Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Community Foundation?

Community foundations are a proven way for people of all means to make a lasting difference in their community, now and in the future. The community foundation is a vehicle to build, over time, charitable funds for a community through contributions large and small.

What Are the Advantages of Using a Community Foundation?

A Community Foundation allows donors to skip the complexities involved when forming a charitable fund. We can take care of all administrative, donation, and distribution activities, eliminating the need for you to set up a board, formulate policies, file tax forms, monitor the status of grant recipients and donations, and other things to keep you in compliance with the law.

What is the Carbon County Community Foundation?

The Carbon County Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves as an umbrella for many distinct charitable funds, offering them each professional expertise, time, and cost savings, achieved through working together. While giving to our community today is an important part of what we do by distributing grants and facilitating donations, we also manage funds as endowments to provide stable income for the causes that matter most, for generations to come. So, there is a simple way for you to make a difference and legacy in our community. 

Who Runs the Carbon County Community Foundation?

An appointed group of Board of Directors made up of community leaders from the Carbon County area. Board members serve 3-year terms and are limited to three consecutive terms of service. Members must be knowledgeable about the cultural, educational, and charitable needs of the Carbon County region. For more information about joining the board, click here.

Why Choose Us?

The Carbon Foundation is designed to exist in the community forever, by the community. It is a local and permanent resource for now and the future.

Working with us also allows you to do the following,

  • Help Build a Secure Asset for Carbon County
  • Entrust your Gifts to Regional Experts
  • Foster Collaboration
  • Experience Greater Ease with Bigger Impact
  • Give with less Overhead

How Can I Help/Get Involved?

  • Create a fund now or through your will or estate plan
  • Give a donation of any size to an existing fund
  • Make the Founder’s Pledge ($25,000/$5000 over 5 years)
  • Become a Board Member
  • Volunteer (events, committees, mailings, etc.)

Email or call 1-855-545-1311 to learn more about any of these opportunities.

What Are the Different Funds I Can Contribute to?

  • Fund For Carbon Countydiscretionary fund, overseen by the Carbon County Community Foundation Board of Directors, which gives grants on a competitive basis to the most deserving causes in our community.
  • Carbon 20/20 FundThe 20/20 Circle is an innovative and lasting way to invest in making Carbon County a better place to live. We call it the 20/20 Circle because it is designed to be without end and to create a civically-engaged network within our community.
  • Carbon County Creative Arts Fundhe Carbon County Creative Arts Fund was established to support all manner of artistic pursuits for the benefit of the Carbon County region, to support nonprofit organizations, charitable programs and individuals pursuing the creative arts.
  • Scholarships: Help students pursue academic goals.
  • Field of Interest Fund: Create grants that meet needs in fields such as education, environment, the arts, health, or a geographic area that is of interest to you.
  • Donor-Advised Fund: Enables you to recommend various charitable organizations and projects to receive grants while working closely with foundation staff.
  • Designated Fund: Let you support specific organizations important to you– from international organizations to local nonprofits, the foundation makes certain that grants to these groups remain relevant over time and responsive to changing circumstances.
  • Memorial Fund: Designed as temporary funds created to receive donations in lieu of flowers at the time of memorial service that can be distributed or endowed by the family at a later date.

What Happens to the Money Once it is in a Fund Under the Carbon Foundation Umbrella?

Fundholders have three options for the money in a fund at the Carbon County Community Foundation: it can be endowed, quasi-endowed (invested), or it can remain in cash. The primary difference is the permanency. Endowed funds last forever. The capital is invested and the earnings are used for grant awards to the charities or causes the fund is intended to support. Quasi-endowed funds can disburse both the capital and any earnings for grant awards. Cash funds are not invested and can be disbursed at any time. Generally, donors can upgrade from cash to quasi-endowed or quasi-endowed to endowment at any time, but cannot transfer from endowment back to cash. 

Can I Give Anonymously?

