Create the personalized giving plan that's right for you and your family.

Creating a charitable fund through the Hartford Foundation is a personalized and impactful way to make a difference in our community today and for generations to come.

The Hartford Foundation’s 1,522 charitable funds are as distinctive as the interests and intentions of the individuals, families and organizations that created them. Many support specific issue areas or geographic regions; they all leave a powerful legacy. By creating a fund through the Foundation, you will be adding your mark to the culture of caring that defines the Greater Hartford region.


Because the Hartford Foundation offers many fund types, you can create one or multiple funds, depending on your goals and the amount you plan to give. Funds are simple to create, have no start-up costs, and your contributions are tax-deductible.

Unrestricted Endowed Funds 

$10,000 minimum

Impact a specific focus area, population or town, while tapping into the Foundation’s expertise and knowledge.

Donor-Advised Funds 

$10,000 minimum

Take an active role in your grantmaking. Partner with the Foundation to support your areas of interest, even as those interests change.

Donor-advised funds offer the greatest flexibility to meet your charitable goals. You recommend grants from your fund to qualified nonprofit organizations throughout Greater Hartford and across the country.  

When choosing organizations or structuring your grant, you can take advantage of the Foundation staff’s expertise in grantmaking and extensive knowledge about the region’s nonprofit community. You can even involve other family members or future generations in making recommendations.

Learn more about the benefits of a Donor-Advised Fund.

Scholarship Funds 

Through the Foundation’s College Scholarship Program or an individual scholarship, you can support young students and adult learners as they pursue a college education

With an Individual Scholarship Fund, you can specify student selection criteria. Our knowledgeable staff can help you fine tune your support to meet your charitable goals. You, or other fund representatives, may participate in the Foundation’s board-approved selection process. The Foundation handles all scholarship marketing, distributions and renewals.

$50,000 minimum contribution


The Foundation's General Scholarship Endowment Fund combines contributions of any amount and uses them to support high school students in the region.

The Community College Scholarship Endowment Fund combines contributions to support high school students attending a local community college. 

A minimum gift of $10,000 allows you to establish a named General Scholarship or Community College scholarship.


Browse the Hartford Foundation Scholarship Program website.

Field-of-Interest Funds 

$10,000 minimum

Impact a specific focus area, population or town, while tapping into the Foundation’s expertise and knowledge.

Field-of-interest funds combine your interests with the flexibility to respond to changing needs and organizations. Each year, Foundation staff will identify organizations performing effectively within your chosen focus area and award grants from your fund accordingly.

Designated Funds 

$10,000 minimum

Support your favorite organizations and know that your fund will live on permanently at the Foundation and continue to support their work.

A designated fund allows you to give one or more charitable organizations ongoing support. These funds will continue to make grants as long as the organizations continue to carry out their stated charitable purpose.

Organizational Endowment Funds 

Many nonprofits establish funds at the Hartford Foundation as a simple and efficient way to build an endowment and help create sustainability for their organization.

Organizational endowment funds provide a long-term, dependable source of revenue to nonprofits. The Foundation currently manages 29 nonprofit endowment funds for various nonprofits in the region, including the Simsbury Land Trust, The Bridge Family Center and TheaterWorks.


For all of our fund types (except Unrestricted Endowed Funds), donors can establish a fund with $1,000 or more, and build it up over an agreed-upon time span. During the build-up phase, all contributions and earned investment income accumulate until the fund balance reaches the minimums for that type of fund. At that point, the fund will become active. Reach out to us for more information about building up a fund. 


Though administrative fees are applicable to some types of funds, you’ll find the Hartford Foundation’s fees are among the lowest for community foundations.

  • Fees cover the services provided by the Foundation's staff and all administrative costs.
  • Administrative fees are calculated on the principal balance of each fund and are charged directly to the fund.
  • Fees are spread over a substantial asset base, so fees to any one fund are modest.
Investment-Related Fees 
  • In addition to administrative fees, the Foundation incurs investment-related fees, which are netted out of investment results before fund balances are reported to the donor.
  • The full costs of the Foundation’s investment-related activities on an annual basis generally range from 85 to 90 basis points of the endowment portfolio average market value.
  • The cost of the services of the professional investment managers retained by the Foundation represents approximately 65 to 75 of the total basis points.
  • The remaining costs covered by these fees are the costs of custody of the assets, investment consulting services, and the administrative fees of the Trustee (if applicable to a given fund).
Administrative Fees in Basis Points 
Unrestricted Fund 100
Field of Interest Fund 100 
Donor-Advised Fund 100 (first $500,000), 90 (next $500,000 to $1 MM), 85 (next $1 MM to $1.5 MM), 60 (next $1.5 MM to $4 MM), 55 (next $4M to $5M), 50 (over $5 MM)
Named Award in the General Endowment Scholarship Fund 140 
Individual Scholarship Fund  150
Designated Fund  60 (first $1MM)45 (next $1 MM to $2 MM)35 (over $2 MM)
Build-Up Fund  60


(effective January 1, 2020)

1 A basis point is one one hundredth of 1% (.01%).

Decide What to Give 

What to give depends on your financial plans and how you structure your gift.  The donor services team at the Hartford Foundation will work with you and your professional advisor to review your options and maximize your benefits.

