables Community Foundation serve?

The Foundation serves those who live, work, learn and play in the City Beautiful. In addition to serving the local community and funding local nonprofit organizations, donors may also support regional, national, and international charities through their charitable funds at the Coral Gables Community Foundation.

Who manages and governs the Coral Gables Community Foundation?

The Community Foundation is a public charity governed by a Board of Directors made up of community leaders. The Foundation is managed by a professional staff  of individuals dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Coral Gables.

Giving at the Foundation

How does the Foundation give to the community?

The Foundation fulfills its mission thanks to the generosity of its donors and the success of its events. By establishing a fund or donating to an existing fund, donors can feel confident that their donation is stewarded properly and making a difference in the community. Gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Many donors are interested in planned giving and have the Community Foundation in their Charitable Remainder Trusts, Charitable Lead Trusts or bequests.

Who are the Community Foundation’s donors?

Our donors are individuals, families, corporations, private foundations and charitable organizations who wish to make a difference in the lives of others and positively impact the success of the community. Donors range from people of modest means to those with substantial financial resources. Click here to learn about our highly esteemed giving circle, The Merrick Society.

What are the financial benefits and tax advantages of making a gift through the Community Foundation?

We offer various important financial benefits through charitable giving. Because we manage many funds, administrative costs and service fees for your fund are minimized. Gifts to the Community Foundation receive the maximum tax advantage allowed by law.

What can I give to the Community Foundation?

We accept cash, publicly-traded and privately held securities, immovable property and other assets. These may be given as a bequest or during the donor’s lifetime. Click here to view the various ways you can give.

Can I give anonymously?

Yes. The Community Foundation respects the donor’s privacy if he or she does not wish to be recognized.

About our Funds

Why should I create a Fund?

By establishing a fund with us, you will be engaging in creative philanthropy. Partnering with the Community Foundation will allow you to receive benefits and be flexible and efficient in your charitable giving. Because our legal status as a public charity is already in place, a fund can be established, and the maximum tax advantages secured, in a very short time.

What is an endowment?

An endowment is a permanent fund that is invested. The income is used for the fundholder’s charitable goals while the principal is never spent. It is invested to grow over the years and continue to fulfill its fund purpose.

What services do I receive as a Fund donor?

As applicable, the Community Foundation provides the IRS reporting, state filing, up-to-date fund accounting, investment management, and financial accountability for funds. The Community Foundation assures that all scholarship and grant recipients meet the IRS criteria for tax-exempt status. Where appropriate, the Community Foundation advises donors of potential grant seekers that fit their categories of interest. Donors receive regular fund statements and are kept informed of special community needs.

How do I set up a fund?

Starting a fund is simple and can easily be done in a day. You can set up an unrestricted fund to help meet a variety of needs within the community, or specify a purpose or area of concern to support with a field of interest fund. Some donors choose a designated fund which identifies a single charitable organization to support. Others opt for a donor advised fund, that allows active involvement in recommending grants. Click here to contact the Foundation. 

What are the costs in setting up a fund?

There is no cost to establish a fund at the Community Foundation. We will handle your fund’s fund disbursements, tax reporting and record keeping for a low annual administrative fee. This ensures that more of your charitable giving is more significant. Click here to learn more about establishing a fund.

How are funds invested? Can I tell the Foundation how and with whom to invest my funds?

Our investment portfolio is managed by Coral Gables-based firm The Bermont Group, led by Peter Bermont. The Foundation takes our fiduciary responsibilities seriously and are proper stewards of donor funds. We adhere to a Board-approved Investment Policy, regularly meet with portfolio managers and adhere to a monthly review of financials. Audited annually, complete audited financials are available upon request.

Our Community Giving

Does the Foundation make donations or accept sponsorship requests for organizations or events?

The Foundation gives to the community through its Community Giving program, where grants are awarded twice a year to local non-profit organizations. Grants are awarded in the Spring (April) and Fall (October) and typically don’t exceed more than $5,000.

The Foundation generally doesn’t sponsor events or give to organizations outside of its grant program, not including donations made from Fund holders.

How do I apply for a grant?

The Coral Gables Community Foundation supports non-profit organizations that address issues within our focus areas – Education, Arts & Culture, Historic Preservation and Social & Health Services – and that serve those who live, work, learn or play in Coral Gables. There are two grant cycles a year – in the Spring and Fall. Reviewing, considering and awarding grant proposals requires considerable time and attention. The Community Giving Committee reviews the grant applications and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation. Grants from the Foundation do not typically exceed $5,000. Click here to learn more about our Community Giving.

How do I apply for a scholarship

Each year, the Coral Gables Community Foundation has the privilege of awarding students who have excelled academically and shown outstanding service to their community. The Community Foundation proudly manages several scholarship funds, each with specific criteria. Click here for our scholarship page with more information on scholarships and deadlines.