Philanthropic Planning

Philanthropic planning can be as simple as including a bequest to The Community Foundation of NC East. You may leave a percentage share of your estate, specify the dollar amount, or designate the Foundation as a contingent beneficiary.

This type of planning encompasses much more than a simple bequest. With the goals of providing for your loved ones, reducing taxes, and remembering worthy causes, there are a variety of techniques available that have mutual benefit to you, your community, and your favorite charitable organizations, both now and into the future.

Please contact us or your estate planning professional for further information. You may wish to request an appointment to discuss how one or more of these tools might be an appropriate way to demonstrate your care for future generations.


Often the easiest way to support charitable interests, a bequest permits you to support the community while retaining complete control over your assets during your lifetime. Bequests can be a specific dollar amount, a percentage of an estate, or what remains after other bequests, such as those to family members, are satisfied.


  • Heirs may receive lifetime income from a charitable trust, with the remainder going to the Foundation for charitable purposes.
  • You may name a new fund, an existing fund, or a specific group or organization to receive a bequest.
  • The Foundation can accept cash, appreciated stocks, or other assets.
  • Some of the most tax-efficient asset types to give through a will come from retirement plans, which can be far more advantageous than having those assets included in a taxable estate or leaving them to heirs, in which case they may be taxed at a cumulative rate of over 65%.
  • Bequests to the Foundation earn a full charitable deduction on estate taxes.

Charitable Remainder Trust

Giving through a charitable remainder trust allows you (or someone whom you select) to receive income for life, knowing that whatever remains will benefit your charitable interests. Cash, stock, property, or other assets are placed into a trust that distributes to the “income beneficiary” an annual income for life or for the duration of the trust. As a donor you will receive an immediate tax deduction for the present value of the gift in the year the gift is made. After death or at the end of a specified trust term (up to 20 years), the remainder of the trust transfers to a fund that has been named at the Foundation or to a specific charitable organization.


  • You may choose to receive a fixed income or receive distributions that vary with the value of the trust.
  • The income beneficiary can be you or someone else, including a spouse, sibling, dependent parent, friend, or former employee.
  • The minimum to establish a charitable remainder trust with the Foundation serving as trustee is $5,000.

A charitable remainder trust is particularly useful for people who own securities or real estate that have increased in value but earn little income, since the assets, once placed in the trusts, can be sold and reinvested free of capital gains taxes.

Charitable Lead Trust

A charitable lead trust (CLT) enables you to make significant charitable gifts now while transferring substantial assets to beneficiaries later. This is how it works: a trust is set up from which the Foundation receives annual payments for your life or for a specified number of years (up to 35 years). These payments may be distributed to any fund you specify. When the trust terminates, the trust principal is returned to you or distributed to your children or others whom you may designate. The trust assets pass to the recipients at a reduced tax cost, sometimes even tax-free.


  • A CLT shelters investment earnings from taxes, and it offers gift, estate, and generation-skipping tax benefits. For example, trust assets are removed from your estate for estate tax purposes.
  • You can establish a CLT during your lifetime or through your will.
  • You can choose to have either a fixed percentage of the trust assets or a set dollar amount distributed to your fund at the Foundation.
  • The fund can continue to grow and support your community even after the trust terminates.
  • A charitable lead trust may appeal to those who want to reduce their estate tax or who want to delay their heirs’ receipt of an inheritance.
  • The recommended minimum to establish a charitable lead trust at the Foundation is $5,000.

Life Insurance

here are two beneficial and easy ways that you can use life insurance to fund your giving. If you have a paid-up (or cash value) life insurance policy that is no longer needed for its intended purpose (e.g., your children are grown, your spouse has predeceased you, or tax laws have changed), you can give the policy to the Foundation. The policy will be cashed in, and the proceeds can be used immediately to create any type of fund. Life insurance can also be made part of your estate planning by naming the Foundation as a partial and/or contingent beneficiary of an insurance policy’s death benefit. If one or more of the primary beneficiaries predecease you, their share can go directly into a fund established at the Foundation.


  • When you make an immediate gift of a life insurance policy, you may claim an income tax deduction based on the policy’s current value or cost basis as determined by a financial advisor. The Foundation can either cash in the policy and place proceeds directly into a permanent fund or trust, or your can make tax-deductible premium payments to the Foundation as the new owner of the policy.
  • Estate taxes are reduced since the value of the policy is removed from your estate.
  • Naming the Foundation as the beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of a life insurance policy enables you to protect loved ones while providing for the causes you care about, even if the policy’s beneficiaries predecease you.
  • An unneeded asset is removed from your estate, without affecting your income.

Retained Life Estate

You can turn property values into community good while receiving financial and tax benefits by making a charitable gift of real estate through the Foundation. A retained life estate allows you to continue to live in and fully enjoy your home (or vacation property) as long as you like, while giving future ownership to the Foundation.

The gift of the “remainder interest” is a charitable contribution in the year in which the gift arrangement is made, which may result in a substantial charitable income tax deduction. When the life tenancy terminates, the Foundation becomes the property’s owner. The proceeds of the property’s sale can be transferred to a charitable fund established at the Foundation to support your charitable interests.


  • The personal residence may be a farm or vacation home as well as a principal residence.
  • You avoid capital gains taxes on the appreciation provided there is no mortgage on the property.
  • You may claim a charitable income tax deduction in the year of the gift, with carryover privileges for up to five additional years.
  • The property is removed from your estate, which will realize estate tax savings. The gift will also avoid probate and estate administration expenses.

Retirement Plan

If you have planned carefully for retirement you may find that the assets in your IRAs and other qualified plans exceed your needs. Several options exist for you to use IRA assets for charitable good.

Beneficiary Designation

By designating the Foundation as sole or partial beneficiary of assets remaining in a retirement plan, after death your proceeds would be directed to a Foundation endowment with charitable purposes. This strategy can be far more advantageous than having those assets included in a taxable estate or leaving them to heirs, in which case they may be taxed at a cumulative rate of over 65%.


  • No estate tax is due on the retirement plan assets that pass to the Foundation.
  • The gift will qualify your estate for a charitable deduction.
  • The funds may be used to establish a life income trust for a person of your choice.
  • The only document required is a change of beneficiary form, which is available from the plan administrator.
  • You retain access to all retirement plan assets during your lifetime.
  • A fund at the Foundation will reflect your charitable interests.
  • Fund minimums apply, but there is no fee to establish a fund.

Required Minimum Distribution

In years when the Required Minimum Distribution is suspended, you may still elect to take a taxable distribution and then contribute cash to charity for an offsetting deduction.