Giving | Pay It Forward

Marcellus Shale: Beneath Our Feet

In recent years, the discovery and development of the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays in our area have changed the landscapes of our community. We are a vast and important natural resource. Some estimate the Marcellus Shale play alone will be the largest producer of natural gas in our nation. We are a part of this resource.

As land and resources are developed, lives are changed. Many lease-holders and land-owners have seen dramatic growth in personal wealth. How will this wealth be used? How can this wealth be directed towards the greater good?

Pay It Forward
The increase in wealth among many in our region has created a new generation of philanthropists. Today, more people than ever want to give back and impact their communities. They, themselves, are becoming natural resources.

“It takes a noble man to plant a seed for a tree that will someday give shade to people he may never meet.” -D. Elton Trueblood

Experts In Philanthropy

Since 1972, the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley has been working to connect donors who care with causes that matter. With over 190 funds and $30 million in fund assets, our donors trust us to be faithful stewards of their gifts and wishes.

For over 40 years, CFOV has worked directly with the agencies and organizations in our community that are in the trenches. Our partners in philanthropy include the United Way, Russel-Nesbitt, local churches, and countless other community organizations that you know and trust. We know the needs of the community. You can trust us to connect you with causes that matter.

Impacting Community

The first step to making sure your gift has a lasting impact is to plan it. At CFOV, we work with our donors to prepare gifts for today as well as tomorrow. Gifts from estates, IRA’s, life insurance, and trusts can have deep and lasting impacts on the charities you choose. Our staff will work with you to chart a course of charitable action and a plan for your legacy.

CFOV offers a number of funds to meet your charitable goals and make a deep impact:

Donors Advised Funds: A donor advised fund allows you and your successors to make recommendations for grants during your lifetimes. Grants can be made to any qualified nonprofit organizations, including churches. When your charitable interests change, so can your giving. Give to one charity now and a different one later.

Scholarship Funds: A scholarship fund provides a unique way to support students in your community. Scholarships can be specified for a field of study, high school attended, or college attending. Many people use scholarship funds as a way to remember loved ones who also valued education. Scholarships leave a deep and lasting impact on the lives they touch.

Donor Designated Funds: A donor designated fund provides continuous support to a designated nonprofit organization. Even churches can benefit from a donor designated fund. This fund creates regular support the organization can count on.

Field of Interest Fund: A field of interest fund is designed to support changing needs in the region in a specific field such as children, the elderly, or animal welfare.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What types of grants can I make from a donor-advised fund?
A: As the advisor of a donor advised fund, you may make grant recommendations to any qualified 501 (c)(3) organization within the United States. This includes most churches, colleges, universities, or traditional nonprofit organizations like the United Way or the local soup kitchen. You may even support similarly qualified government organizations such as your local library or school.

Q: How much do I need to start a fund?
A: Fund establishment for a donor advised fund starts at $10,000. For scholarship funds, $25,000 is the minimum amount.

Q: Is the principle restricted?
A: This depends on how you wish to set up the fund. For principle restricted funds, you would only be permitted to make grants of the income generated from the principle. This would allow your fund to last forever. An unrestricted fund will allow you to make grants out of any amount of the fund. A third option is a percentage payout. We recommend a 4% payout to preserve the fund and allow it to continue to grow with the market.

Q: What are the fees involved?
A: The CFOV charges a small 1% annual administrative fee to all funds up to $1 million in value or a minimum of $100 per year. The fee is scaled back if the value is over $1 million or over $5 million.

Q: Why would I choose the Community Foundation instead of my own private foundation?
A: Private foundations take time and money to set up and administer. For example, you would need to file for private foundation status with the Internal Revenue Service, maintain a board of directors, and complete an annual tax return for a private foundation. Because CFOV is already a public 501 (c)(3) charitable organization, all you need to do to establish a fund is write a check and sign a fund agreement. Further, you will receive a larger tax deduction for establishing a fund with the CFOV than for establishing a private foundation. Also, private foundations are required to distribute 5% of their assets annually.

Q: What if I only wanted to support one nonprofit organization or one particular charitable area, such as child hunger?
A: CFOV also offers donor designated funds which will support a specific nonprofit organization such as a church with annual grants in perpetuity for administrative or general support. For funds to support a particular area such as child hunger, you may consider a field of interest fund in which the CFOV Board of Trustees determine how grants from your fund would benefit that specific field on an annual basis.

To learn about all the ways the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley can help you make a deep impact on your community and pay it forward, contact us today. Call 304-242-3144 or email