Guide to Giving

The way you give your gift to the Community Foundation depends on the type of impact you would like your gift to have: immediate support for the community or a lasting legacy for a cause.


Giving Now: Giving in your Lifetime

Current Giving made during your lifetime can be initiated at any time you are ready to make a contribution. You may make a donation to an existing fund or choose to make a donation to meet the area of greatest need. You can also create a fund to support your giving interests.

Community Foundation manages 200 charitable funds created by donors to support the causes that are important to them and to you. See a list of Funds at the Community Foundation. Our funds generally fall into one of six main categories:

  • Designated Funds are ideal for donors who want to support one or more specific organizations. Non-profit groups can also establish this kind of fund as part of their fundraising strategy
  • Donor Advised Funds enable donors to contribute assets to their fund at any time and recommend grants to support groups of their choice. They are a flexible, personalized way to support nonprofit groups in Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes area or anywhere in the world.
  • Field of Interest Fund provides support to our donors’ favorite causes. Once they determine the issue(s) they want to support, the Community Foundation’s program staff identifies suitable grant recipients for their approval.
  • Scholarship Funds are designed for donors who are interested in helping students of all ages achieve their education goals.  The fund can support students who are studying a particular subject, attending a specific school, or graduating from a specific school.
  • Supporting Organizations are separate non-profit corporations that operate under the Community Foundation’s charitable umbrella. Through its own board, a supporting organization determines its own investment strategy and grant priorities.
  • Unrestricted Funds are ideal for donors who want to support the Community Foundation’s focus areas. This gives us the greatest latitude in deciding how to direct grants, based on our assessment of changing community needs.

Planning Today to Give Tomorrow

A planned gift is a charitable donation created during your lifetime but not available to the foundation until sometime in the future. Types of planned gifts include:

  • Endowments will generate grants or scholarships in perpetuity. Endowment funds are carefully invested in a diverse portfolio of stocks and bonds to generate earnings that will be a permanent source of community capital, helping to continue your good work forever.
  • Bequests are made through wills or trusts after death. A person can leave an entire estate, a specific amount, or a percentage of an estate to the Community Foundation. This is an especially attractive way to establish a family legacy for the community while minimizing federal estate taxes. We are bound by law to carry out our donors' charitable interests in perpetuity, acting as steward for the funds and ensuring that the recipients continue to be viable charities.


What to Give Now and in the Future

  • Cash
  • Appreciated Securities
  • Real Estate
  • Retirement Plan Assets
  • Life Insurance


How to Decide

Your Goals Your Actions Your Benefits
Make a quick and easy gift Contribute a gift in cash or by check or online An income tax deduction and immediate benefit for the community
Make a gift with other existing sources Example: Donate a life insurance policy you no longer need Current and possible future income tax deductions
Defer a gift until after your lifetime Bequeath cash, property, or a portion of your estate An estate tax deduction
Make a gift while minimizing the impact on taxes and capital gains Contribute long-term appreciated stock or other securities A charitable deduction that may reduce capital gains tax
Minimize the two-fold taxation on IRA or other employee benefit plans Designate a fund at the foundation as one of your beneficiaries May reduce tax liability on assets left to heirs