1. Does the fund have Black Leadership? Yes. There are currently 5 committed "Donor Advisors"(aka decision makers -- see below re: Donor Advised Fund) to whom complete control of the fund will be signed over. The reason all five of them are not yet public is that we did not want any person of color to have to vouch for a project that they aren't 100% clear on before they are ready. We want to ensure radical trust and transparency with our Donor Advisors (and the public).
2. What type of entity is the fund? Is there a plan to become a registered 501c3 or similar entity? The fund is a Donor Advised Fund hosted by the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne. A Donor Advised Fund, or DAF, is a giving vehicle established at a public charity. It allows donors to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax deduction and then recommend grants from the fund over time. The Donor Advisors have complete control over the deployment of the funds, the CFGFW is simply the host (though they will be contributors as well). There is no plan to become a registered 501(c)(3) or other similar entity because the desire is to keep the overhead as low as possible. Community Foundations are great resources for projects like this.
3. How will the fund maintain future capital? Continued donations? Investments? The fund will be maintained in several ways. 1) We are seeking multi-year commitments from our largest supporters as the fund gets off the ground. 2) Every recipient will be asked to make a pledge to donate back into the fund and/or fundraise for the fund as they are able, and by doing so, to become a "partner" with the fund. 3) Any funds that are not deployed will be invested where they can grow tax free in the DAF (this is normal for a DAF). 4) Once the initial funding round is complete, the DAF will begin exploring local investment opportunities that enable continued growth and sustainability.
4. What percentage of each dollar donated will go to the community? At this point we're estimating our fees for the Family & Friends Fund for Southeast Fort Wayne to be less than 15%. There will be no paid staff. However, the Community Foundation charges fees to administer the fund and the Donor Advisors will also be reasonably compensated for their time and training. Additionally, the fund will cover costs of printed materials and training to ensure community buy-in and knowledge. Fundraising costs are being contributed in-kind by Hyper Local Impact.
5. What is the selection process for those who receive funds? What restrictions or requirements must be met? As mentioned several times throughout this site -- the aim of the Family & Friends Fund for Southeast Fort Wayne is to reinvent what "philanthropy" and "investment" look like. The application process will be relationship based and radically accessible. Some articles can be found here, here, and here about the inaccessibility of grants for nonprofits and businesses with BIPOC leaders.
We have structured this fund to have all decisions made by members of the community affected. These five "Donor Advisors" are all Black leaders who live and work in Southeast Fort Wayne and who will answer directly to a Council of Elders and a Youth Council. When in deep and ongoing relationship, having a formal, arduous, and expensive application process is not a necessity. Instead, there will be a simple application and then the recommendation will be either supported or declined by the donor advisor team and the councils. If there are any additional questions they will be asked in person and in relationship. This relationship-based adjudication is more akin to the "family and friends" style funding gap that we are aiming to fill.
Not all support will be monetary. We are also working with local marketing firms, design firms, construction firms, videography firms and more to be able to provide in-kind services and support as needed.
All recipients will be required to have a mentor, report on progress (not an arduous reporting requirement, after all these people are running businesses), and required to "pay it forward" and support the fund in the future as they are able.
6. Have any funds been distributed yet? What projects are currently being funded? If not, when do you plan to start distribution? No funds have been distributed yet. We anticipate beginning to distribute funds in August 2020. There are currently around 40 projects in the "pipeline" of all types -- businesses, nonprofits, projects, programs. These projects will go through a formal vetting process with all Donor Advisors once all governance has been finalized. We understand it is unusual to ask for contributions before the governance is finalized. If you aren't comfortable giving before the story is complete, we understand and respect that.