What do you want your legacy to be?


Effect positive change. Pass on your charitable values. Receive tax advantages. Giving through Adirondack Foundation provides tremendous flexibility.

We work with each donor to structure a tax-wise gift that is tailored to his or her vision. Some donors decide to start a charitable fund right away and enjoy grantmaking during life. Others make provisions for a planned gift or end-of-life gift as part of estate planning. We recommend discussing options with your professional advisors and are happy to work with them.

Together we craft a fund agreement or “place holder” agreement (for gifts that will arrive in the future) that identifies the purpose of your fund and Adirondack Foundation’s responsibilities. The agreement is activated when the first gift arrives. You may change the charitable causes your fund will support without changing your will or other giving document.

You or anyone else can make additional gifts to your fund at any time.

Join the Legacy Family

Adirondack Foundation Legacy Family members are listed in our annual report (with permission), are invited to Foundation events, and receive periodic updates. We are happy to inform charities that you have provided for, so that they, too, can thank you.

Protecting your charitable investment

Working closely with professional advisors we manage permanent fund assets to grow over the long term. All legal, tax and administrative requirements are handled by Adirondack Foundation in compliance with IRS regulations and national standards for community foundations. Our
donors can have confidence that their charitable dollars will be well managed for today and future generations.

We firmly, even ferociously, honor your charitable intentions. Each grant from your fund does the good you intended it to do, generation after generation. Unlike other charitable donations that might be “used up” as a one-time gift, permanent funds provide ongoing resources for the things you care about.

Identifying the greatest impact

Generosity tends to fall into three categories: social giving; passionate giving, which may include schools or hospitals; and strategic giving. Often, there isn’t a plan for that last one-dedicating charitable dollars to affect real change. Adirondack Foundation can help you identify your interests in all three areas.

Lightest strings

Ben Franklin’s favorite legacy gift was “a bequest with no strings attached.” The future, after all, is unimaginable. Could a donor in the 1950s foresee the role of digital technology in education today? Our Generous Acts Fund is set up to respond to current needs. An unrestricted fund in your own name could do the same. A field-ofinterest fund is devoted to a defined cause or place and can have a broad or narrow purpose, according to your interests. You might want to safeguard natural habitats or charities in a particular town. With unrestricted, Generous Acts or field-of-interest, your gift can’t become obsolete.

Maintaining direct involvement

Donor advised funds are established by people who have assets to direct toward philanthropic ends during life, though they may add to them through bequest or other planned gift. You recommend the grants to be made from your fund at any time during the year, following the Foundation’s spending policy (currently 5% of the trailing three year value of the fund).

You can include family members in grantmaking right away or name them as successor advisors to a donor advised fund. Some donors set aside some discretionary funds to allow their children to experience the pleasure and responsibilities of giving.

How much does it take?

That is up to you. Our minimum fund balance for grantmaking is $25,000. Scholarship fund minimums range $60,000 for a fund that makes grants to a designated school, to $150,000 for a fund that engages a Foundation-supported committee. The Generous Acts Fund, Special and Urgent Needs Fund, Adirondack Scholarship Fund and operations fund can receive gifts of any amount.

What assets can I leave?

You can use cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, nonpublicly traded or privately held stock, tangible property, life insurance, retirement plan assets, and trust assets.

Combine generosity with practicality

Adirondack Foundation offers planned giving options that can provide both financial and charitable results.

A simple way to make a gift through your will is to name the Adirondack Foundation as the beneficiary of the assets you wish to donate: “I bequeath (amount, percentage, an asset) to the Adirondack Foundation, a New York nonprofit corporation EIN# 16-1535724, for (your gift’s purpose or place holder/fund name).” The gift removes the assets from your taxable estate.

Retirement Fund
Assets in a traditional IRA, 401(k) or 403(b) may be subject to both income tax and estate tax at your passing.  For those in the highest tax brackets, this tax can cost heirs upwards of 75% of the total in your accounts. By naming Adirondack Foundation as the beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k) or 403(b), you can eliminate those taxes, benefit your favorite causes, and continue to withdraw from your plan during your lifetime. Changing your successor beneficiary is as simple as phoning your plan representative or giving the direction electronically.

Life Insurance
Through a relatively small annual cost (the premium), you can make a far greater gift than would otherwise be possible without diluting assets you leave your family. Here are two ways to give with life insurance: 1) Name Adirondack Foundation as the primary or contingent beneficiary of an existing or new life insurance policy. A federal estate tax deduction applies for the full amount of the proceeds payable to the charity. 2) Make a gift of a life insurance policy you own and no longer need or make Adirondack Foundation the owner of a new life insurance policy, for which you pay the annual (tax deductible) premiums.

Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT)
You can make a gift now and provide yourself with income in retirement that has the potential to grow over time. A gift to fund a charitable remainder trust creates a separate legal entity, the trust, which provides payments to one or more people, including yourself, for life or a term of years. It can be funded with any asset, even an interest in your closely held business. It is also flexible in how payments are made: an annuity trust makes fixed payments, the net-income trust pays out its income each year, while the unitrust pays a percentage of value of the trust. There is even an option for the charitable remainder trust to start as a net income trust and eventually “flip” and pay a percentage of its assets
each year thereafter.

When you set up a charitable remainder trust, you benefit from an income tax charitable deduction, and any capital gain associated with assets going into the trust is deferred or forgiven. When the trust ends, the balance can create or add to your charitable fund at Adirondack Foundation, contribute to your favorite nonprofit organization’s fund or add to the Generous Acts Fund, where it will respond to future areas of need in the Adirondacks.

We are happy to collaborate with you and your financial advisor to shape a gift that works for you.