Legacy Giving

Together we can provide your clients with the resources and options to create their philanthropic legacy.


Your clients can direct their legacy gift to one of two community endowments at CICF. The community funds are permanent, unrestricted endowments that make discretionary grant making dollars available. They can direct their legacy gift to the Endowment for Indianapolis or the Endowment for Hamilton County. Future staff and boards of the Foundation make decisions based on the needs and opportunities of the day. Donations of all amounts dating back 100 years have created these flexible sources of working capital to respond to our community’s most pressing issues today and tomorrow.

Named Permanent Funds

Your client can name a fund for themselves, a special family member, or a topic or area important to them. Types of permanent funds include:

FIELD OF INTEREST FUNDS benefit not-for-profits working in charitable areas your client selects. The cause or issue can be broad, such as improving education, or narrow, such as improving a neighborhood. This allows your client to invest in an issue they care about while relying on future philanthropic experts to identify opportunities that make the greatest impact in that field.

DESIGNATED FUNDS let your client tell us exactly which 501(c)(3) public charity or charities they wish their fund to benefit. Every year the fund directs grants to the named charity, enabling them to “endow” their current annual gift to their favorite charitable organizations.

SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS provide financial assistance for students seeking post-secondary education. Scholarships can benefit students from a certain city or high school, students from disadvantaged backgrounds, or students planning certain careers. Your client can also add to the Community Scholarship Funds for either Marion County or Hamilton County, which are permanent endowment funds that assist students who have financial need.

DONOR-ADVISED FUNDS let your client make one contribution to CICF and recommend grants to not-for-profits. A donor-advised fund provides ease and flexibility in personal charitable giving. Your client makes a gift that is deductible in the year of the donation, and they can add to their fund at any time. Your client can name successor advisors to continue recommending grants after their lifetime. This is the closest thing to a private family foundation without all of the administrative burdens and costs, and allows your client to work with a staff effective philanthropy officer dedicated to helping them accomplish their charitable goals.

Gift Options

A GIFT IN YOUR CLIENT’S WILL: The simplest way to leave a planned gift is to make a bequest that names the fund your client chooses at Central Indiana Community Foundation—or at The Indianapolis Foundation or Hamilton County Community Foundation—as the recipient of a charitable gift in their will or living trust. They may contribute a specific dollar amount, a percentage of their estate, or the residual of their estate. CICF’s staff can provide your client with sample language for a bequest.

A GIFT OF RETIREMENT FUNDS: Another easy way to leave a bequest is to name CICF as the beneficiary of your client’s retirement funds held in their IRA, 401(k), or 403(b) to add to or establish a charitable fund. This is a simple and effective way— and maybe the most tax advantageous—to create your client’s legacy since it will not be subject to either estate or income taxes, as it would be if left to anyone but a spouse.

A GIFT OF LIFE INSURANCE: Like retirement accounts, a separate beneficiary designation form determines who will receive money from your client’s life insurance policies. Policies they own enable them to name a charitable beneficiary. A simple way to make a legacy gift is to designate CICF as the full or partial beneficiary on the required beneficiary form.

OTHER PLANNED GIFTS: A CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITY let’s your client receive guaranteed income for life and an immediate charitable income tax deduction, as well as supporting charitable organizations meaningful to your client. They make an irrevocable gift to CICF, and CICF pays a fixed dollar amount to your client and one other person (if they choose). The remainder of the annuity could establish a charitable fund, add to an existing CICF fund, or support the community endowments at your client’s passing. The annuity income depends on age, the number of people receiving payments, and the amount of the gift to establish the annuity. A portion of your gift annuity income may also be income-tax-free.

By transferring assets to establish A CHARITABLE REMAINDER TRUST, your client receives an immediate tax deduction and lifetime income for them and their named beneficiary. Your client can also reduce or avoid capital gains taxes associated with the gifted asset, and they would remove the assets from their estate. When the trust’s term is complete, any remaining assets pass to CICF to establish a fund of your client’s choice. Charitable remainder trusts offer a great deal of flexibility, and your client can receive a fixed dollar amount each year (an annuity trust), or a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets (a unitrust).

A CHARITABLE LEAD TRUST distributes income to your client’s charitable fund for a period of years or during their lifetime. Then the assets return to your client or their surviving family members. The result is gift and estate tax savings. A charitable lead trust can allow your client to make a significant gift to charity and transfer assets to family members with little or no gift and estate tax.