How Donors Can Give

Cash/Checks

How to make out checks

Checks must be made out to the Quad Cities Community Foundation or Community Foundation.

Donors should write the fund name where the gift should be directed to in the memo line. Alternatively, a donor may include a written note with the check indicating the purpose of the gift.  Including the fund name in the memo line assures the gift will be properly recorded and acknowledged.

It is important that checks are made payable to the Community Foundation because it is the nonprofit organization to which the donor intends to make a gift. Donor intent could be questioned by the IRS or by courts of law if checks are made out to an Affiliate, or to the name of a fund, neither of which are legal entities qualified as charitable organizations under state or federal law. 

The Community Foundation will no longer accept checks made payable to something other than the Quad Cities Community Foundation or the Community Foundation after June 30, 2017.

Cash handling

Affiliates may,-–on rare occasions, receive cash from donors. Cash gifts should be discouraged unless there is no other way for the person to make a gift. Accepting cash gifts puts the volunteer Affiliate Advisory Board member at risk for loss, or for future disputes over amounts given.

If Affiliates receive a cash gift, you have two options of delivering the cash to the Community Foundation. The first and preferred option is to get a money order and deliver or mail the money order to the Community Foundation. The second option is to hand deliver the cash to the Community Foundation. With either option you should provide donor information to the Community Foundation in order for the proper acknowledgment of the gift. It is suggested to ask the donors to write a check directly to the Community Foundation or to utilize a money order.

The Community Foundation reserves the right to refuse cash gifts.

End-of-the-year gifts

There are special procedures that should be followed for end-of-year contributions.

  • Hand-delivered gifts: Gifts hand delivered to the Affiliate on or prior to December 31 qualify as a contribution for the current calendar year. The delivery must be made to a current member of the Affiliate’s Advisory Board to qualify as a completed gift.  Such volunteer board members are acting as agents of the Community Foundation in accepting the gift. The Affiliate agent must initial and date the gift to verify when it was received. The IRS closely scrutinizes charitable gifts. Do not backdate any gifts. Please forward the gifts immediately to the Community Foundation.

  • Mailed-in gifts: Gifts received after December 31, but postmarked prior to or on December 31, are recognized for the current calendar year. If you receive gifts to your P.O. Box, or otherwise through the mail, please forward them immediately to the Community Foundation with the original postmarked envelope. The Community Foundation will close its books seven days after December 31. The Community Foundation records all gifts received after that date as a gift for the current calendar year, rather than the one that concluded on December 31. These rules follow IRS requirements.


Estate Gifts

What is the Correct Language for an Estate Gift?

Giving your donors and their advisors the correct language to use in their estate planning is vital. If the wrong language is used, it is possible that their gift will fail, or that other heirs could challenge the estate gift.  If that happens, the donor will never know that their estate gift did not come to fruition. The community loses, and so does the donor.

A. For retirement plans or other beneficiary designations such as insurance, in the charitable beneficiary field, write:

 Quad Cities Community Foundation, EIN 42-6122716 

If the donor wants to start a fund, DO NOT NAME the fund as the beneficiary. It is likely that the retirement plan administrator or the insurance company will not honor such a beneficiary designation as the fund itself is not a separate legal entity. Similarly, DO NOT NAME THE AFFILIATE rather than the Community Foundation. If the donor does so, the designation likely will fail because the EIN (tax identification number) and the name of the beneficiary do not match.

B. For wills and living trusts:

I give _____________________________ (name the amount, specific property or percentage of residue) to the Quad Cities Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization (EIN 42-6122716) located in Bettendorf, Iowa, (and then select one of the following):

To be added to the _________________________ fund; OR To be added to the _________________________ fund established by me during my lifetime through a written agreement entered into by me and the Quad Cities Community Foundation as that agreement might be amended from time to time during my lifetime.

The donor SHOULD NOT add any additional restrictions or direction on his or her gift in their document. By entering into a separate agreement with the Community Foundation regarding the use of the donor’s gift, the donor retains the greatest flexibility. The donor can change his or her mind and amend the agreement during his lifetime without having to change the will or living trust, and incurring more legal expense.

The donor SHOULD NOT name the Affiliate.  By naming the Affiliate, which is not a legal entity, the donor RUNS THE RISK of having his or her estate gift fail. Another heir could challenge the gift based on the fact that a non-charitable, non-legal entity is named rather than a qualified charity as required under the law. If an Affiliate is named, the Community Foundation may have to seek court guidance as to whether or not the estate gift can be accepted as written. Even if the court approves the acceptance of the gift, the legal costs will come out of the gift. If the court does not approve the estate gift, the estate gift will fail and other heirs will benefit.

Learn more about Planned Giving

Visit http://cfgiving.org/ to learn more about planned giving options. This website has a variety of resources for donors, including planned giving calculators. 


Types of funds

There are a variety of funds you can choose from when establishing your fund with the Quad Cities Community Foundation.


how to give

There are many ways to give, and anyone can be a philanthropist. How do you give? Learn more here.