What to Give

The Community Foundation specializes in helping donors develop customized philanthropic action plans for a broad range of assets, using a variety of giving tools. Please contact us to explore the many possible ways of structuring a gift for maximum benefit. Multi-year gifts are one important source of support for the Foundation to increase flexibility to respond to our community’s needs and to plan ahead.

Types of Gifts


The Foundation accepts personal and bank checks as well as those from other fiduciary organizations and money orders. Any check should be made payable to: Community Foundation of Tompkins County.

If there is a specific fund, to which your contribution is being directed, the fund’s name should be written on the check’s memo line. We kindly request that checks not be made payable to any particular fund.

Credit Cards

We are pleased to accept donations by credit card. You will receive a tax receipt letter for the principal amount of the donation. If the donation is directed to a specific fund (such as a donor advised fund), the net amount (after any transaction fees) will be credited to that fund.

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Planned Gifts or Bequests

Those wishing to make estate gifts or bequests to the Community Foundation of Tompkins County should consult with their professional advisors (accountant, insurance agent, broker, wealth advisor, or attorney). We would gladly assist you and your professional advisor on a confidential basis and without any obligation. Please contact us for a variety of examples of planned gift wording for wills or see Sample Gift Language below.

Sample Gift Language More Info

Retirement Funds 

Individual Retirement Account (IRA) funds may be gifted to the Foundation. Methods for giving retirement assets include: naming the Foundation as primary, successor, or contingent beneficiary for all or part of the assets. Upon the death of either the retirement asset owner or spouse; creating a testamentary charitable remainder trust with the assets, naming the Foundation as remainder beneficiary and non-charitable heirs as income beneficiaries. Also beginning at age 70 ½ you may make tax-free charitable gifts of up to $100,000 per year directly from your IRA to the Foundation. The IRS does NOT allow IRA Charitable distributions to donor advised funds. All other fund types, operational, designated, and field of interest, are eligible for this special distribution. Many Individual Retirement Accounts options include IRA, 401(k), 403(b) and defined contribution plans.  Please call us or see your professional advisor.

Marketable Securities

Securities may be transferred to the Foundation. Examples of marketable securities include commercial paper, banker’s acceptances, Treasury bills and other money market instruments. We will issue a tax-receipt letter indicating the name of the securities and the number of shares with the date of transfer.

Stocks and Mutual Funds

*PLEASE NOTE THIS INFORMATION HAS RECENTLY CHANGED* Deliver shares to the broker for Community Foundation as follows:

TRANSFER OF STOCK (AND OTHER MARKETABLE SECURITIES) Community Foundation of Tompkins County transfer instructions

Charles Schwab & Co

DTC #: 0164 Code: 40

For account of: Community Foundation of Tompkins County

Acct# 9817-4092


Gifts of stock are welcomed and immediately sold. If not marketable, the Foundation will take steps to find a buyer as soon as possible, as retention of such stocks requires explicit authorization by the Board of the Foundation. Gifts of stock in privately held companies may be conditionally accepted by our CEO, but this acceptance remains subject to approval by the Board of Directors. When appropriate, the Foundation may request a valuation statement from the donor. 

We ask that donors  inform us before making a stock gift. The Community Foundation of Tompkins County needs the following information: name of the stock, number of shares and designation of the gift. Please complete the Stock or Mutual Fund Gift Form (below) return it to us at 200 E. Buffalo Street, Suite 202, Ithaca, NY 14850. Thank you!

Mutual Funds

We ask that donors  inform us before making a mutual fund gift. The Community Foundation of Tompkins County needs the following information: name of the mutual fund, number of shares and designation of the gift. With mutual fund gifts we will also need to know ahead of the gift being delivered because we will need to obtain a bin number to ensure proper receipt of such a gift. Typically the firm sending the mutual fund requests the bin number from our receiving firm. Sending firms may contact John Sharkey, our customer service representative, at Brown Advisory at 410-537-5364 or by email at jsharkey@brownadvisory.com to obtain a bin number for our Schwab account. 

Stock or Mutual Fund Gift Form

Tangible Personal Property

The donor must agree that the property can be sold unless the Foundation agrees to use the property for a purpose related to its exempt purpose. The Board of Directors may request a certified valuation.

Partnership Interests

Limited partnership interests can be accepted, but the partnership agreement will be reviewed to gain an understanding of the activities of the partnership and how allocations are made to the partners. The underlying assets and liabilities of the partnership will be reviewed to help determine the marketability of the partnership interest. Consideration will be given to whether income generated by the partnership is considered unrelated business income subject to income tax. General partnership interests may not be acceptable due to the potential unlimited liability.

Life Insurance

The Community Foundation accepts fully paid-up life insurance policies, for which the donor has relinquished ownership by assigning all rights, title, and interest to the Foundation. If the insurance policy is not fully paid up, the usefulness of the gift is judged on a case-by-case basis. If the policy is accepted, the Foundation may choose either to cash it in for the current surrender value or to continue to pay the premiums.

Real Estate

Such gifts will be reviewed by staff, legal counsel, and the Board of Directors of the Foundation. Concerns include legality, mortgages, easements, restrictions, and environmental problems. The donor must provide for obligations such as taxes and insurance. Please contact us for more information on information needed for real estate gifts.

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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