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Community Foundation of Northern Nevada Logo

Help Spread the Word about Our – Your – Community Foundation

Exterior front of 50 Washington Street in Reno, with sign that reads Community Foundation of Northern Nevada

Please see a special note following today's post.

By Chris Askin CSPG, CFRE
President & CEO

You might think that with the Community Foundation receiving contributions from hundreds of individual donors each year, and granting to more than 200 charities annually, our work would be almost universally known throughout our region. 

While the reach and profile of our fundholders, board, and referring professional advisors have grown year by year, many in our community are still not aware of the depth, breadth and value of services we provide. So, in the interest of building our region's understanding of the Community Foundation of Northern Nevada, let’s address two questions.

Are the services of a Community Foundation understood?
I find that unless someone has worked with a community foundation before  which is generally only those people who have lived in another community that had one – they really don’t know what we do. 

There is no local example and we have no peers in the community, so we don’t fall into any existing categories. Most often we are thought of as a foundation that is a grant-maker, much like a private foundation. And the word “community” in our name really throws people off. Simply put, we are quite literally unique and our services are different from those offered by any other entity in the community. Here is a quick listing:

  • We establish charitable “funds” for most any purpose, short-term or forever. Donors, committees, or “restrictions” guide grant disbursements.
  • We are experts at due diligence and grant oversight. We make grants locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, and also facilitate grants to individuals in the form of academic scholarships, but also through various donor-established funds for emergency need, family stabilization, housing, etc.
  • We receive most any type of asset and can liquidate immediately or hold that asset. Charitable goals are thus “funded” through gifts that are generally “tax-advantaged,” both in terms of asset gifted and timing of the gift.
  • We pool and manage invested assets to produce the income for granting objectives.
  • We advise individuals, families, and professional advisors on charitable gifting for greatest impact.
  • We create partnerships, coalitions, and coordinated efforts to combine and direct efforts, not merely funding, to achieve impact that improves the community.
  • We work with charities to help them with their endowments, including investment management, but also provide tools for them to conduct their marketing, promotion and fundraising to build their endowments.
  • We work with gift annuities, life insurance, and charitable trusts to provide current income and other benefits for donors.

Are the services of a Community Foundation underestimated?
The clear answer to this is yes. We have such a flexible line of services that even the professional advisors we frequently work with and current fundholders aren’t aware of everything we can do for them. We have used many ways to educate the community about all of the things we can do to help – in the area of giving as well as ways of helping with challenges in the community. We don’t have any easy answers, but if you are reading this column now, we appreciate your help in spreading the word. Thank you! If you'd like more information, call (775) 333-5499 or email us at

PS. I wish to take a moment to acknowledge this date, Sep. 11, 2021. Twenty years ago on this day, our nation was changed forever. Plenty has been written about 9/11, so I don’t need to add more of my own words. I would be remiss, however, in not pausing momentarily to remember those our world lost that day, and those lost over time as a result of that day, as well as that day’s countless heroes from all walks of life. Perhaps above all, we honor the bravery of first responders then and there – and everyday and everywhere.