Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQsJust exactly what is Marshfield Area Community Foundation, Inc.?

MACFI is a public charity managing a number of permanent endowment funds serving multiple community needs including arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and recreation. The Foundation is classified with the IRS as 501(c)(3), meaning it is non-profit and tax-exempt.

Is MACFI affiliated with the city?

No. Although a public organization, we are completely independent and have no connection with any government entity. However, we have handled funds that contributed to city projects. Our Wildwood Park Station Fund raised about two-thirds of the money necessary to build the pavilion in Wildwood Park with the remainder coming from the city.

Is MACFI associated with the Marshfield Clinic Health System Foundation?

No. The fact that the Clinic Foundation is based in Marshfield, however, does mean that this Community Foundation has few funds that have a medical or health focus, since those foundations already do such a wonderful job supporting those needs.

Who decides who receives grants from MACFI?

Basically, the donors decide. When a new fund is established, the donors determine who or what the beneficiary is to be. The purpose may be broad (as in a Field of Interest Fund) or narrow (as in a Designated Fund.) In the case of a Designated Fund, grants are given automatically to a particular non-profit organization each year. In the case of a Field of Interest Fund, a Foundation committee usually will solicit applications from relevant organizations and select grantees. With our Scholarship Funds, the selection authority is often delegated to a school’s scholarship committee. A donor also might establish an Unrestricted Fund. These funds support our Community Grants. Some donors wish to have a continuing role in the selection and award process. They establish a Donor Advised Fund and decide from year to year to whom they wish to make grants.

How much money is required to start a fund?

MACFI uses $10,000 as the minimum for an endowed fund. $15,000 is required to begin a scholarship fund. However, donors may begin an Acorn Fund with as little as $500 and build it to $10,000 - $15,000 within four years. We are happy to work with donors to prepare an agreement that fits their needs and resources, whatever they may be.

How many funds does MACFI manage?

In all, MACFI manages about 233 funds as of March 31, 2019.

Is MACFI a fund raising organization?

No. Some of the organizations that have established funds with us, such as MARSH-21, raise money for projects and we manage the funds. Most of these funds are Project Specific Funds, meaning they raise enough money to accomplish a specific purpose after which the fund is dissolved. Project Specific Funds are not endowments. The Baseball Stadium Fund (that built Jack Hackman Field), the Skatepark Fund, the Wildwood Station Project Fund, the Marshfield Tennis NOW Fund, and the Hamus Nature Preserve & Recreation Area Fund are examples of these. We do however ask for gifts for our internal grants and projects such as Keep Kids Warm.

How much does MACFI provide in grants each year?

From 1994 through 2016, MACFI has made grants totaling $6.6 million. That ranged from a low of $500 in 1994 to a high of about $1,000,000 in total grants in 2015.

What does the Community Foundation charge each fund?

Our funds are assessed an annual fee of 1.0% to 5.0 % of total assets. This fee is used to cover Foundation operating costs.

Who governs MACFI?

Oversight of the Foundation is in the hands of a volunteer Board of Trustees that is broadly representative of the community and familiar with the community’s diverse range of needs. Sixteen people serve, without compensation, on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. MACFI has three paid staff: an Executive Director and two part-time Administrative Assistants. All transactions at the Fundations are private. (To learn more our policy can be downloaded here.)