The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation is a charitable community trust organized in 1962 to accept contributions, create and administer funds, and make grants for the benefit of the people of the Greater Kanawha Valley, generally encompassing a six county region. The Foundation is a collection of many separate Funds varying in size from ten thousand dollars to more than fifty million dollars. At the end of 2021, there were more than 550 Funds. Each Fund is separate with its own agreement, its own donors, and its own philanthropic purposes. The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation is recognized by the IRS as a public charity and thus enjoys many tax advantages not granted to private foundations.
The Foundation, through its custodial and trustee banks and investment managers, invests the principal of each Fund for the continued production of distributable income. It distributes that income, and under certain circumstances, a portion of the principal, in accordance with the provisions of the instrument that created the Fund. Each Fund’s income is distributed in the form of grants to a wide variety of organizations and individuals. The areas in which the Foundation makes these grants include arts & culture, community economic development, education, health, basic needs, land use, recreation, or other charitable areas of interest.
Responsibility for overall investment policy and direction is vested in a volunteer Board of Trustees, some of whom are appointed by civic and public organizations and some of whom are elected by the Board of Trustees. Custodial and trustee banks, investment managers, and an investment advisory company facilitate the investments of the Foundation and carry out the duties assigned to them by the Board of Trustees, all in a manner consistent with investment policies adopted by the Board of Trustees, and subject to oversight by the Foundation’s Investment Committee.
In addition to holding and managing Funds created by individual donors for various charitable purposes, the Foundation also holds agency endowment funds that benefit local nonprofits with annual income distributions while preserving a long term funding source for the agency or nonprofit. Some of the benefits of establishing an agency endowment with The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation include: