In this section, you will find a list of our fundholders' most frequently asked questions along with their corresponding answers.

Two boys smiling wearing hard hats
Camp Encourage - 2023 THCF Grant Recipient

If you can't find answers to your questions here, please don't hesitate to contact us directly. Let us know how we can help you make the most out of your philanthropy.

Frequently Asked Questions - Donor Advised Funds

We are here to help you do more and save more ... today and for years to come. Let Cole Eason, THCF Vice-President of Advancement, show you how. Email Cole at or call (816) 912-4182.

Here are four easy ways to make a contribution to your donor advised fund:

  1. Check
    You can make a donation to your Donor Advised Fund fund by mailing a check to Truman Heartland Community Foundation, 4200 Little Blue Parkway, Suite 340, Independence, MO 64057. Please include your fund name in the check memo.
  2. Credit/Debit Card
    You can donate to your fund online using a credit or debit card. Use this link.
  3. Stock Donation
    You can make a donation of securities to your fund by contacting Bridget Stoppelman, Chief Financial Officer, by email at or by phone at (816) 795-5307.
  4. Planned Gift from Your Estate
    You can designate your fund as a recipient of a gift from your estate. Please contact Cole Eason, Vice President of Advancement, at or 816-912-4182 for more information on this option.

Remember: You cannot make a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) from your IRA to a donor advised fund, but you can make it to other funds, such as a scholarship fund or other endowed fund, when the fund’s grant instructions are in place beforehand.

Yes. You can benefit from customized investment management by an advisor you already know and trust. If this option is right for you, simply put THCF in touch with your financial advisor, and our team will take care of the rest! Your fund's investments will be managed through an account we set up with your advisor, investing in accordance with the Community Foundation's most current investment policies and standards.

To ensure that your support lasts forever, you can create an endowment fund. There are several ways to build up your fund to endowment, including contributing cash, appreciated assets, or real estate as part of your planned giving strategy. To maximize your giving, leave a lasting impact, and save on your taxes, speak to your financial advisor or reach out to our Community Foundation staff. They can guide you on how to make the most of your charitable contributions.

Nope! You can select to invest the assets of your fund in the Community Foundation’s Investment Pool. The responsibility of managing the investments is vested in our Board of Directors through our Investment Committee. The Committee works closely with staff and a professional investment advisor to set policy, establish performance benchmarks, and monitor performance.

Yes. If you select the Community Foundation's Investment Pool, you are able to match your risk tolerance and the long-term objectives for your fund. You can select an existing mix or create your own. The Community Foundation strongly suggests scholarship funds be invested in our Long-Term Recommended Mix.

  • Long-Term Recommended Mix
    Recommended for scholarship funds (35% Fixed Income, 65% Equity)
  • Risk-Averse Mix
    100% Money Market and CD Pool
  • Environmentally Responsible Investment (ERI) Mix
    (35% Fixed Income, 65% Equity, excluding oil and gas investments)
  • Create Your Own Mix
    Select your percentages of Money Market, Fixed Income, and Equity Pools to match your fund’s goals and your risk tolerance.

Frequently Asked Questions - Making Grants

Your donations are making a significant impact and creating positive change in the communities where we live, work, and serve and beyond. If you have questions about how to utilize your fund for your grantmaking, please reach out to Diana Castillo, Director of Grants and Donor Services, at or by phone at (816) 912-4184.

Nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities, religious institutions, and entities of government (animal shelters, parks and recreation departments, school districts, etc.) may all receive grants from donor advised funds. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations prohibit grants to individuals and for-profit entities.

You can use the Donor Portal to manage all aspects of your grantmaking. All new fundholders are provided with portal access and a step-by-step guide on how to use it. We also have a member of our staff available to you should you have any questions or need assistance.

Grant recommendations can be made at any time and as often as you like, either online through the Donor Portal or by completing and submitting a printed recommendation form.

Please allow 7 to 10 business days for us to process your grant recommendation and send the check. As a nationally accredited Community Foundation, we have multiple approvals and due diligence that must take place before a grant check can be sent.

Yes! You may make grant recommendations to any nonprofit, religious institution, or entity of government in the United States.

No. Donor Advised Fund assets are 100 percent charitable, and no part of a grant may be used to pay for any tangible benefits such as event tickets, membership dues, sponsorships, etc.

We encourage you to utilize your fund regularly. If there is no activity in a fund for a period of five years, THCF may take steps to deactivate the fund or issue grants from the fund to nonprofits that align with the donor's original intent.

Yes. You can request that certain grants be made anonymously by indicating your wish on your grant recommendation form, or you may even request that your fund always make grants anonymously.

Frequently Asked Questions - Scholarships

There are many ways to customize your scholarship fund so it meets your philanthropic goals. Contact Rachael Cassiday Watkins, Director of Scholarships, at or (816) 912-4185 if you have additional questions or would like to discuss making changes to your scholarship.

THCF staff can help you identify the types of students that you would like to support with your scholarship fund. Characteristics to consider include:

  • Level of education to support (undergraduate, graduate, technical, professional, trade, etc.)
  • Field of study
  • Geographical area (i.e., high school graduating from, college planning to attend, etc.)
  • Academic achievement
  • Financial need
  • Involvement in extracurricular activities, community service activities, work, clubs, teams, etc.

THCF’s scholarship funds are endowed, so a certain amount is “available to spend” from the endowment fund each year based on our current spending policy (currently 4.5% of the past five years’ year-end fund balances). You can decide the specifics about how you award that available amount each year.

