What is a community foundation?

A community foundation is a gathering of assets and ideas that serve a defined community. Conceived in 1914 as a vehicle for managing charitable bequests and remainder trusts dedicated to the betterment of a particular community, the community foundation concept has expanded and matured. Today, community foundations offer opportunities for donors to invest in the present and future needs of their communities and accomplish philanthropic objectives that are difficult to achieve acting alone. There are more than 650 such foundations in the United States. Originally, community foundations were established to serve specific geographic areas, but today community foundations also serve the needs of a variety of ethnic, cultural and religious communities as well.

Community Foundations are designated "public charities" rather than "private foundations" by the Internal Revenue Service because they raise a significant portion of their resources from a broad cross-section of the public each year.

What does it mean that PARSA CF serves the Persian community?

Traditionally, community foundations have been defined by geography. Increasingly, ethnic, cultural and religious groups, especially diaspora communities, have formed community foundations to strengthen the fabric connecting their culture. PARSA is a community foundation defined by culture, our Persian heritage. We seek to connect and serve the needs of the Iranian-American and Persian diaspora community.

How can I give through PARSA CF?

PARSA CF offers many ways to contribute to the community.   By contributing to our Annual Fund, you can support PARSA CF’s community grant making.   By joining a giving circle, you can connect with other members of the community and help make decisions about how to support our community.  Or, by opening a donor advised fund, you can support PARSA CF while retaining the ability to recommend grants to the causes you wish to support. 

What is a donor advised fund?

A donor advised fund (DAF) allows you to combine the most favorable tax benefits with the flexibility to support your favorite charities at any time.  Contributions to a PARSA CF donor advised fund are eligible for current-year tax deductions, and are then available to recommend grants now, or in the future. And, your contributions have the opportunity to grow and help make a greater charitable impact through our investment pools.

Why should I set up a donor advised fund at PARSA CF instead of at another financial institution or local community foundation?

PARSA CF offers virtually all the benefits and security of other community foundations and financial services firms.  In addition, we can provide detailed information and guidance about giving to the institutions that serve our community. Finally, by establishing a donor advised fund at PARSA CF you identify your giving with the Persian community.

Are you making grants to organizations in Iran?

PARSA CF will make grants to organizations in Iran, if and when permitted by U.S. law. Currently U.S. law prohibits most grant making to organizations in Iran.

Do you have to be Persian to contribute to PARSA CF?

No, we encourage people of all ethnicities to contribute to PARSA CF.

Do you give only to Iranian causes?

No. While PARSA CF's community giving is primarily directed to support the Persian community, we have no policy restrictions on the organizations we will support. Contributors establishing donor-advised funds at PARSA CF may recommend contributions to the charitable activities of their choice.

What is your privacy policy?

PARSA Community Foundation respects the confidentiality of our donors and will not sell or provide information to others about them, including their names, personal or financial data, except as required by law. PARSA CF will publish an annual list of donors to the Foundation; however, donors may choose to remain anonymous for the purpose of this listing. More information about privacy is in our website policy.

I live in the U.S., why would I want to be involved with philanthropists and non-profit organizations in other countries?

We have more in common than we realize and wherever there is a Persian community, they seem to care about culture, scholarships, and having a voice. We are sensitive to the differences between countries regarding rules for philanthropy, taxation, immigration, etc. but believe that as a community, we have many commonalities and share common goals.

How will my conributions to the foundation be used?

Contributions to PARSA CF's annual campaign, giving circles and other unrestricted donations to PARSA will be used to support a merit-based grant-making process. Non-profits in our community submit grant applications which are scored by independent Grant Advisory Committees who make recommendations to our board of directors. Funds contributed to individual donor advised funds are held to be recommended for grants at the discretion of each donor.

May I donate stocks or other assets to PARSA CF?

Yes, PARSA CF accepts gifts of securities and most other assets. Stocks and other securities should be transferred directly to our account at Goldman Sachs & Co. Please see the details about how to do this by downloading our donor policies.

How do I apply for a grant?

PARSA Community Foundation welcomes grant seekers to contact us, especially organizations doing work in the Iranian-American and Persian diaspora community. The first step is to submit an inquiry form.  Please read the details about how to do this in the grant seekers section.