A donor designated endowment is a permanent fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois that allows donors to select one or more nonprofit organizations to receive annual distributions from their endowment in perpetuity.


  • You choose the nonprofit organization(s) that will receive annual distributions from your designated endowment.
  • You can designate a successor nonprofit beneficiary in case your initial designee ceases to operate.
  • You may designate a particular purpose for the distributions from your endowment.


  • Your designated endowment creates funding that nonprofit organizations can count on.
  • With donor designated funding, nonprofits can spend more time on their mission, plan better, and accomplish more over time.
  • Every year, your nonprofit beneficiary will be reminded that you believed in them enough to support them through a sustaining gift.


  • Creating a donor designated endowment is easy.
  • The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois documents your intentions in a formal agreement that governs the administration of your endowment so your wishes will be honored in perpetuity.
  • There is no cost to establish the endowment other than contributions made to the endowment itself.
  • It is easy to name your designated endowment at the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois as a beneficiary of a trust or estate gift.

Working with the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois

  • Established in 1953, the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois has granted more than $65 million on behalf of donors to charitable causes in Northern Illinois.
  • The Community Foundation pools over 400 endowments totaling more than $100 million for investment.
  • The Community Foundation is accredited in compliance with the National Standards for all US community foundations as set forth by the Council on Foundations under a rigorous peer review process and evaluation.
  • The Community Foundation takes care of all legal and administrative requirements associated with your endowment.

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions to a Donor Designated Endowment are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Have a question about endowment?

Our local, experienced staff is here to help.


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