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Planned giving pointers

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You've likely seen articles on your favorite nonprofits' websites about "planned giving," but what does the term really mean? Our staff has put together some pointers to help simplify the concept of planned giving, along with ways the community foundation can help you achieve your charitable goals.

It may help to think of planned giving in contrast to what's sometimes called "annual" giving. For example, when you write a check or make a gift of highly appreciated stock to a charitable organization such as your fund at Akron Community Foundation, you're transferring those funds right away. You also may make annual gifts directly to nonprofits, or to an Agency Endowment Fund at the foundation.

By contrast, a planned gift is more complex and forward-looking than occasional or even annual support of a nonprofit. Structured future transfers to nonprofits are often referred to as "planned giving" because they require planning! Here are a few examples of common planned gifts:

  • A bequest in your will or trust allows you to name a charity, such as your fund at the community foundation, to receive a certain dollar amount, or a percentage of your estate, following your death. The team at the community foundation can work with you and your advisors to include a bequest in your estate plan using the proper language.
  • Beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, especially retirement plans, can be effective tools for making bequests. The team at the community foundation can work with you and your advisors to complete the paperwork required to properly designate your fund at the community foundation as the beneficiary of life insurance or IRA assets, including reviewing the many tax benefits or using retirement plans to fund your bequests.
  • Setting up a charitable trust, such as a charitable remainder trust, is often an effective way for you to ensure that money will flow from your estate to a charity, such as your fund at the community foundation, in a way that meets both your philanthropic intentions and your financial goals (including retaining an income stream and triggering an upfront charitable income tax deduction). A charitable gift annuity is another type of "split interest" arrangement, whereby you can retain an income stream and designate a charitable beneficiary to receive a future gift. Charitable trusts are complex, and we're here to walk you and your advisors through the process every step of the way.

To learn more, contact Laura Lederer at 330-436-5611 or We're always available to answer your questions about philanthropy or to schedule a personal consultation with you and your professional advisors – all at no cost.

Additional Resources

This article is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice.

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