When you write a check or give cash to Community Legal Aid or another charitable organization, you are making what’s sometimes referred to as a “current gift.” In addition to making current gifts, many donors also arrange to make future gifts to us. These structured future transfers to CLA are often referred to as “planned giving” because, well, they require planning!

What are planned gifts?

Planned gifts are an important way for you to help our organization build its endowment and ensure that our mission stays strong for generations to come. There are many reasons you might decide to make a future gift to support CLA’s endowment and mission. Here are a few:

  • You want to leave a legacy to the community after your death so that your commitment to CLA continues beyond your lifetime.
  • You want to ensure that your family members can experience the joy of giving after you’re gone by participating in giving a portion of your assets to CLA as a charity your whole family has cared about and can continue to care about for generations.
  • You want to make the most of tax benefits associated with setting up a future gift to charity, including avoiding capital gains tax, securing an income tax deduction up front, and even retaining a life income stream.
  • You own certain assets that are not suitable for leaving to family members but would make ideal gifts to CLA.

Is a planned gift right for me?

Here are a few ideas to help you decide whether making a planned gift to CLA’s endowment might be right for you.

Talk with our team. We are always happy to discuss your overall charitable goals, including the ways you’d like to continue to support CLA beyond your lifetime.

Talk with your estate planning attorney and your financial advisors. Your advisors will know which of your assets could be deployed into a tax-effective planned gift to our organization’s endowment that also achieves your goals for leaving money to your family after your death.

Talk with Akron Community Foundation or another local community foundation about ways you can use a charitable fund at the community foundation to support CLA’s endowment, as well as other nonprofit organizations you care about, through planned giving.

How can I plan my gift?

You’ve decided to make a planned gift to support CLA’s endowment fund. Now what?

Here are four steps for success:

Talk with our team about what you have in mind and what areas of our mission you would like to support. We will discuss several factors that will inform the best type of planned gift to achieve your charitable wishes. We will also discuss a target amount for your planned gift to ensure that you will be providing the support you intend for particular programs, or a meaningful endowment gift if your intention is to support CLA in perpetuity.

Talk with your legal and tax advisors to determine the best assets to deploy toward your planned gift. Selecting the assets will depend on the total dollar amount you’d like to give, as well as your tax situation (both income and estate tax). The assets you give will also depend on the ownership structure of the assets and other family and estate planning factors.

After you’ve talked with your legal and tax advisors, we’ll set up a time to discuss your planned gift as a group – you, your advisors, and our team. Together, we will evaluate the options, and you will make the decision about the type of planned gift, whether you’ll retain an income stream, and the provisions you want to include to ensure that our organization uses the gift as you intend.

If you would like to benefit CLA as well as other favorite organizations through a single planned gift, we will likely enlist the help of the team at one of our local community foundations. Our partners at the foundations offer structures and services that allow you to make a planned gift to multiple organizations, as well as vehicles for keeping your family members involved for generations. Our community foundations also can help receive and facilitate gifts of complex assets such as closely held stock and real estate, or serve as the trustee of a charitable remainder trust if that is the vehicle you determine is the best option for you.

For more information about these and other giving options, please email Chief Development Officer Shirley Smith at ssmith@communitylegalaid.org or call (330) 983-2602.