Why Work with East Tennessee Foundation

ETF seeks to help individuals, families and corporations accomplish their philanthropic goals and design a lasting philanthropic legacy.  Toward that end, ETF can not only serve as a vehicle by which donors can effect their giving but also as a resource to educate donors about opportunities and needs in our region.  As a community foundation that is confirmed in compliance with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, East Tennessee Foundation offers some unique advantages over other charitable options that donors often desire.


The Board of Directors has adopted an investment policy and appoints an Investment Committee to manage and make all decisions on the Foundation’s investments.  Members of the Investment Committee are chosen for their business and financial-management experience and expertise.  To ensure its accountability to donors, beneficiaries and the region, East Tennessee Foundation seeks through its investment policy to maintain or increase the real value of the endowment principal and its distributions over the long term while funding current needs at an appropriate level.


Funds can be established with a variety of assets, including cash, appreciated securities, real estate, life insurance, retirement fund, certain business interests, charitable trusts and private foundation transfers.  Individuals, families or corporations can design a fund tailored to their charitable interests.

Tax Benefits

East Tennessee Foundation is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a public charity, which means that donors receive the maximum tax advantages for income, gift and estate tax purposes. Donors may consult with a professional advisor or contact ETF to learn how this can benefit their charitable giving.


Setting up a fund at ETF takes only a few minutes and involves minimal paperwork.  The Foundation handles tax filing, audits, record-keeping, investments and reporting.  ETF’s knowledgeable staff offers advice on grantmaking and help in identifying organizations that offer a great value for charitable dollars.  We do the work and leave the joy of giving to the donor. 


ETF offers permanence and the opportunity to teach younger family members the power and importance of giving.  Donors’ wishes can continue far into the future and can involve children and grandchildren in helping to carry on the charitable work.

Professional Management and Accountability

All assets are managed by professional money managers who are monitored by a volunteer committee of local professionals and by the Board of Directors.  An independent auditor provides an annual accounting of all funds and practices.


For donors or families desiring privacy, ETF offers absolutely anonymous grantmaking, both today and into the future.


If each individual donor had to create his or her own fund independent of ETF, the cost would be prohibitive.  ETF pools investments to achieve reduced management fees and increase investment options. A small, efficient, professional staff reduces administrative costs, leaving more money for charity.

Community Impact

ETF offers expertise in identifying community needs and opportunities.  Donors can take advantage of this regional knowledge to make better-informed decisions and increase the likelihood that their charitable giving will have the impact they desire.

For more information

  • To learn more about the types of funds we manage, please explore our funds.
  • To learn more about how East Tennessee Foundation can help your client craft his or her philanthropic legacy, please contact us.