Frequently Asked Questions:
Is the Jon Sims Endowment Fund independent?
Yes, the JSEF is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. It is this very independence that allows for the 100% objective management of endowed funds on behalf of the investing organizations. This independence also means that invested funds are completely protected from outside creditors and litigants.
Is JSEF related to the old Jon Sims Center?
No, the former Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts was a separate non-profit organization with a similar name. Both groups honor the name of Jon Sims but have always been independent from each other, with separate boards, budgets, and assets.
Are my donations to JSEF tax-deductible?
Yes, in most cases for US taxpayers. Please consult your tax professional advice on this topic. To retain its legal independence, the JSEF does not give out such advice.
How does one apply to JSEF for a grant?
The Grant Application can be downloaded from the bottom of this FAQ page (click on the downward-pointing arrow to start the download as a Word document). If that download does not work, request an application by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following quarterly application and funding schedule is followed by the Jon Sims Endowment Fund:
a. Applications should be sent to the Endowment Fund to arrive no later than the first of the month of each quarter to have funds dispersed the 15th of the first month of the following quarter.
b. Example #1: application deadline of January 1 for a distribution date of April 15.
c. Example #2: application deadline of April 1 for a distribution date of July 15.
d. Example #3: application deadline of July 1 for a distribution date of October 15.
e. Example #4: application deadline of October 1 for a distribution date of January 15.
How does the JSEF make its investment decisions?
All of the JSEF endowment funds are invested in no load Vanguard mutual funds. After careful scrutiny of the past performance of each fund and its potential for stability and future growth, the decision is made about whether to invest in the mutual fund. Our investment decisions are also guided by the preference of the donor as to how much risk they feel they want their donation to be exposed to. While no future positive results can be guaranteed, we subscribe to the proven tactic of not trying to outguess the market, and so we rarely change our investment allocations.
What happens to the earnings on the invested funds?
Any gains of interest or dividends on our invested funds are held for the beneficiary that was designated when the fund was established and are available for grants to that organization. We recommend that the beneficiary leave the funds to be reinvested, as that will grow the investment. Some of our beneficiaries will ask for grants from those gains for special events and promotions.
I want to include a bequest to JSEF. How do I do that?
A bequest can be almost any kind of contribution, such as stock certificates or cash. A simple mention of the full name of JSEF (Jon Sims Endowment Fund for the Performing Arts, San Francisco, California) is all that is needed for a bequest in your will. A bequest can also be made by changing the beneficiary on any financial account. The Jon Sims Endowment Fund for the Performing Arts does not offer legal or tax advice. Consult a qualified professional for such advice.
Does the JSEF only fund groups in San Francisco or California?
Not at all. JSEF funds LGBT performing arts organizations anywhere. Any 501(c)(3) non-profit group can apply for a grant from JSEF. However, we naturally give preference to those groups which have established and contributed to an investment fund that we manage.
Is there a minimum donation to the JSEF?
The JSEF is happy to accept donations of any amount. Our operating expenses are low but we appreciate any donation to help with our ongoing expenses, such as post office box, mailings and advertising.