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Start a Fund

Reids Ride, an annual fundraiser for the Reid Sacco Cancer Research Memorial Fund
Start a Fund

Setting up a charitable fund can be a powerful and rewarding philanthropic endeavor or simply a means to protect your charitable assets when the opportunity is right. An individual, family, business, nonprofit organization or private foundation can open a fund at ECCF and receive a number of benefits that make charitable giving effective and easy.

Guide to Giving

View our step by step guide of the considerations and benefits to opening a fund at ECCF.


  • You will make a lasting impact on the causes you care about for generations to come.
  • Your fund will automatically fall under ECCF’s 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, providing tax deductions for you and all donors to your fund.
  • You are ensured maximum tax benefits for your charitable gifts at rates significantly higher than family foundations.
  • You receive personalized attention with services tailored to meet your individual charitable and financial goals.
  • You are relieved from all administrative duties such as accounting, check writing and reporting.
  • You will receive professional financial stewardship and investment management for your fund's assets.
  • Your giving is private and anonymous if you wish.
  • You can collaborate with other fundholders who share your philanthropic interests for greater impact.
  • You will have access to ECCF's donor education programs and newsletter, Donor Insights.
  • You gain access to ECCF's wealth of knowledge about local issues and causes.
  • You may recommend grants at your convenience through ECCF's online system, DonorCentral.
  • You will have 24/7 on-line access to information about your fund's balance, investment and grant making history through DonorCentral.

Depending on how much you wish to be involved, you can recommend grants, participate in site visits, raise funds for a cause, meet other donors in our philanthropic community and receive notice of giving opportunities through our annual Charitable Giving Book, or you can simply determine the intention of your Fund and leave everything to us. We are available to you to talk about the needs and programs at work in Essex County. If your interests lie beyond our region, we can support grants made to national and international programs.

Opening a Fund – Four Easy Steps

Starting a fund at ECCF is easy.  You can open a fund with as little as $1,000 (with a $10,000 minimum balance by the end of the first year).

Step 1. Decide which type of fund works best for you.

Step 2. Name your fund.

Step 3. Complete the Donor Agreement Form.

Step 4. Transfer the assets to be used to set up the fund. See Ways to Give.

ECCF staff is available to meet with you in person, by phone or email to help you select the appropriate fund type that will meet your charitable interests and to assist you with choices on fund distributions, fund investment options and, for certain types of funds, naming fund advisors. We look forward to assisting you in establishing the fund that best serves you, your family or your organization. Our staff can also provide information on selecting and awarding scholarships, strategic grant making and local community needs.

Once your fund is established, you will join ECCF’s community of Fundholders. The fund’s assets will be immediately placed in our investment pools which will allow you and the fund's donors to receive an immediate tax deduction. You will receive both quarterly reports on your fund’s activities, donor education information and ECCF communications on issues facing our local communities.

Memorial Funds:  For those establishing a fund as a memorial for a recently deceased loved one, ECCF is able to establish a fund in a matter of hours, deferring distribution and other decisions to a later time.

Contact us

To get started, please contact Julie Bishop, Vice President of Philanthropy, at 978-777-8876 x28 or j.bishop@eccf.org.