Designing Your Philanthropy

Over our 24-year history we are deeply grateful to donors who have supported important local organizations to build a more equitable Tompkins County. About 300 nonprofits receive a grant each year. There are more requests, yet we cannot currently support them all. Your planned gift can ensure Tompkins County continues to be a wonderful place to live. You can design ways to help others in need (examples below) and to benefit you. When you tell us about your future support of the Community Foundation, you become a Legacy Society member and help future generations.

Your gift helps many people such as single mothers, children and income-limited elderly. To learn how to make a planned gift or for more information contact our Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP):

Nancy Massicci, CAP
Chief Development Officer




Who is giving? Go to this Link.

Currently, 103 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 Charitable Gift Annuities (CGA), Pooled Income Funds, trusts, real estate with retained life use or without, retirement funds and life insurance designating the Community Foundation as beneficiary. The matrix below explains a little more about how you can support us and other charities to address issues that are important to you. Q&A for CGAs

Your gift does not 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.

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

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 Charitable Gift Annuity or Pooled Income Fund 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 Community Foundation Donor Advisor

A surprise is the information shared from the Community Foundation back to us throughout the year about the needs. It opens your eyes to what else might be out there beyond your normal interests or beyond what is in your brain.