The Carbon Foundation is happy to give tasteful levels of recognition or complete anonymity to those who give.

What Are the Minimum Contributions?

There is never any minimum for giving however we do recommend the following,

  • Donors seeking to build endowment funds can start with any amount of money to begin to build their fund, however endowment will not take place until value reaches amount determined with advisement from the foundation. (Commonly we recommend $10,000)
  • For scholarships we recommend starting with three years of the value of the scholarship in the fund.
  • Unsupervised funds require a minimum of $500k. Find out more here.
  • 20/20 Membership requires a $1000 contribution. Find out more here.
  • The Community Foundation staff is happy to assist you in deciding the appropriate contributions for your interests.

How Can I Donate?

  • Follow the “Donate Now” Link on any of the fund pages to make donations to one of our existing funds.
  • For larger donations, please email  or call 1-855-545-1311 to arrange your gift.
  • Sometimes, a local nonprofit organization is the perfect solution. When a person or group’s giving goals are aligned with those of a specific charity, we will connect the two directly. Please email or call 1-855-545-1311 to find out more.

After I Donate, Where Does My Money Go?

The Carbon Foundation has an agreement with The Luzerne Foundation for back office services including financial management. This arrangement allows us to draw on their 25+ years of experience while we grow.

Does the Carbon Foundation Offer Any Internship Opportunities?

Yes! The Carbon Foundation does have an internship program in partnership with the Carbon County Workforce Training Office’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Applicants must reside in Carbon County and be between the ages of 14-24. Positions are paid and are part-time with the potential for full-time. Applicants are encouraged to apply before the interviewing process begins during the last week of April. Check back regularly to know when our next positions are open for the summer. 

How Do I Apply for a Scholarship?

The Carbon Foundation has several scholarship opportunities for students graduating from Carbon County school districts. For a list of available scholarships and eligibility, visit our existing funds page here. Some applications are available on our website and some applications are managed through the school guidance office. Applications are usually due in the beginning of March during each school year.

What is an Endowment? Who Can Benefit?

Community foundations host endowments, which are funds invested for long-term growth to provide ongoing income for causes and organizations, year after year, for present and future generations. Funds can be used for any charitable need from health and human services to arts and culture.

Where is the Carbon Foundation's IRS 990 Form?

A Form 990 is an IRS form with the purpose of providing the general public financial information about a nonprofit organization. The Carbon County Community Foundation operates under the umbrella of The Luzerne Foundation, and reports to the IRS as part of their IRS 990 form, which can be viewed here. We’re growing fast, but are not quite big enough yet to warrant splitting off from the Luzerne Foundation for all accounting and reporting purposes. All of our accounting, auditing, and reporting procedures are the same as those documented by the Luzerne Foundation. We’re working on generating a pro forma IRS report (a partially completed IRS 990 Form) specific to the Carbon County Community Foundation in order to be more transparent in our local accounting and to our donors.

How Does the Carbon Foundation Raise Operating Revenue? Are There Fees?

We raise money in many ways just like any nonprofit organization. Honoring donors’ intentions is at the core of our mission. The Carbon Foundation strives for  appropriate transparency and accountability. A full disclosure of our income sources and our fee breakdown can be found here.

2020 Fund FAQ

How Much is Membership?

A 2020 membership is $1,000. Payment may be pledged and split to accurate donors (i.e. $500/year for two years). Businesses or donors may pledge multiple memberships and delegate the votes to others in their company or family as they choose.

Who Will the Money Benefit?

Annually the Carbon Foundation will convene the 2020 Giving Circle members to hear from three of the most promising charitable organizations in the region, selected through a competitive application process overseen by a committee of members of the Circle. A representative from each charity will be given the opportunity to present the proposed impact of their project and 2020 Circle members will cast their votes. The winning project will then be awarded funds to help them reach their goals.

Why is it Called a Circle?

It’s called a circle because it is designed to be without end and create a civically-engaged network of local leaders.

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