Legacy Giving

We can help you create your legacy and achieve your goals, which may include a combination of these options listed below. At CICF, our commitment is to fulfill your philanthropic vision now and forever.


ENDOWMENT FOR INDIANAPOLIS OR HAMILTON COUNTY: You can direct your legacy gift to one of two community endowments at CICF. The community funds are permanent, unrestricted endowments that make discretionary grant-making dollars available. You can direct your 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: You can name a fund for yourself, a special family member, or a topic or area important to you. Types of permanent funds include:

  • FIELD OF INTEREST FUNDS benefit not-for-profits working in charitable areas you select. The cause or issue can be broad, such as improving education, or narrow, such as improving a neighborhood. This allows you to invest in an issue you care about while relying on future philanthropic experts to identify opportunities that make the greatest impact in that field.
  • DESIGNATED FUNDS let you tell us exactly which 501(c)(3) public charity or charities you wish your fund to benefit. Every year the fund directs grants to the named charity, enabling you to “endow” your current annual gift to your 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. You 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 you make one contribution to CICF and recommend grants to not-for-profits. A donor-advised fund provides ease and flexibility in personal charitable giving. You make a gift that is deductible in the year of the donation, and you can add to your fund at any time. You can name successor advisors to continue recommending grants after your lifetime. This is the closest thing to a private family foundation without all of the administrative burdens and costs, and allows you to work with a staff effective philanthropy officer dedicated to helping you accomplish your charitable goals.

Gift Options

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

A GIFT OF YOUR RETIREMENT FUNDS: Another easy way to leave a bequest is to name CICF as the beneficiary of your retirement funds held in your 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 legacy since it will not be subject to either estate or income taxes, as it would be if left to anyone but a spouse. Please contact CICF for assistance in completing your beneficiary designation forms.

A GIFT OF LIFE INSURANCE: Like your retirement accounts, a separate beneficiary designation form determines who will receive money from your life insurance policies. Policies you own enable you 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. This is one of many ways to donate life insurance. Please contact us directly for more details.

OTHER PLANNED GIFTS: A CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITY lets you receive guaranteed income for life and an immediate charitable income tax deduction, as well as supporting charitable organizations meaningful to you. You make an irrevocable gift to CICF, and CICF pays a fixed dollar amount to you and one other person (if you choose). The remainder of the annuity could establish a charitable fund, add to an existing CICF fund, or support the community endowments at your passing. The annuity income depends on your age, the number of people receiving payments, and the amount of your 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, you receive an immediate tax deduction and lifetime income for you and your named beneficiary. You can also reduce or avoid capital gains taxes associated with the gifted asset, and you would remove the assets from your estate. When the trust’s term is complete, any remaining assets pass to CICF to establish a fund of your choice. Charitable remainder trusts offer a great deal of flexibility, and you 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 charitable fund for a period of years or during your lifetime. Then the assets return to you or your surviving family members. The result is gift and estate tax savings. A charitable lead trust can allow you to make a significant gift to charity and transfer assets to family members with little or no gift and estate tax.


We encourage you to work with your estate-planning professional and tax and financial advisors as you consider the type of legacy gift that is right for you and your family. CICF’s expert staff is available to help you and your advisors along the way. We can help you prioritize your goals, develop a charitable fund, and determine how to achieve your legacy in the most favorable way.


If you arrange for a legacy gift to CICF, we want to thank you for your planned generosity by inviting you to join this special group of like-minded people. We meet periodically to thank you and learn about our community.