The prudent, ethical, and objective fulfillment of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois’ obligations to its donors.  


The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) was founded in 1953 and “is organized and operated to serve as a catalyst for giving in order to attract, preserve, and grow an endowment for the current and future needs of the people of Northern Illinois.”

CFNIL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and contributions to CFNIL are tax deductible to the full extent allowable by law. CFNIL is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees who are citizens of Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties.

CFNIL provides stewardship for over 300 tax-exempt endowed funds and assets totaling over $85 million, including $7.5 million that it administers on behalf of other nonprofit organizations in the region.

This year, CFNIL will distribute more than $3.2 million in grants and scholarships.


Each donor establishes the purpose of his or her endowment. This purpose is documented in a formal endowment agreement. CFNIL honors donor intentions in perpetuity.


CFNIL complies with all the applicable provisions of:

  • the Internal Revenue Code and regulations issued pursuant thereto;
  • the Illinois Charitable Trust Act;
  • the Illinois Not for Profit Corporation Act;
  • the Illinois Trust and Trustees Act, relating to the funds held by CFNIL as a trustee; and
  • the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, relating to CFNIL’s administration of institutional funds.


CFNIL combines individual endowments for investment and management in order to reduce the administrative cost to individual endowments. At the same time, each endowment is kept separate for accounting purposes.

In order to obtain high-quality, objective advice, CFNIL uses an independent investment consulting firm experienced in serving institutional clients. The independent consulting firm receives no compensation from the investment agents it recommends to CFNIL.

As a qualified purchaser of investment securities, CFNIL invests without the cost of brokers or custodial services.

CFNIL’s approach to investing results in long-term growth of the endowed funds for the benefit of the people of Northern Illinois in perpetuity.

Have a question about endowment?

Our local, experienced staff is here to help.


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