Fund Policies

Gift Acceptance Polices

Gifts to Greater Cincinnati Foundation may take a variety of forms. Many are outright gifts by living donors. Some are bequests or testamentary gifts that take effect upon the donor’s death. Others are different forms of deferred or split-interest gifts.

The Foundation reserves the right to refuse any proposed gift. In conformity with U.S. Treasury Department regulations governing community foundations, gifts to GCF may not be directly or indirectly subjected by a donor to any material restriction or condition that would prevent the Foundation from freely and effectively employing the transferred assets, or the income derived there from, in furtherance of its exempt purposes.

The following are our gift acceptance policies:

General Development Policies


The Foundation may accept outright cash gifts in any amount. A named fund may be established with a larger gift. All funds are assessed a minimum annual base service fee of $250 for endowed funds and $400 for spendable funds. Learn more about our Administrative Contributions.

Life Insurance Policies

The Foundation may accept gifts of new or paid-up life insurance policies.

Publicly Traded Securities

GCF may accept gifts of publicly traded stocks and bonds at fair market values as determined under Internal Revenue Service rules. Gifts of publicly traded securities will generally be sold as soon as possible, and the fund the donor established will be credited with the proceeds from the sale, after commissions and expenses, if any.

Real Property

Tangible Personal Property

Tangible personal property may be accepted as a gift, provided that (1) such property is saleable and (2) the donor agrees that the property can be sold at GCF’s discretion. The donor is responsible for obtaining a qualified appraisal prior to completing the gift.

Closely-Held Stock and Partnership Interests

All proposed gifts of closely-held stock (including LLC stock) and partnership interests (including FLP interests) must satisfy the requirements of the Foundation’s Policies and Guidelines Relating to Gifts of Partnership Interests and Gifts of Closely-Held Stock.

Spending Policy

Greater Cincinnati Foundation applies a “spending policy” to most endowed funds (i.e., most funds except donor advised funds). The spending policy defines the amount of money that can be disbursed from a fund each year. The goal of the spending policy is to position the funds to maintain a balance between long-term investment growth and annual grant distributions.

The spending policy accomplishes two important goals. First, the “purchasing power” of the endowment (i.e., corpus adjusted for inflation) is maintained, and this preserves a fund’s ability to meet the future needs of the community. Second, application of the spending policy reduces the endowment’s vulnerability to significant fluctuations in the stock and bond markets. By averaging market values over an extended period of time (i.e., 20 quarters; see below), the endowment is less affected by sharp, short-term market fluctuations. This allows for steadier levels of spending and continued growth – both of which may be advantageous to the beneficiaries of the fund over the long term. The grant recipients’ budget planning and forecasting abilities can be significantly enhanced by this methodology.

The Foundation’s spending policy defines the total amount available from a fund in a given year (the “distributable income”) as 4.75% of the fund’s average market value over the preceding 20 quarters. GCF performs the annual distributable income calculation in January of each year, based on the January 1 market value of the fund.

If the fund has not existed for five years at the valuation date, the calculation is based on all quarters for which market value information is then available (but see exception below). The Foundation’s service and investment management fees are paid annually from the distributable amount (see Service and Investment Fees for more information), and the balance is available for grantmaking.

It is important to note that for all new funds subject to the spending policy, there must be at least four quarters of market value history as of January 1 in order for GCF to make the distributable income calculation and begin making distributions. For example, if a scholarship fund is set up on April 1 in Year 1, it will only have three quarters of market value information by January 1 of Year 2, and therefore cannot begin making grants until the following distributable income calculation date, in January of Year 3. If you believe that timing is an issue with respect to a fund that you would like to establish, please let us know and we will discuss available options with you.


720 E. Pete Rose Way,
Suite 120
Cincinnati, OH 45202


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