Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

One advantage of giving through DuPage Foundation is flexibility. We offer a variety of tax-effective ways to make charitable gifts. Donors may establish or add to a fund with gifts of one or more of the following:

Qualifies for the maximum allowable income tax deduction.

Marketable or Closely-Held Securities
May be given directly, allowing you to deduct their current market value as a charitable contribution and avoid capital gains tax on the appreciation.

Real Estate
May be given at its current market value allowing a full deduction and avoiding capital gains tax on the appreciation.

Life Insurance
The simplest way to donate life insurance is to designate the Foundation as a policy beneficiary. You can also transfer ownership of a paid-up policy, donate policy dividends, or name us as a policy’s designated owner and beneficiary, making annual tax-deductible gifts to us in the amount of any required premium. Under this arrangement, the Foundation would pay the annual premium.

Retirement Plans and Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs)
Donors can make contributions from an IRA or other retirement assets such as a 401(k), Keogh, or 403(b). Donors 70 ½ and older can also make tax-free Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) of up to $100,000 per individual or $200,000 per married couple from their traditional IRAs. For Donors 72 and older, QCDs can count toward their Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) while lowering their Adjusted Gross Income. Distributions to any Foundation fund except donor-advised funds will qualify, but must be made directly from the donor’s IRA account.

Business Interests, Including Partnerships and Interests in C Corporations, S Corporations, and LLCs
Contributions of privately-held business interests can make highly tax-efficient gifts. You may receive a charitable deduction for the full fair market value of the donated assets and avoid capital gains tax that would be incurred if the asset was sold. Gifting such assets has requirements and rules that must be followed. Consult your advisors.

Transfer from an Existing Private Foundation
Administering a private foundation under IRS rules can be burdensome and expensive. Transferring the assets into a donor-advised fund at DuPage Foundation provides a simpler, cost-effective alternative. Donor-advised funds can also be set up at the Foundation to work as a side-car to a private foundation to facilitate grant anonymity when desired, provide support in the identification and vetting of charitable opportunities, and to provide the potential for more favorable tax-deductibility on new charitable gifts.

Charitable Gift Annuities
In exchange for cash or property, the Foundation pays the donor or beneficiary guaranteed fixed payments for life or a term of years. The size of the payments depends on age; however, a portion may be tax-free. The gift portion of the annuity will be tax deductible.

Charitable Lead Trusts
Trusts provide income to a Foundation fund for a set number of years, the lives of individuals, or a combination of both as specified by the donor. At the end of that time, the remaining principal of the trust and any accumulated appreciation is distributed to children, grandchildren, or other beneficiaries, often with significant tax savings.

Charitable Remainder Trusts
Donors receive income for life or a number of years. At death or term expiration, the remainder passes to the Foundation for the donors’ charitable goals.


Want to give another type of asset not listed here? E-mail or call DuPage Foundation’s Advancement Team at 630.665.5556 to explore your options.

Why open a donor-advised fund and what are the steps involved?

A Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) is a highly flexible charitable tool, which may be of help to you and your family or business. Think of DAFs like a charitable investment account. They allow donors to contribute tax-deductible gifts of cash or appreciated assets (securities, real estate, etc.) to a fund created and housed at DuPage Foundation. The assets in the fund are then invested and stewarded by the Foundation to grow over time. The donors (or other advisors whom they appoint) then utilize the fund on their timetable to recommend grants to their favorite causes and charities, locally or nationally. DAFs often makes for an excellent alternative for people considering establishing a private foundation. Private foundations can be burdensome and expensive to manage, which can make succession planning for them a struggle. Their grants and officers are also public record. In contrast, a DAF can preserve anonymity for donors (as desired), provides higher potential charitable deductions on contributions, eliminates the burdens of tax filings and investment management and lets donors and their loved ones focus on supporting their favorite causes and charities.

Opening a DAF through DuPage Foundation is easy:

Step 1: Connect with the Foundation.
Step 2: Determine your charitable goals and desired advisors.
Step 3: Open your fund with a simple agreement and initial contribution.
Step 4: Recommend grants on your timeframe.

For more information, please contact Michael R. Sitrick, JD, CFRE, executive vice president for advancement, at or 630.598.5285.

What is the Community Needs Grant Program?