  • One-time vs. Renewable awards
    THCF encourages renewable scholarship awards to assist recipients in persisting through their higher education experience to graduation. However, one-time scholarships are also possible through THCF’s scholarship program.
  • Scholarship Amount
    THCF encourages larger scholarship award amounts over smaller ones because the costs of higher education have increased exponentially over the past generation. For example, if your scholarship produces $1,000 available to spend each year, we would encourage making one $1,000 award rather than splitting it into two $500 scholarships.

THCF staff works to advertise the availability of our scholarships on our website, in press releases and newsletters, and via personal outreach to high schools and colleges in the area. Applications are built in our online scholarship portal. You can decide which application format works best for your scholarship.

  • General Application
    This application is utilized by over 50 of our scholarship funds and streamlines the application process for the students by matching them to any scholarships that correspond with their characteristics while only having to complete the basic application questions, such as their college and field of study once. It is a two-step process for the applicants: completing the general application to be matched to specific scholarships and then completing the customizable portions of each scholarship application they were matched with. These typically include essays on specific prompts, letters of recommendation from specific people in their lives, or proof of participation in specific types of activities relevant to your scholarship.

    The Community Foundation generally encourages utilizing the General Application because it streamlines the application process for students, helps them become eligible for the most scholarship support available to them, and increases candidate pools for the participating scholarships.
  • Stand-Alone Application
    This is a standard full scholarship application where the students must complete all questions for each different stand-alone application they wish to apply for (this means filling out their college, field of study, etc., for each and every stand-alone application). Stand-alone applications should be utilized if the donors wish for their scholarship’s due date to be different than the General Application or for a very customized application.

THCF staff will notify the student of being selected for the scholarship and work with them to verify their enrollment prior to paying out an award on their behalf. Scholarships are paid directly to schools and not to students. Scholarships may be utilized for qualified educational expenses as defined by the IRS at their institution (typically tuition, fees, books, supplies, etc.). Scholarships that are not utilized may not be issued to students as refunds and must be returned to the Foundation to be reinvested in the scholarship fund.

We have two great ways for you to get to know your recipients better:

  • Annual Scholarship Reception Ice Cream Social
    Typically held in June, this free reception is the chance for you and your recipient(s) to meet and get to know each other over a sweet treat. You will receive invitations, and we ask for RSVPs for the event so we can seat you with your recipients.
  • Scholarship Recipient Spotlight Mailing
    THCF staff sends a mailing in July/August with details about your scholarship recipients, including headshots, contact information, details about their educational and career goals, and brief thank you notes from them.

  • Application Period
    Generally, THCF’s scholarship applications are opened to students in the October-November timeframe each year, and the applications are due in mid-February.
  • Review Process
    The application review and candidate selection process takes place during March and April.
  • Award Notifications
    Candidate notification of awards or declination happens during April and May.
  • Event
    The Scholarship Reception takes place during June.
  • Payments
    Scholarship payments are made on behalf of recipients during July.


For scholarships for the 2024-2025 school year: The federal government is updating the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application, which we use for determining financial need in our scholarship applications. This update will delay the opening of the FAFSA application in the fall of 2023 from October to December (an exact date has not yet been set by the Department of Education). Therefore, we anticipate that our overall timeline for scholarship applications will likely be delayed by two months for the 2024-2025 school year.

Yes. You can utilize the Donor Portal to check the specifics of your scholarship fund and download quarterly fund statements.

Yes. Contact Rachael Cassiday Watkins, Director of Scholarships, at or 816-912-4185 for assistance with receiving a list of scholarship recipients.

Frequently Asked Questions - Agency Funds

At Truman Heartland Community Foundation, we're all about supporting our local nonprofit organizations and helping them achieve their goals. We believe that by working together, we can create positive change in our communities and make a real difference in people's lives. So if you're a nonprofit looking for long-term financial solutions for your organization, don't hesitate to reach out.

An agency fund is a fund established by a nonprofit organization to ensure its long-term fiscal health. These funds offer nonprofit agencies the benefits of marketing, development and legal services, professional investment oversight, excellent investment performance history, and a spending policy that assures a stable annual flow of grant dollars to the organization.

THCF charges an annual administrative fee based on assets. These fees support the ongoing administration of charitable funds and are charged monthly.

There are several ways your community foundation can help grow your funds. Here are just a few:

The organization’s own endowment fund. Our staff will work with you to transfer your current endowment to THCF. Generally, these funds are established using assets under the control of the governing body of the organization. Individuals, businesses, or other donors may also contribute to such funds.

Donor advised funds. A restricted fund established by a donor which provides ongoing, permanent support to one or more donor-selected agencies. In essence, this type of fund enables donors to endow their annual gifts to their favorite charities.

You do! Unless a specific use is identified in the documents that establish the fund, the governing body of the organization may use the income for any purpose. Funds can also be established with specific purposes stated, such as building maintenance or continuing education for employees. In such instances, the income must be used in accordance with the specific designation and the organization will be required to certify the use of the funds to THCF.

No. Because the organization is also the beneficiary of the fund, the legal ownership of the funds must belong to THCF.

Accounting rule FASB 136 requires that any funds contributed by the organization itself to the fund are reported as an asset on the agency’s balance sheet and liability on THCF’s balance sheet, although they remain the legal asset of THCF. Any funds contributed by any donor to the fund to benefit the agency will be reported only as an asset of THCF.

Yes. THCF accepts nontraditional assets of stock, closely held business stock, real estate, and more—any asset that may be appraised in value.