March 7, 2007



Just What IS The Del Mar Foundation?


By Shelley Moore

Like the many days of sunshine and great weather in Southern California, the Del Mar Foundation has become known for being part of Del Mar. Many of you know about the summer concerts, First Thursday events or children's programs. But what exactly is the Del Mar Foundation? The Del Mar Foundation is truly every Del Mar resident's or businesses own foundation. Well, just what does that mean?

There are many different types of Foundations: community, public, independent, family, private, corporate, independent, international and operating. The Internal Revenue Service actually defines foundations based on where their money comes from. According to the IRS, your Del Mar Foundation is a publicly supported foundation.

Since the Del Mar Foundation serves a specific geographic area we are a community foundation. The Council on Foundations, that's the national professional association of foundations, defines community foundations as ". a tax-exempt, nonprofit, autonomous, publicly supported, nonsectarian philanthropic institution with a long term goal of building permanent, named component funds established by many separate donors for the broad-based charitable benefit of the residents of a defined geographic area, typically no larger than a state."

What does that mean? Let's break it down a bit:

Tax-exempt - Meaning not subject to taxation or a 501(c)3 organization, operated for charitable purposes. We have to prove that we are meeting our purposes each year on our IRS Form 990. You may find a copy of our most recent 990 online at our newly designed website at: .

A nonprofit is a legally constituted organization which means that articles of incorporation and bylaws have been submitted to the State of California. Additionally the primary organizational objectives are to support or to actively engage in activities of public or private interest without any commercial or monetary profit purposes as governed by the laws of the state.

Autonomous is defined as having the right or power of self-government, existing or capable of existing independently and responding, reacting, or developing independently. In other words, the Del Mar Foundation has an independent governing body broadly representative of the community it serves. The board does not serve the City of Del Mar, or one specific interest group.


Del Mar Foundation Board and Executive Director

Front row, left to right: Shelley Moore, Claire McGreal, Betty Wheeler, Kim Filanc,
Nancy Stoke. Back row, left to right: Lynn Gaylord, Joel Holliday, Cory Grant,
Sara Harnly, Lisa Lutz, Joe Bruderer-Schwab, Lars Fahlberg.


Publicly Supported - The Del Mar Foundation meets the public support test set forth in Internal Revenue Code. Under IRS definitions we have to prove every year on our 990 that we do indeed receive donations from the public at large. In fact, we have to note gifts from disqualified donors and still have to meet a greater percentage of contributions from many different donors, supporters, or sponsors.

Nonsectarian - Del Mar Foundation is not affiliated with or restricted to a particular religious group. And for that matter we are not affiliated with the City of Del Mar, and do not endorse political candidates.

"Long term goal of building permanent .. funds," this is what the Del Mar Foundation's Community Endowment is doing. It's a permanent "savings account" on which the Del Mar Foundation can dependably rely, thus enhancing its capacity to plan for the future. Del Mar Foundation ensures that its financial resources are used solely in furtherance of its mission.