The path to your personal legacy starts here.

Legacy gifts generate much of the philanthropy at work today in Central Indiana. The Lilly, Glick, and Clowes families have created powerful charitable legacies locally, but those are just three family names among thousands of others who have left charitable resources for causes they love. Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) and its affiliates, The Indianapolis Foundation and Hamilton County Community Foundation, work with people from all walks of life who are interested in making an extraordinary difference. And they do it by leaving gifts in their wills, retirement plans, and by utilizing other unique giving vehicles.

Let Us Help You Fulfill Your Charitable Goals

CICF will work with you to develop your legacy—and promises to fulfill your wishes in perpetuity so you can support the causes and organizations you care about forever. CICF knows the mechanics of legacy giving and the organizations that serve our community. Our expert staff will honor your goals, ensuring your legacy giving is effective, meaningful and results-driven. 

What is Legacy Giving

A legacy gift allows you to create a lasting charitable impact for the public good. It is a philanthropic gift from your will, living trust, retirement plan, or other estate assets. Some planned gifts even provide you with income during your or someone else’s lifetime. Anyone can leave a legacy gift—no matter the size of your estate. 

Why Consider Legacy Giving?

Legacy gifts are the best way to benefit a charity or cause you love forever. Is there a charity or cause you want to benefit after your lifetime? By making a legacy gift, you provide enduring support to the causes or charities you care most about, while securing your own legacy forever.

What are the Benefits?

A legacy gift can allow you to maintain assets during your lifetime and provide valuable estate planning and tax advantages. Some options can provide you with income. And when you start a charitable endowment at CICF with a legacy gift, your direction and decisions are honored and your impact on the community never ends. 

choose from a variety of options

You can create your legacy by giving to one of CICF’s community endowments, or starting a specific, named, permanent fund of your choice. We can help you weigh your options and select a fund or a combination of funds to meet your philanthropic vision. 

You can choose the best vehicle to establish your legacy.

Direct your legacy gift to one of two community endowments. 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 at The Indianapolis Foundation and Hamilton County Community Foundation make grant 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.

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. CICF and its affiliates have many existing funds that were created decades ago and are awarding grants today to specific interest areas, such as women and girls, seniors, libraries, the arts, and children with disabilities.

Designated funds let you tell us exactly which 501(c)(3) public charity or charities you wish your fund to benefit. Every year, grants are directed to the charity of your choice enabling you to “endow” your current annual gift to your favorite charitable organizations. You provide a permanent, ongoing source of support and we oversee the distributions.

Scholarship funds provide financial assistance for students seeking post-secondary education. Scholarships can benefit students from a certain city, who attend (or plan to attend) a specific high school, college or university, facing a particular barrier or students planning to go into certain careers. You can also add to the Community Scholarship Funds for Marion or Hamilton counties, which are permanent endowment funds that assist students who have financial need.

Donor-advised funds let you make one contribution to CICF or one of its affiliates and recommend grants to not-for-profit organizations. 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. Successor advisors may be named to continue recommending grants after your lifetime. This leaves a lasting legacy that benefits your community after the advising period. This option most closely resembles a private family foundation but eliminates the administrative burdens and costs, and allows you to work with CICF donor engagement officers dedicated to helping you accomplish your charitable goals.

Please remember
that we can help you achieve your goals, which may include a combination of the fund options listed above. At CICF, our commitment is to fulfill your charitable intent now and forever.
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.

Gift Options to create your legacy

CICF is uniquely equipped to help you secure your personal legacy. We are your trusted advisor, and you can count on our expert staff to employ the smartest and most up-to-date strategies in planning your legacy.

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.

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.

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 for more details.

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.

Our Heritage Circle Society

Members of the Heritage Circle are recognized by CICF for their planned gift(s) to any type of fund at CICF, The Indianapolis Foundation, Hamilton County Community Foundation, or Women’s Fund. Once you arrange a planned gift within the collaborative, we show our appreciation by inviting you to join this unparalleled group of like-minded individuals. Throughout the year, you will receive dedicated updates on the collaborative’s work within the community, happenings within the Central Indiana philanthropic sector, and opportunities for you to get involved. You will also receive invitations to attend exclusive events where you can mingle with collaborative leadership, and we can express our gratitude to you. Learn more »