- Establish your own charitable fund at Akron Community Foundation through your will or living trust
- Enables you to make a significant future gift
- Life income gifts and lead trusts may be made in testamentary form
- Use of assets during your lifetime
With thoughtful planning, you can leave a meaningful legacy to your favorite charities. A popular way to make a legacy gift is through a charitable bequest in your will or trust. Your gift can support a beloved charity, augment your current giving, or even be used to establish an endowment fund at Akron Community Foundation.
The Benefits of Bequests
Bequest Stories of Giving
Lou Albertson was just a child when she started giving back to her community. Each Sunday during Lent, she would put her pennies, nickels, and dimes into the collection plate at church. As she grew older, coins turned to dollars, and she continued to give increasingly every year.
Now an adult, Lou is passionate about making a difference in the lives of others. She has been an advocate for voters' rights, the homeless, animal welfare, and victims of domestic abuse. But her top priority has always been the arts.
"I am perhaps most passionate about the arts and the impact that performing and visual arts have on our daily lives," she said.
Lou's bequest to Akron Community Foundation will support the foundation's discretionary grantmaking, meaning her gift will help meet the changing needs of the community as they arise. With this decision, Lou will be able to support all her favorite causes – including the arts – long after her lifetime.
When a local retired schoolteacher and administrator passed away, she left behind a lasting legacy not only in education, but also in charitable giving. Through a bequest in her will, the lifelong Summit County resident gave nearly $2.4 million to Akron Community Foundation and more than $1 million to Barberton Community Foundation.
The woman's attorneys met with her to discuss her estate plans and said they weren't surprised that this private woman desired anonymity in her charitable giving, even after her death. She also wanted to make sure her gift would have an enduring impact on the community she called home. Knowing her wishes, the attorneys recommended she give through her local community foundations.
The woman's bequest was not designated to a particular cause; instead, she chose to let the community foundation decide where her dollars would have the greatest impact. The board discretionary fund that was established in her name at Akron Community Foundation will support emerging needs in the community through the foundation's quarterly grantmaking.
It was the 1999 Thanksgiving issue of the Akron Beacon Journal that first drew Jane Palmer's attention to the Millennium Fund for Children.
Editors at the newspaper had taken advantage of the holiday weekend to announce the establishment of their new endowment fund, which they created to improve the lives of children in the paper's five-county circulation area. They included a donation coupon with the announcement and asked readers to give their last hour's pay of the 20th century to benefit children in the 21st century and beyond.
Jane, a retired executive assistant who was living on a fixed income at the time, went above and beyond the newspaper's call. She mailed the donation coupon back with a check for $3,000, becoming one of the Millennium Fund's first – and largest – donors.
Over the next decade, Jane continued to give to the Millennium Fund every year. But it wasn't until Jane passed away in October 2015 that her greatest gift would come to fruition. As a widow with no children of her own, Jane selected three charities to benefit from her estate. One of those charities was the Millennium Fund, and in July 2016, the fund received her generous bequest of $81,883.44.
For 46 years, Dr. Ken Swanson compassionately served families at Akron Children's Hospital. The first in his department to master the CT scan and MRI, he spent every holiday working and most lunch hours consuming as much knowledge as humanly possible, sharing interesting tidbits with friends and colleagues. Having never married, and with no local relatives, Dr. Swanson's friends and co-workers were his family. His mission was caring for his patients and his loved ones, but his passion was playing music.
Dr. Swanson volunteered as a physician at the Cleveland Orchestra for 18 years, even traveling with the group to Europe and Southeast Asia. He was the house physician at Blossom Music Center, too. Dr. Swanson also was a self-taught keyboardist, and he relished playing the century-old pipe organ at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.
On Sept. 2, 2015, the Dr. Kenneth F. Swanson Fund for the Arts was established to support local music and arts programs, which will keep Dr. Swanson's passion alive forever.
Marc and Sylvia Trundle have dedicated their careers to improving the community. Marc is a 33-year veteran of the Tallmadge Police Department. Sylvia, the Fairlawn Police Department's first female patrol officer, continues to lead a ground-breaking career as a captain in the Akron Police Department.
Marc and Sylvia are donating a percentage of their estate to start a scholarship fund at Akron Community Foundation. Through it, they will help local young people pursue a career in criminal justice at The University of Akron.
Sylvia says their goals are twofold: to help hard-working students carry their torch of public service, and to encourage philanthropy. "If someone Googled us," she says, "it wouldn't hurt to see we were involved in the community, we loved our departments, we gave back. The old folks that donated the money? That's what they were about."
As a junior in the Jackson High School marching band, Jerry Wolf met a flashy young maestro who inspired him to turn his talent into a profession.
For 29 years, Jerry did just that, himself inspiring students in the Southeast, Waterloo, and Mogadore school districts – first as a band director, then as a principal. "I believe I made a difference. In return, they kept me feeling young," he says.
A financial advisor recommended Jerry reach out to a community foundation in his area, so he worked with Akron Community Foundation to start an endowed charitable fund. Upon his passing, Jerry's traditional IRA will transfer 100% tax-free into his fund. He chose to donate the IRA to minimize tax consequences while providing a significant, perpetual source of inspiration for students in each of his three former districts. Ultimately, the fund will provide scholarships to graduating seniors.
"It's paying back and paying forward," Jerry says, "and my family will still be well taken care of."
WHO ARE WE? We are a 501(c)(3) public charity composed of more than 870 charitable funds begun by people just like you. Those funds, and the gifts that started them, bear the mark of many donors, not just a select few, which differentiates us from a private foundation.
In short, we're the foundation by the people, for the people. Learn more about community foundations.