Donors & Giving

Home » Donors & Giving » Ways to Give

Ways to Give

Help Today

From cash to securities, to naming the Charlotte Community Foundation as a beneficiary on an insurance policy, there are a wide variety of ways to create your own fund or add to an existing fund. As a charity recognized by the Internal Revenue Service, donating through the Charlotte Community Foundation also allows you to recognize the maximum benefits allowed by law.

You May Donate by:

Appreciated Securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds)

Securities and mutual funds that have increased in value and been held for more than one year are one of the most popular assets to use when making a gift to Charlotte Community Foundation. Making a gift of securities or mutual funds to us offers you the chance to support our work while realizing important benefits for yourself.

When you donate appreciated securities or mutual funds you have held more than one year to us in support of our mission, you can reduce or even eliminate federal capital gains taxes on the transfer. You may also be entitled to a federal income tax charitable deduction based on the fair market value of the securities at the time of the transfer.

Securities are most often used to support our work in the form of:

An outright gift. When you donate securities to Charlotte Community Foundation, you receive the same income tax savings that you would if you wrote us a check, but with the added benefit of eliminating capital gains taxes on the transfer, which can be as high as 20 percent. Making a gift of securities to support our mission is as easy as instructing your broker to transfer the shares or, if you have the physical securities, hand-delivering or mailing the certificates along with a stock power to us in separate envelopes. (Using separate envelopes safeguards your gift—the certificates will not be negotiable without the stock power.)

A transfer on death (TOD) account. By placing a TOD* designation on your brokerage or investment account, that account will be paid over to one or more persons or charities after your lifetime. It is not necessary for the TOD designation to transfer all of the account solely to charity—you can designate a certain percentage of the account. With a TOD account, the beneficiary you name has no rights to the funds until after your lifetime. Until that time, you are free to use the money in the brokerage account, to change the beneficiary or to close the account.

Bequests / Estate Plan Designation

When you include Charlotte Community Foundation in your will, we will establish a special legacy fund in your name. In doing so you leave a permanent bequest to your community, while enjoying the assets you need to maintain your current lifestyle. Plus, you are able to distribute some or all of your assets, tax free.

You can give cash, appreciated stocks, or other assets. Some of the most tax-efficient asset types to give through your will come from retirement plan accounts, since heirs would be taxed on the income in respect of the descendent (IRD). You can choose to give a stated dollar amount, a specific property, a percentage of your estate, the remainder after distributions to other beneficiaries, or you can make your gift contingent on certain events. You can decide to do it at any age by adding to an existing will or drafting a new one.


Gifts of cash are the easiest way to give. You can make a donation to any fund at Charlotte Community Foundation and receive the maximum tax advantage under federal law.

To wire a gift of cash please contact us for specific instructions.

To make a gift using a check, make the check payable to Charlotte Community Foundation, write the name of the fund you want to donate to in the memo line and mail your check to:

Charlotte Community Foundation
227 Sullivan Street
Punta Gorda FL 33950

Tangible Personal Property

This includes such items as works of art, antiques, books, gems and the like. Donors may, of course, give an item whether or not it has increased in value since obtaining it. Perhaps the greatest tax benefits come when the donated object is what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers long-term capital gain property. As mentioned in the section on securities, this means that the asset has appreciated in value and a donor has held it for more than one year.

A donor’s income tax deduction will depend upon the nature of the gift and its correlation to the Foundation’s stated, tax-exempt mission. If the Foundation’s use of the gift is related to the Foundation’s tax-exempt purposes, it qualifies for an immediate income tax deduction equal to its fair market value on the date of the gift. If the Foundation’s use of the gift is not related to the Foundation’s tax-exempt purposes, the donor’s charitable deduction is restricted to the asset’s cost basis. Donors may claim the deduction in the year the gift is made – up to 30 percent of adjusted gross income (for long-term capital gain property) – and carry it over, if necessary, for up to five years. Under certain circumstances, donors can choose to qualify for the 50 percent ceiling by reducing the value of the gift to its cost basis.

Each gift item must be evaluated on an individual basis to determine whether or not it is related to the Foundation’s tax-exempt mission.

Life Insurance

Sometimes donors may reach a point where life insurance no longer has the financial significance for their family that it once did. In that case, donors may wish to make a gift of the policy to the Foundation.

There are two ways to do this. Depending upon state law, donors may make Charlotte Community Foundation the owner of the policy. This allows the donor an immediate income tax deduction equal to their tax basis in the policy (usually the total of the premiums they have paid). If they continue to pay the premiums on such policies, they will be entitled to a charitable contribution deduction for the premium payments up to 30 percent of their adjusted gross income. Or they may wish to contribute the amount of the premiums to Charlotte Community Foundation. The Foundation, in turn, could pay the premiums. As long as the Foundation is not under any obligation to pay the premiums, the donor will be entitled to a charitable contribution deduction for the premium amounts up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income.

Donors also may name Charlotte Community Foundation as the beneficiary of their policy. Because the designation is not irrevocable, it cannot be counted for any immediate income tax savings. However, at the donor’s death, their executor may take a federal estate tax charitable deduction for the entire amount.

Pension Plan Benefits / IRA RMD (Required Minimum Distribution)

The IRA Charitable Rollover provision allows individuals who have reached age 70 ½ to donate up to $100,000 per year to charitable organizations directly from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) without treating the distribution as taxable income. These gifts can be used to meet the donor’s required minimum distribution.

Note: The IRA owner (or the beneficiary of an inherited IRA) must actually be age 70 ½ or older on the date of qualified charitable distribution (not merely turning 70 ½ sometime that year). 

During Your Life

During your life, gifts from your IRA can be given to many funds at Charlotte Community Foundation, including endowment funds, scholarship funds, and field of interest funds. However, you cannot make an IRA charitable rollover gift to a donor advised fund during your life.

At Your Death

At your death, gifts from your IRA can be given to any fund at Community Foundation, including donor advised funds. Because retirement assets are some of the highly taxed assets and are among the costliest assets to pass onto heirs, using your IRA to make charitable gifts to organizations such as funds at Charlotte Community  Foundation can be a great strategy.

The Charlotte Community Foundation also offers charitable gift annuity agreements that allow you to receive a guaranteed income for the rest of your life and benefit from an immediate tax deduction. After paying the lifetime annuity to you and your spouse, the remaining principal is transferred to your fund. Please call, email or stop in to learn more.