This year, the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation (NCCF) is celebrating a special milestone, our 30th Anniversary.
Throughout life, there are many causes for celebration: birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, retirements, graduations, and numerous holidays. I am sure that you could add a few more to the list. Very often, we give gifts as a part of the celebration.
I like gift giving. I like thinking about the person who will be receiving the gift, the occasion and the person’s likes and dislikes. I tend to put a lot of time into thinking about what the “best” gift would be. Maybe you are the same way. While I hope that the gifts are enjoyed, I know that they won’t last forever. Things break, wear out, get lost, go out of style or are outgrown.
We give gifts to the people we care about, but what about the places that are important to us? I know that many of you reading this care deeply about our community. You care about education, community development, youth services, arts and culture, and all of the charitable needs of our community. How do you go about “leaving a gift to the place you call home”? And, how do you ensure that your charitable gift will last forever? Establishing a charitable bequest to benefit the NCCF does both. A charitable bequest is simply a gift through your will or estate plan. All gifts to the NCCF will grow and benefit the community forever.
Establishing a bequest is easy. You can do it when your will is prepared, or you can supplement your current will with a codicil. Often there are tax benefits. Bequests take many forms. At the NCCF, we have received cash, stocks, bonds, life insurance policies and retirement plan accounts. (Once, we even received a diamond ring.) Keep in mind that charitable bequests come in all sizes. Some leave $200 and others leave $2 million. Charitable bequests are not meant to replace inheritances that you wish to leave to family members or other loved ones.
Many in the community (including myself) have chosen to leave a gift to our “home” through a charitable bequest to the NCCF. Why the NCCF? We are committed to the well-being of the northern Chautauqua community and have been for 30 years. As an endowed organization, you can be assured that we will be here long after you are gone and that we will always address the community’s greatest needs and opportunities.
As we celebrate our a 30th Anniversary with the community, we are encouraging all community members to establish a charitable bequest. The NCCF recognizes, through the Bequest Society, those who have informed us that they have plans to leave a charitable bequest to the place they call home. The Society was established as a way to thank these individuals during their lifetimes and to inspire other community members to participate. A list of current members can be found on our website.
Joining the Society is easy. Simply let us know that you are leaving a charitable bequest to the NCCF. This can be done through a letter or by completing the short membership form. (Call me or click here for a copy of the form.) Remember, bequests can be of any size. You don’t need to tell us the amount and we won’t ask.
Those who include a charitable bequest in their estate plans become immortalized to the causes, the organizations and the community they support. Leaving a gift to the place you call home could be the most important gift you ever make — and one of the easiest.