Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Ways to Give

How you fund your charitable giving is up to you and there are a number of options. To establish a fund at the Community Foundation, you can use the following:

Cash Gifts

A gift of cash can be an easy way to set up a fund or add to an existing fund. Simply write a check payable to the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and indicate the fund you would like the gift applied to in the memo line. You can also have cash transferred directly from your bank account to the Community Foundation's account by contacting Betsy Constantine at (716) 852 -2857 or

Non-Cash Gifts

Clients may choose to contribute assets other than cash to the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Examples include:

  • Appreciated Securities
  • Closely-held Stock
  • Retirement Plan Distributions
  • Life Insurance
  • Real Estate
  • Other items of value (jewelry, art, automobiles, antiques, etc.)

The benefits of non-cash gifts include:

  • Providing a substantial gift for the community during life
  • Diversifying assets
  • Potentially eliminating capital gains tax
  • Receiving maximum income tax deductions

Appreciated Securities

For many people, investments in securities represent a significant portion of their assets. Stocks and other investments are often an important part of a client's long-term plans. Donating assets, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other securities that the client has owned for more than a year may provide tax benefits.

If a client owns securities that have appreciated in value over time, they may owe substantial capital gains tax when the securities are sold. However, if the assets are used to fund a charitable gift, the client may be able to completely avoid capital gains tax while receiving a federal income tax deduction for the value of the securities.

By giving securities, a client can maximize the size of their charitable gifts, conserve the cash they would have given, and enjoy multiple tax benefits.

Closely-held Stock*

Often when a client is considering selling or passing on their business to the next generation, there is an opportunity to receive a tax deduction by donating a portion to the Community Foundation. Once the company is sold, the portion that was given to the Community Foundation can be used to create a fund of the client's choosing. This can be a great tool to offset gains and fund one's charitable giving.

Each business is evaluated by a committee of Community Foundation board members before the gift is accepted.

Retirement Plans

Retirement assets face tax rates of up to 75% if they are left to a family member other than a spouse. This makes them attractive assets to use for charitable giving.

If your goal is to reduce the size of your estate during your life, or you do not need the income from your retirement plan(s) you may want to consider taking advantage of the special provisions now active through December 31, 2011. Until December 31, 2011, donors over 70 1/2 years can make direct distributions from their IRA, up to $100,000, to the Community Foundation. This can satisfy your required minimum distribution (RMD) and the transaction incurs no federal income tax and removes the assets from your estate for tax purposes.

If your goal is to provide for charity and future generations, retirement assets are often the best assets to give to charity, leaving more favorable taxed assets to give to family. In this case, you can name your fund at the Community Foundation as the beneficiary of your retirement funds, which can be a simple and effective way to benefit the community while avoiding significant tax penalties.

Life Insurance

Making a gift of life insurance to the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo is both simple and cost-effective. One of the easiest ways to make the gift is to designate the Community Foundation as a primary, secondary or contingent beneficiary to the policy. A contingent beneficiary means that the Community Foundation will receive what’s left from the policy after taxes and expenses are paid out.

Clients can also transfer ownership of a paid-up policy to the Community Foundation, which is eligible for a tax deduction equal to the cash value. Another alternative is to name the Community Foundation as the designated owner and beneficiary, making annual gifts to the Community Foundation in the amount of the annual premium. Under this arrangement, the premium would be paid by the Community Foundation, and the premiums paid on the policy will be tax deductible to the client.

Real Estate*

Gifts of real estate (outright or through an estate) may provide a great opportunity for the client to achieve financial as well as charitable objectives.

Other Items of Value* (jewelry, art, automobiles, antiques, etc)

Tangible personal property may be accepted as a gift. Each item is evaluated by a committee of Community Foundation board members before the gift is accepted.

*Indicates a qualified appraisal and a completed IRS Form 8283 is required.

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