A Legacy of Supporting Causes that Matter  

As someone who frequently speaks with donors about their charitable giving, I am grateful for the opportunity to help individuals create a legacy that supports causes that matter to them. One question that frequently arises in these conversations is, “Why is it so complicated and expensive to support the causes I care about?” 

The truth is legacy and estate giving does not have to be tied to creating a foundation or trust account at a bank. For those who only wish to support a small number of nonprofits or focus areas, there are simple and inexpensive options available for legacy and estate planning. 

Bequest and beneficiary designation are two of the easiest and most popular ways to make a charitable gift. A bequest is simply language in your will that specifies a gift to be made to your favorite non-profit or the Community Foundation. This gift can be a specific dollar amount or asset, or a percentage of your estate. Bequests are revocable gifts, which means they can be changed or modified at any time. Similarly, a beneficiary designation gift is revocable and tied to a specific asset such as a retirement, investment, or bank account, or a life insurance policy. These gifts can be made by completing a beneficiary designation form with your broker, banker, or agent, and can be made contingent as a backup to any intention you may have to share those assets with family. Making a beneficiary designation gift does not restrict your access to or use of the assets during your lifetime. 

Designated and field of interest funds are additional options for legacy and estate giving. Designated funds support one or more nonprofit organizations chosen by the donor, perpetuating the donor’s charitable goals. Field of interest funds allows donors to support broad areas of interest such as education, the arts, the environment, or youth services. These funds are typically part of our community grantmaking cycles to non-profit organizations working in the fund’s defined area of interest, enabling donors to make a lasting impact in a meaningful way. 

Planning your legacy can be a fulfilling experience that affirms your lifelong commitment and investment in the people, family, and causes important to you. We would be honored to assist you in creating a plan that works for you. Please visit our Donor Learning Portal for more detailed information or contact our Development Officer, Laura Malone, at 440.984.7390.