The Acorn Society


When you think of local philanthropists, you probably think of the rich and famous. Well, think again.

Thanks to an ingenious Washington County Community Foundation giving plan, the rest of us now can build up charitable endowment funds that support annual charitable grants and have extraordinary long-term impacts.

The Acorn Society helps you harness the power of the financial markets to multiply the value of your contributions over time. All you have to do is make regular contributions-and take a charitable tax deduction for them. Investing even small amounts regularly will build an endowment that grows dramatically. We can even track all your previous donations to our general unrestricted fund and bring those contributions into your named unrestricted fund under the Acorn Society program.

When your Acorn Fund “matures” by reaching a pre-determined value, it becomes a permanent charitable fund within the Washington County Community Foundation. At that point your contributions cease and your fund begins making annual grants.

And here’s the best part: it never stops. Every year, generation after generation, the causes you care about will receive support from the Acorn you plant today


Building an Acorn Fund requires the same kind of planning you would use for a retirement fund or any other investment program.

Your Acorn Fund will need to reach a minimum of $5,000 before it can become a grant-making fund within the Washington County Community Foundation. (See “Plan Your Legacy,” next page, for information on the various types of grant-making funds). Your contributions, multiplied by good investment, will reach these goals in a surprisingly short period of time.

When setting your endowment goal, you will need to consider:

  • The purpose of your fund
  • The number and amount of grants you wish to make each year
  • How quickly you want to meet your goal, and
  • Your own financial situation.

Decide on contributions. You can invest as little as $42 a month, $125 per quarter or $500 per year. The more you give, the faster you will reach your goal and the larger your annual tax deduction will be.

You can add to your fund at any time, even after it has become a Washington County Community Foundation fund and started making grants.

The Washington County Community Foundation will place your Acorn contributions in high growth investments managed by some of the top investment firms in the country. Every year, we will publish your fund’s earnings in our annual report, so you can watch its growth for yourself.


The most exciting part of joining the Acorn Society comes when you reach your endowment goal,
and your permanent fund in the Washington County Community Foundation is established. But you don’t have to wait to plan for that day. When you set up your Acorn Fund, you get to design the Foundation Fund it will one day endow.

Name your fund.Name it after yourself, a family member or friend, or the cause it will support.

Designate its purpose. Funds generally serve one or more of the following purposes:

  • An “unrestricted” purpose, allowing the Foundation to use fund proceeds for the community’s most urgent needs, whatever they may be.
  • A “field of interest” purpose, which directs grants to general areas, such as education, children, or the arts.
  • An “advised” purpose, allowing you and/or your children to recommend grants from your fund each year.
  • A “designated” purpose, permanently directing grants to a particular charitable agency or group of agencies.
  • Many donors designate a portion of their fund for one purpose and leave the remainder unrestricted. The choice is yours
Let's Suppose...

…you started an Acorn Fund 10 years ago with annual contributions of $1,000 and a goal of providing scholarships for needy and talented students. You decided that the fund would begin making grants after 10 years. As indicated below, your annual contributions could now begin making a powerful impact that continues to grow year after year. Over time, it could touch the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of future Washington County residents.

Began making tax deductible contributors of $1,000 annually.

Through annual contributions totaling $10,000 and their investment returns, your fund’s value has grown to approximately $16,000. Your contributions cease and it becomes a grant-making fund within the Washington County Community Foundation.

Investment returns have kept your fund growing and giving. It has generated over $9,000 in grants and it’s value has risen to approximately $22,000.

Your Acorn is now a mighty oak. It has generated more than $30,000 in scholarships and it’s value has risen to approximately $38,000. The growth in grants and value continues over the years ahead.

This is an example and no guarantee of future performance. Future growth and grant productions based on annual growth rate of 9.46% and normal grant allocation formulas used by the Foundation.

Plant your Acorn today.

The first step toward growing your charitable legacy is to pick up the phone and call the Washington County Community Foundation at 883-7334. We will be glad to answer your questions about the Acorn Society and how it can help you make a positive difference in the life of our community.

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Washington County
Community Foundation

1707 North Shelby Street
Salem, Indiana 47167
Phone: 812-883-7334

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