DuPage Foundation's Community Needs Grant Program supports programs and projects that improve and enrich the quality of life for DuPage County residents. During two grant cycles each year, applications are accepted from local not-for-profits serving the DuPage County community in the following areas: health & human services; education; arts & culture; environment; and animal welfare. Health & human services grants are awarded in the spring and all other categories are part of the fall cycle.

A volunteer Grant Committee comprised of DuPage County residents with deep knowledge of the not-for-profit community is charged with decision-making regarding grant recipients and amounts. To be eligible, not-for-profit organizations must primarily serve DuPage County residents and be public charities classified as exempt from federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

View the most recent Community Needs grantees.

How can I get involved in and support DuPage Foundation?

Attending a DuPage Foundation event, especially a Next Generation Initiative (NGI) event or the annual benefit gala is one of the easiest ways to explore whether getting more involved in DuPage Foundation is for you. These events are social and you can speak with others who support DuPage Foundation with their time, treasure and talent.

Jumping in a bit deeper, you can ask to join a committee or task force. But be advised: committee members are put to work. Committee members guide the Foundation’s staff with their sage advice, counsel and wisdom. Joining a committee is a great honor and allows you to network with others and make new contacts who often turn into great friends. You’ll be following in the footsteps of hundreds of others who have supported the Foundation’s volunteer committees since 1986, when DuPage Foundation was founded.

And of course, the most invested supporters become valued donors who are watching their donations build endowments that continue to grow and generate revenue for grantmaking in perpetuity.

To learn how you can SEE MORE IMPACT through DuPage Foundation, DuPage County’s philanthropic leader, please call us at 630.665.5556 or explore this website. Join us in doing a world of good in our own backyard®.

What are the advantages of giving through a community foundation?

Community foundations are excellent vehicles for donors to support their favorite causes and charities, locally and beyond. Community foundations’ knowledgeable staff provide donors with information about critical community needs, connect donors to opportunities that align with their unique interests, and help them properly vet organizations to ensure their charitable dollars are utilized effectively and efficiently. 

By partnering with a community foundation, donors can also maximize their impact by pooling their charitable dollars into community-focused funds to meet pressing needs and benefit specific areas of interest, establish their own funds to give flexibly on their timetable, and create an enduring charitable legacy for themselves, their loved ones, and the community—all while enjoying maximum simplicity and efficiency.

To learn how you can SEE MORE IMPACT through DuPage Foundation, DuPage County’s philanthropic leader, please call us at 630.665.5556 or explore this website. Join us in doing a world of good in our own backyard®.

What’s the difference between a community foundation, a private foundation, and a direct-service NFP?

Community Foundation – A community foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity devoted to a geographic or social service area. Community foundations are often focused on providing charitable services to local donors, distributing grants to address a local community’s needs, and building charitable endowments on behalf of donors, not-for-profits, and certain areas of interest (e.g., basic human needs, education, the environment, the arts, etc.). DuPage Foundation is proud to serve DuPage County as its community foundation.

Private Foundation (aka Family Foundation) – A private foundation is a charitable entity typically founded and supported by an individual, family or business. Private foundations can support a bevy of causes ranging from specific issue areas to focusing on family or business interests. Private foundations can be effective but are often expensive to setup and burdensome to administer.

Direct Service Organizations – As the name implies, direct service organizations are typically 501(c)(3) organizations that work directly with their target population to provide specific charitable services. Food pantries, mental health services, and transitional housing organizations are all great examples of direct service organizations. DuPage Foundation supports the area’s direct service organizations (aka not-for-profits or NFPs) with grant funding.

What is DuPage Foundation’s “Field-of-Interest” fund type best used for?

Field-of-Interest funds are the perfect way for donors who care about our community and specific areas of interest to make a difference beyond supporting just one not-for-profit.

Whether you care about the arts, basic human needs, the environment, education and literacy, mental health, animal welfare, or something else, you can give through DuPage Foundation to support an existing fund or create a new one to meet your goals!

Contributions to these funds are combined with gifts from other donors who share your passion and are invested thoughtfully in a permanent endowment designed to grow over time. The funds’ annual earnings are then used to make impactful grants to local not-for-profits that are working within each fund’s respective area. Grant awards are determined by the Foundation’s Grant Committee and Board through a competitive application process. To learn more and explore the current Field-of-Interest funds available, see DuPage Foundation Field-of-Interest Funds page.

Powered by Firespring