Designing Your Philanthropy

You can design different ways to help worthy causes. Legacy Society donors provide so much (examples below) to perpetually benefit Tompkins County residents in need.

When you tell us about your future support of the Community Foundation, you become a Legacy Society member. We are very grateful for the deep commitment from each Legacy Society member.

In 2019 there is a special incentive from an anonymous donor! For every new person who makes an estate plan known to us that includes us, the donor will contribute $1,000, up to a total of 10 new members. Make your plan this year and leverage your impact, and join "A Growing Promise" campaign by December 31.

Everything the Community Foundation does is because of donors and Legacy Society members provide for our future, for generations to come. Membership gives us a chance to thank generous these individuals now.

If you'd like more information contact Nancy Massicci, Chief Development Officer, at

Who is giving? Go to this Link.  Currently, 74 Legacy Society members have designed their philanthropy to leave a gift to the Community Foundation of Tompkins County. 

Designing your gifts to include the Community Foundation in your will (a bequest) is one way. Other options are life income agreements including Pooled Income Funds, trusts, real estate with retained life use or without, retirement funds and life insurance designating the Community Foundation as beneficiary. A matrix below explains a little more about how you can support us and other charities to solve issues that are important to you.

Your gift doesn’t have to be cash.  Assets of stock, bonds, life insurances, IRA proceeds, real estate, shares of closely held businesses, and more offer tax advantages than giving cash. Legacy Society donors make often larger gifts than they could make from their income because they leave a gift in their will or estate.

Sample Gift Language

Suggested Memorandum of Understanding Template

Examples of Gifts that Match Your Goals

  Financial Goal Then You Can And Your Benefits Are  
  Support the Tompkins County community Put a bequest in your will to benefit the Annual Fund, Tompkins Today & Tomorrow Fund or a Field of Interest Fund of the Community Foundation Your generosity benefits Tompkins County forever as the community changes and new needs emerge. The Community Foundation can manage your bequest to address these issues; you receive estate tax deductions and keep your assets in your name during your lifetime.  
  Prioritizing heirs’ inheritance while benefiting the Community Foundation and Tompkins County Name the Community Foundation as a beneficiary of your retirement plan; leave other assets to your family Reduced estate and income tax.  
  Secure a life income while minimizing taxes Establish a Pooled Income Fund or Charitable Remainder Trust with the Community Foundation Income for life (or two lives), immediate tax benefits and often a boosted rate of return from assets.  
  Reduce gift and estate taxes on assets you pass to your children and grandchildren Create a Charitable Lead Trust that pays income to the Community Foundation for a specific term of years A gift or estate tax deduction. Your family keeps the assets.  
  Make a large gift with little or no cost Give a life insurance policy you no longer need Current and future income tax deductions  
  Make a revocable gift during your lifetime Name the Community Foundation as the beneficiary of assets in a living trust Full control of the trust and its assets during your lifetime  



quote Sir Wilfred Grenfell

The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth. It is obvious that man is himself a traveler; that the purpose of this world is not "to have and to hold" but "to give and serve." There can be no other meaning