How Do I Give?

Everyone can be a philanthropist, and your 5% matters to the community and West Virginia.

By working with the community foundation in your county or region, their expert advisers can help you identify the resources that will help you create a legacy for future generations. Now is the time for you to be part of a private-sector solution to long-term community development needs.

Why are we using community foundations for Keep 5 Local? Because community foundations have the expertise, the resources and the long-term missions that align with the goals of Keep 5 Local.

Community Foundations are nonprofit, tax-exempt, publicly-supported grant-making organizations serving specific regions. These foundations are public charities that develop broad support from many unrelated donors with a wide range of charitable interests in a specific community.

The long-term goal of a community foundation is to build permanent funds supported by many donors, which makes them the ideal vehicle for Keep 5 Local.

Each community foundation has an independent board that is representative of the local public, and they all offer diverse grants programs to benefit the regions they serve. In addition to making grants, these foundations often play a leadership role in their communities, serving as a resource for grant information, broker training and technical assistance for local nonprofits.

Since each community foundation has its own assortment of resources and recommendations, you will appreciate the flexibility and ease their advisors can provide when you add a philanthropic component to your estate planning.




The easiest way to give is through an outright gift. You can make a gift of cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, or other assets to your community foundation. Most charitable gifts qualify for maximum tax advantage under federal law. Gift examples include:

  • CASH:  A cash donation is easy, direct, and fully tax-deductible as allowed by law.
  • PERSONAL PROPERTY:  Personal property such as automobiles, art work, jewelry, valuable collectibles, antiques and more can often be donated, giving the donor a charitable tax deduction for the full fair-market value. Be sure to check on your local community foundation’s specific guidelines for gifting personal property, as they vary from group to group.
  • STOCKS & BONDS:  Traditional investment vehicles are an ideal means for establishing funds at a community foundation. Donors can avoid tax on appreciation, yet still receive a tax deduction for the full market value. Giving stock through your community foundation allows you to avoid capital gains taxes that would be due as a result of its sale and establish a charitable fund that benefits the local causes and organizations you care about most. With gifts of appreciated stock, market earnings translate into community impact, giving the donor a more rewarding return on the portfolio.
  • REAL ESTATE:  Making a charitable gift of real estate through your community foundation can help you turn your property gains into community good. Gifts of real estate range from personal residences and vacation homes to rental properties, farmland and commercially developed land — the value of which may exceed that of any other asset you own. With the help of your community foundation, you can use real estate to make a bigger charitable impact on your community, avoid estate taxes and minimize or eliminate burden placed on your heirs.
  • LIFE INSURANCE:  Gifting via life insurance is an easy way to provide a significant gift to a charity and create your legacy while enjoying tax benefits during your lifetime. Life insurance can be gifted in a variety of ways, and your community foundation or financial advisors can guide you through the process.
  • RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS:  Qualified individuals can transfer retirement assets, such as a portion of an IRA or other retirement account, to a community foundation, lessening the impact of income, estate, and generation-skipping taxes on a family’s inheritance.
  • BEQUESTS:  You can designate a dollar amount, property or percentage of an estate to go to charitable causes, either through a will or living trust. The community foundation must be named as the charitable beneficiary. A signed donor memorandum is required to name the endowment fund and the charities that will benefit from the donor’s bequest.
  • COMMODITIES:  Agricultural producers may be able to donate grain or livestock through a community foundation. Legal ownership of the commodity can be transferred to a community foundation before it is sold to avoid taxable income from a sale and minimize taxes. The donor may see savings on federal income tax, state income tax and self-employment tax, depending on individual circumstances. Deducting the cost of production may provide greater tax savings than selling the commodity and donating a portion of the proceeds.

Beyond outright gifts, other giving avenues may be available through your local community foundation.

For example, instead of a gift, perhaps you are interested in making a more specific, customized contribution to create a special legacy that reflects your interests and life experiences. Examples of some kinds of funds you can establish at your local community foundation:

  • Discretionary or Unrestricted Funds: Address the community’s most pressing needs and promising opportunities as they change over time.
  • Designated Funds: Support specific charities named by the donor.
  • Scholarship Funds:  Provide access to education to deserving students.
  • Agency Endowments: Enable non-profit organizations to ensure their own future through the creation of an endowment to support their operation or a particular program.
  • Field of Interest Funds:  Benefit an area of need, such as education or the arts, rather than a specific charity.

Community foundations can help you create a fund that will target your tailor your contribution to the community in a way that meets your goals. Be sure to go through all the giving options at your local community foundation so you can choose the one that is right for you.