Getting Started

Established in 1983, the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester was created to build and hold a permanent and growing endowment for the community’s changing needs and opportunities, and to honor the intentions of donors who create that endowment. The Foundation is a qualified publicly supported charity under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1) allowing us to offer tax deductions for gifts for charitable purpose.

Since our beginning, the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester has grown to be a local leader and a resource for philanthropy for individuals, companies, and families. Donors have entrusted us with over 100 charitable funds and we have developed successful relationships with nonprofits throughout the Greater Rochester area we serve. We encourage professional advisors to review our Financial Policies and Investment Guidelines.

Download Our 2014 Investment Policy

The Community Foundation Investments

The Investment Committee is composed of members of the Board of Trustees and Membership that have either special expertise or interest relating to investing. This group is responsible for oversight of the Community Foundation’s investments and investment manager(s) and the Committee reports to the Board of Trustees on investment matters, including the management of investments and the performance of investment manager(s).

New Gift Policy

The Community Foundation of Greater Rochester’s investment objectives are to maintain and increase the purchasing power of the endowment, and to produce a solid return for distribution to maximize the Community Foundation’s ability to meet current community needs. When a donor makes a gift of $500,000 or more, the Community Foundation can offer flexible options for investment management of these funds.

Download Our 2014 New Gift Policy


Charitable funds provide resources for grantmaking and can help make a positive difference in the community. Carrying out the wishes of donors, the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester disburses grants to nonprofit organizations serving the Greater Rochester area but can also extend to organizations throughout the United States recognized as public charities exempt form income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Community Foundation’s grants provide support for the work of nonprofit organizations in areas focusing on Culture, Community, Development, Education, Environment, Human Concerns and Youth. All grants are approved by the Board.


The Community Foundation of Greater Rochester is served by two groups of dedicated volunteers. The Board of Trustees is composed of local area men and women chosen for their knowledge and leadership in the Greater Rochester community. They assess the needs in our community, oversee our endowment, cultivate new donors and make funding decisions. Membership is the second avenue of volunteer service. Members serve with Trustees on the Community Foundation's numerous committees and assist in the cultivation of new donors.

Variance Power

The variance power permits the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester to modify a restriction on a fund and is a distinguishing characteristic of community foundations. The variance power may be invoked when the Board of Trustees determines that the restriction is unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment, or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the community. Inclusion of the variance power in the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester’s governing documents is a requirement of the tax regulation. The variance power allows the Community Foundation to take changing times into account and modify the original purpose of a fund (i.e. A fund designated to fight a disease that has been eliminated, such as polio could be used for a similar charitable purpose). The Foundation would only exercise the variance power with great care, giving full consideration to the original intent of the donor.

© 2018 Community Foundation of Greater Rochester, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
303 East Street | P.O. Box 80431 | Rochester, MI 48308-0431

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