Why Give to HCF

October 2, 2023
Cathi Evans, Esq

A Message from Attorney Catherine Evans, Esq

Why Give to the Hamilton Community Foundation?

            As an advisor, I meet my clients where they are.  Some families are genetically philanthropic – walking into my office with definable goals and plans.  Some families struggle to identify their passion, employ philanthropy in a scatter-shot sort of way, and react rather than plan.  And, of course, there is every kind of family in between.  A gift to the Hamilton Community Foundation is a perfect solution for all types of givers.

            Let’s take gifts to a donor–advised fund for starters.  Quick primer – a donor-advised fund created by a donor can be a target for charitable dollars annually or at the occurrence of an “event” (sale of a business or an inheritance, for example) without requiring a firm position on the ultimate recipient at the creation of the fund.  This allows an indecisive donor to punt the decision of what cause to benefit into the future.  On the other hand, these funds allow a more decisive donor to reap the tax benefits of a large gift to the Foundation now while funding donations to the charity of their choice later.  All types of donors can use these funds to address needs as they arise in the community in the future – not just in the year of the gift.

            Gifts to established funds, whether field of interest or unrestricted, can help fund more generalized charitable intentions.  Economic development, scholarships, human needs – these are all categories, and more, in which the Hamilton Community Foundation’s fine staff have high levels of local expertise.  When a family desires to benefit the community, but wants to leave it to the experts to determine best uses, these gifts are ideal.  Many of these funds are also endowed, which means they exist in perpetuity and will ensure benefit to the community forever.

            The Hamilton Community Foundation can also be the recipient of a wide range of gifts, during life and at death.   Cash is the most common gift, of course, but provision can be made for gifts of stock, life insurance policies, retirement assets, and more.  This flexibility may provide tax benefits beyond the normal income tax deduction, can help manage future estate tax liabilities and can provide a family with support in simplifying their portfolios. 

            Gifts to the Hamilton Community Foundation can serve other purposes beyond philanthropy and tax.  The professionals at the Foundation provide a high level of service when they help a family design their gift, which is something a gift to a large, remote charity may not afford.  Gifts to the Foundation also assist in creating a connection to the community across generations, reinforcing charitable giving as a core family value, teaching younger family members how to collaborate with their neighbors and other local partners, and leaving a legacy – both for charitable purposes and to honor the family itself. 

            As an advisor in this community, it is impossible to overstate the value and service the Hamilton Community Foundation provides to its donors and the Hamilton area.  The variety of funds and gifting options available make it the number one tool in the planning toolbox when working with families.  We are truly fortunate to have such a valuable resource at our disposal.