FAQ – Answers to Commonly Asked Questions
Village Community Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit corporation incorporated in California in 2017 (Tax ID#82-3793600). We serve older adults in Laguna Woods Village, a senior community of 18,000 residents in South Orange County, California, as well as older adults in surrounding communities. Donations to the Village Community Fund are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Our Mission is to provide support for programs, services, and facilities that enrich the lives of older adults.
Q-Why Is the Village Community Fund Needed?
Laguna Woods Village is a wonderful place for active adults to live and thrive, and since opening in 1964, our 2,100-acre community has achieved many significant improvements. However, inherent conflicts exist between maintaining affordable resident fees and asking homeowners to pay for improved programs, services, and facilities.
Village Community Fund came into being because, in many cases, residents, their family members, and other close friends of the Village are happy and honored to support planned improvements here as charitable donations. Many of the Village’s 260 registered clubs have dedicated members who would like to enhance their clubs through charitable donations for approved projects. Facilitating such gift opportunities is the role of Village Community Fund, in cooperation with GRF; our management company, Village Management Services, Inc.; and individual clubs or groups of residents.
Village Community Fund primarily supports programs, services, and facilities that are in some way accessible to older adults living outside the gated community, as well as to Laguna Woods residents. Saddleback College, through its Emeritus Institute (the largest such program in California), offers some 80 college-level extended learning classes on site in the Village, classes which are open to all Orange County seniors. Community seniors are also welcomed at Village events as guests of residents. Village clubs, as well, welcome up to 10% non-resident members. In addition, Village Community Fund makes donations to local non-profits outside the community whose programs serve older adults.
Q-What is the Process to execute a fundraising project?
The Village Community Fund serves in an advisory capacity, fostering both large and small projects to benefit senior adults. For all projects, a group of concerned residents will form a committee, working with GRF’s cooperation and ultimate approval, to develop and plan the proposed project, including timetable and budget. The resident group is responsible for raising the tax-deductible funds which will be donated to Village Community Fund, and in turn given to GRF, earmarked for the project. Club Projects are coordinated with the Recreation Department and may or may not require formal GRF approval, depending on their scope.
Village Community Fund also works to identify and interest residents and others who may wish to help us accomplish our goals. Raising funds to carry out our mission is a constant effort. Some Village Community Fund funds will also be donated to local non-profits that provide programs, services, and facilities for older adults, such as Age Well Senior Services, which includes the Florence Sylvester Memorial Senior Center.
Q-What is the Fund’s Current Focus?
To encourage and manage donations for GRF-approved facility improvement projects that will make facilities better, safer, and more accommodating for Village clubs, programs and classes. To see our current fundraising projects, visit our website: https://villagecommunityfund.org/
Q-What fundraising projects have been completed so far?
We have helped raise money for projects since 2017, including:
- Lite the Nite – $25,000 was raised in 14 weeks to light the remaining pickleball courts, increasing the playing hours by 75%.
- Help the Herd – $10,000 was raised to provide comfort and vet care for the wonderful pack of GRF horses at the Laguna Woods Equestrian Center.
To see all of our prior fundraising projects, please visit our website: https://villagecommunityfund.org/
Q-Why was Village Community Fund created?
A few years ago, a resident approached the management of Laguna Woods Village asking how he might donate a quarter of a million dollars to improve Laguna Woods, the community he cherished. But at that time there was no tax-deductible structure to accept his gift. True story!
Q-How was the Fund created?
The Fund was started by a group of residents who met monthly to plan an organization designed to serve the community. Village Community Fund was modeled after the successful Leisure World Foundation of Mesa, Arizona. Consulting assistance came from a professional team comprised of Quandrant Law Group of Irvine, CA, lawyers, a paralegal, and operations director.
Village Community Fund was incorporated on December 13, 2017. Incorporating officers were John Parker, President; Kay Levingston, Secretary; and Mindy Armstrong, Treasurer. Donations from the early planning group funded the start-up costs.
Q-How does Village Community Fund differ from the other community mutuals, foundation and GRF?
Village Community Fund is a separate entity from Laguna Woods Village’s three housing mutuals, (United, Third, and Fifty), Golden Rain Foundation (GRF), and Village Management Services (VMS). All of those entities are not-for-profit corporations but they are not charitable organizations. Village Community Fund, on the other hand, is a charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations made to the Village Community Fund are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.