  • Cash:  Whether you are creating a fund or contributing to an existing fund, cash is the simplest asset to give. Your gift is tax deductible. Checks can be made payable to HFPG, Inc. Credit card donations can be made online.
  • IRA Rollovers: Individuals 70 ½ and older can transfer up to $100,000 from an IRA to a public charity (such as the Hartford Foundation). Rollovers can be deposited into an Unrestricted, Designated, Field of Interest or Scholarship Fund.
  • Securities: Appreciated securities are one of the most effective assets for a charitable gift because you avoid the capital gains tax imposed if you sold the stock yourself.
  • Closely-Held Stock*:  In many cases, you can use your owned stock in a closely-held business to create a fund at the Foundation and also benefit the company.
  • Limited Partnership / Limited Liability Company Interest*:  Shares in LPs and LLCs can be smart sources of charitable gifts.
  • Real Estate*: The Foundation can accept gifts of real estate, such as your home, vacation home, apartment building, commercial property or undeveloped land.

For more information about transferring securities, contact the Development team at 860-548-1888 or email Pam Dawkins Pieper at

* These types of assets require careful review by the Foundation’s Gift Acceptance Committee.

How to Structure Your Gift 

There are many ways to structure your gift. Some have great tax benefits; others pay income to you or your loved ones. Whether you give today or set up a plan to give tomorrow, the Foundation’s skilled team is here to help you create the best gift structure for you.

  • Bequests:  Naming the Hartford Foundation in your will or trust is an easy way to carry out your charitable wishes.  You can use a bequest to establish a fund or add to an existing fund. Bequests are revocable if your circumstances change.
  • Retirement Assets: These are an ideal charitable gift because they are heavily taxed if left to heirs.  By naming the Foundation as a remainder beneficiary, you can leave an efficient legacy.
  • Charitable Gift Annuities:  You (and a spouse or loved one**) receive income for life, based at your ages at the time of the gift. Or, you can choose to defer payments (such as until retirement). Tax advantages include an immediate income tax deduction and potentially beneficial tax treatment of annuity payments.
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts: With this gift, you and a spouse or loved one** will receive income payments for life (or a specific number of years). Remaining assets go to your Foundation fund to support area nonprofits forever.  You receive an immediate income tax deduction and the asset is removed from your taxable estate.
  • Charitable Lead Trusts:  Your trust pays income to your Foundation fund for a period of years, then passes the assets (often appreciated) to your children or grandchildren with minimal or no gift or estate taxes.

For more information about transferring securities, contact the Development team at 860-548-1888 or email Pam Dawkins Pieper at

** Please consult your tax advisor for tax implications of different beneficiary choices.

Donor Privacy 

Respecting and protecting your rights and wishes is our priority.

The Hartford Foundation honors our donor relationships. We maintain the highest level of confidentiality with respect to donor information, pursuant to the Protection of Confidential Personal Information Policy.

We will not share donor names, addresses, or other personal financial information with any individual or organization outside of the Hartford Foundation without express permission from donors, or unless required to do so by law.

The Foundation does not sell, trade, or exchange its mailing lists. Recipients of Foundation mail or electronic mail messages may opt-out of any lists maintained by the Foundation and used for such communication. The Foundation may share data with trusted partners to help us perform statistical analysis, send email or postal mail, provide customer support, or arrange for deliveries. All such third parties are prohibited from using your personal information except to provide these services to the Hartford Foundation, and they are required to maintain the confidentiality of your information.

From time to time, donor names may be listed in Foundation publications; however, donors are given the option of remaining anonymous.

Protection of Confidential Personal Information Policy 

Safeguarding Confidential Personal Information related to our employees, job applicants, volunteers, donors or potential donors, or any persons who provide us with that information in the course of their interaction with the Foundation is a fundamental responsibility of each employee, and of the Foundation’s Directors and volunteers. "Confidential Personal Information" includes, but is not limited to, Social Security numbers, drivers’ license numbers, account numbers, credit or debit card numbers, passport or alien registration numbers and health insurance identification numbers and any other information capable of being associated with a particular person through one or more personal identifiers.

It is the responsibility of all Foundation employees, directors and volunteers who collect, verify, review, or maintain files of such information, whether the information is in print or electronic form, to do so with strict attention to maintaining the confidentiality of that information. The Foundation strictly prohibits the disclosure of a person’s Confidential Personal Information to a third party without the express written permission of the person, unless permitted or required by law, or unless the information has otherwise been made public, in accordance with applicable state and federal law. For employees, any disclosure of Confidential Personal Information in violation of this policy may result in management action, up to and including termination of employment, and depending on the circumstances, may subject the employee to additional penalties under state or federal law.

In addition, whenever Confidential Personal Information is provided to Foundation vendors or subcontractors, confidentiality agreements must be executed prior to the release of any such information. A copy of the standard agreement is available from the Vice President for Finance and Administration. Under appropriate circumstances, the Foundation may agree to use a vendor’s standard confidentiality agreement as part of a universal contract, provided that the vendor’s contract provides comparable protection, with the express written approval of the Vice President, Finance and Administration. 

All employment and pre-employment personnel information is maintained in locked, segregated areas and is not viewed by anyone except authorized Human Resources and Administration staff with a legitimate business need. The Foundation complies with applicable state and federal law pertaining to the protection of personnel records. Please refer to the Foundation policy regarding access to employee personnel files. 

Confidential Personal Information maintained in electronic form or transmitted over the Foundation’s business system applications will be safeguarded under Foundation proprietary electronic transmission and intranet policies and security systems. Participants in the Foundation’s benefit plans should be aware that personal information will be shared from time to time with plan providers as required for their claims handling or record keeping needs, in accordance with applicable state and federal law. 

The Foundation has implemented internal safeguards to protect any data, computer files, and documents containing Confidential Personal Information, and to destroy or make unreadable such information prior to disposal. In certain instances, employees may be required to comply with safeguards specific to their job duties to ensure the protection or proper disposal of Confidential Personal Information. Employees will be provided additional information regarding any safeguards applicable to them.  Any employee failing to comply with applicable safeguards may be subject to management action, up to and including termination of employment.