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Three Approaches to Your Charitable Legacy

The flexible ways in which Manatee Community Foundation works with donors and professional advisors to shape charitable legacy plans create a number of options–all based on what is personally meaningful.

As you contemplate what is right for you or your clients, here are some opportunities to consider.

  1. Focus on specific nonprofit organizations.
    Donors with a high level of trust in certain nonprofit organizations often create a designated future fund, allowing them to name any number of local or national charitable organizations to receive annual distributions. The donor can select what percentage of the total assets available for giving will be awarded to each organization.

    This might be an approach for you if…
    -You have a long history of support for specific nonprofits
    -You are a Legacy Society member of specific nonprofits
    -You feel confident that the nonprofit will be a strong, results-oriented and well governed organization far into the future, regardless of the person in the chief executive role

  2. Focus on cause areas.
    Realizing how needs and organizations can change significantly over time, many donors prefer to name broad areas of interest for legacy support. This option ensures that the available funds will only be used for areas important to the donor–such as animal welfare, early childhood education, veterans services, or environment (as examples)–while leaving the ultimate grant recipients to the professional staff of the community foundation. Recipients may change over time, depending on community needs, but the mission focuses served by the fund will remain consistent with the donor’s wishes.

    This might be an approach for you if…
    -You care about positive outcomes for certain populations, causes or geographies but are not committed to specific organizations
    -You want to ensure that your giving will support organizations that are the most effective partners in the future

    -You are comfortable in giving future foundation staff and leadership the ability to make decisions about nonprofit grant recipients depending on community needs and other factors
  3. Focus on family.
    Philanthropy can be an important family activity, even a value. Some donors wish to name their children, grandchildren, or other family members as “successor advisors” in their current funds. When the donor passes, the named family members use the charitable assets in the fund (along with additional assets that may be added after death) to recommend grants. The donor may allow the successor advisors full discretion, or may narrow the eligible nonprofits by mission focus, geography or another criteria. The donor may also decide if named family members must agree on the grant recommendations or can advise independently.

    This might be an approach for you if…
    -Your family’s involvement in philanthropy is important part of your legacy
    -You are not attached to the grant recommendations your successor advisors may choose to make

    -You have discussed this arrangement with your family

Not to complicate these choices–but the charitable legacy planning process allows any combination of the above options to be crafted, for maximum personalization.

As you think about your charitable legacy, feel free to contact us at any time to talk through potential scenarios and how they might work. Call (941) 747-7765 or email SBowie@ManateeCF.org.