Ways To Give

With 65 years of experience connecting donors with the causes they care about, we make giving easy. We want to help you think about the choices you make related to charitable giving and take your giving to the next level — to make your philanthropy as personal, meaningful, and fulfilling as possible. 

Giving to the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL)  is easy and doesn’t require great wealth. No matter how much you give, your philanthropic strategy will be meaningful when it is aligned with your values, life experiences, and interests. It is our honor to partner with donors from all walks of life to ensure resources are available to support the needs of the people of northern Illinois — forever!

With endowed funds supporting a variety of causes, every gift plays a part in connecting people, resources, and causes to promote sustainable impact towards the betterment of the people of Northern Illinois. Make an impact today by making a gift in one of the following ways:


The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois manages over 450 individual funds which reflect the unique wishes of our donors as well as the diverse needs and interests of the people of Northern Illinois. You can contribute to many of the individual funds with a direct, online gift. CFNIL is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and donations made to CFNIL are tax deductible as allowed by law. 

Donate Online Now

Our EIN is: 36-4402089

There are many other ways to support existing funds, or to create your own!

Ready to make a gift to an existing fund but prefer to mail or drop off a check or gift of cash? 

Our mailing and physical address is:

Community Foundation of Northern Illinois
946 N Second Street
Rockford, IL  61107

Checks should be made out to the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. If there is a specific fund to which you would like the gift applied, be sure to include the fund name on the check memo or in a note accompanying your gift. View a full list of the funds to which gifts are accepted here.

Thank you!

CFNIL works with a local broker to facilitate the transfer and sale of gifts of stock and other securities. Are you concerned about taxes on capital gains? Because the sale of the stock/security is made after transfer to CFNIL, you are eligible for the full market value of your gift, with no capital gains. 

Contact Dan Ross, CFNIL President, at 779-210-8201 or dross@cfnil.org to discuss the process for making a gift of stock or other marketable security.

A Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) is a tax-free way to support the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. Individuals 70 1/2 and older may gift up to $100,000 tax-free per year from their IRA* directly to tax exempt charities, including CFNIL. Individuals making Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from their IRA may count a QCD toward satisfying their RMD.

Contact Dan Ross, CFNIL President, at 779-210-8201 or dross@cfnil.org to discuss the process for making a Qualified Charitable Deduction to CFNIL.

*Tax laws regarding QCDs, RMDs, and IRAs are subject to change. Please contact your financial or tax advisor for up-to-date regulations and further guidance.

CFNIL is able to facilitate gifts of many non-cash, real assets, including: real estate (land and buildings), jewelry, artwork, and more. Contact Dan Ross, CFNIL President, at 779-210-8201 or dross@cfnil.org to discuss your options.

Who do you want to help? The answer to this question helps determine the type of fund best suited to you. Do you want the flexibility of giving to any charitable organization anywhere, any time? Or, is there a particular charity you want to support? Perhaps there is a particular cause that you are passionate about? Create the fund that makes the difference you want to create.

CFNIL manages several different types of funds:

  • Agency Funds: Established by a nonprofit agency for its own benefit. Agency Funds are permanently endowed, providing a growing and dependable source of unrestricted funding. 
  • Donor Advised Funds: Allow you to be actively involved in your charitable giving. You recommend the charitable organizations to receive grants, and we do the due diligence and paperwork. 
  • Donor Designated Funds: Provide annual support to a designated charitable organization(s) that you specify. 
  • Field of Interest Funds: Support a specific cause, program, geographic area, or other definable "field of interest" that is important to you. In some cases, you may be a part of the grantmaking process!
  • Scholarship Funds: Allow you to make a direct impact on a student's ability to achieve their educational aspirations. Work with CFNIL staff to establish eligibility and selection criteria and even participate in the selection process! Learn more about CFNIL's Scholarship Program.

Learn more about creating your own fund or contact us to talk about your options today!

Is your company considering ways to maximize your philanthropic benefit to the community? Thinking about starting a corporate giving program but not sure how to administer the process? Let's talk! There are many options to consider and CFNIL has the professional and technical capacity to ensure you can focus on impact, not administrative details. Contact Dan, CFNIL President, at 779-210-8201 or dross@cfnil.org to start a conversation about these and other options related to corporate giving:

  • Employee Gift Matching
  • Employee and/or Customer Charitable Giving and Grantmaking
  • Corporate Grantmaking

CFNIL is currently partnering with MembersAlliance Credit Union to administer their Community Impact Fund. Learn more about this partnership and how it benefits the company, their customers, and the community!


Planned gifts are most often considered to be gifts arranged at one point in time then come to fruition at another.  Planned gifts enable you to ensure the charitable legacy you want, even if you can’t implement your plan until later. There are many ways to plan for future giving that will support the work of CFNIL.

While we also encourage our donors to work with their financial advisors as they develop their charitable giving plans, it is particularly important to consult your estate planning and tax advisors as you consider which planned gift is best for you.

A general form of planned giving is a charitable bequest in your will or trust, which can create or add to existing funds, such as Designated Funds to benefit specific charitable organizations, Field of Interest Funds to address particular causes or Unrestricted Funds to CFNIL to deploy based on the most critical current needs that exist. Your bequest may be a specific amount, a percentage of your estate or even the residual balance of your estate after all of the other bequests have been made. Please contact us for the appropriate language for your estate planning documents.

Perhaps the simplest and most tax advantageous bequest is to name the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois as the beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k) or 403(b). Retirement benefits are usually taxed as ordinary income upon distribution to a beneficiary. As a public charity, however, Community Foundation of Northern Illinois does not generally pay income tax. Gifts of retirement assets are worth 100% of their value for public charities, while individual beneficiaries may only enjoy 60-80% of the value on an after-tax basis.

Please contact us to discuss this option further.

As with your retirement funds, your life insurance beneficiary designation regulates who will ultimately receive your life insurance proceeds. You can designate the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois as the beneficiary of all or a portion of your life insurance.

Questions? Let us help you get started.

Ciara Stahly - Assistant Development Director - headshot
Ciara Stahly
Assistant Development Director
Phone: 779-210-8203
Email: Ciara Stahly