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Plan Your Philanthropy

Take the First Step to a Lasting Legacy

The Planning Process

Define your charitable objective: | Identify where and how you want to make a difference. Decide how involved you (and your family members and advisors) want to be in making grant.

Determine your financial objective: | Are you looking for any tax or estate planning benefits? If so, we can help you with information about the advantages of different types of gifts so that you can fit your philanthropy into your financial plans.

Create or Contribute to a Fund: | We will work with you to create a fund that meets your objectives. Or, if there is an existing fund that meets your needs, your contributions will not require a new fund agreement.

Start a Fund Now

Creating a named charitable fund at the Community Foundation is simple and is often a one-step process. After deciding what type of fund (see below) would best serve your interests, you can determine the contribution type that would be most convenient and advantageous for you. In general, your fund may be created by an outright (current) gift, or by a planned.

We accept many asset types (Current Gift):

Donors most commonly make “cash” gifts to the Community Foundation in the form of a check. This is the simplest way to begin a fund, to add to an existing fund (View List of Funds), or to make a general gift to support the Foundation’s operations and grantmaking. Please designate on the memo line of the check the LVCF Fund your gift is intended to support. To make a gift by check, please send your check made payable to “LVCF” and mail to: Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, 840 West Hamilton Street, Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18101

Donating long-term appreciated securities — rather than selling the assets and then donating the cash proceeds — is one of the easiest ways for donors to increase their charitable dollars and maximize their impact on the community. Long-term appreciated securities include stocks, bonds, or mutual funds that have realized significant appreciation over at least one year.  These gifts can be deducted at full market value, up to 30% of your adjusted gross income, with the ability to carry forward amounts exceeding your allowance for up to five years. The below table illustrates this win-win situation for both individuals and the community

 Donate Stock Directly to LVCFSell Stock and
Donate Cash Proceeds
Cost of securities$100,000$100,000
Current fair market value$250,000$250,000
Long-term capital gains
(Market Value less Cost)
$150,000$150,000
Capital gains and Medicare surtax paid2$0-$35,700
Charitable Contribution$250,000$214,300
Additional Amount Donated2$35,700
1 This is a hypothetical example for illustrative purposes only. It assumes the taxpayer will be itemizing deductions.  State and local taxes are not taken into account. Please consult your tax advisor regarding your specific legal and tax situation. Information herein is not legal or tax advice.

2 Assumes all realized gains are subject to the maximum federal long-term capital gain tax rate of 20% and the Medicare surtax of 3.8%. Does not take into account state or local taxes, if any.

The Community Foundation accepts gifts of mutual funds and is pleased to provide donors with instructions for making such gifts.

Gifts of real estate can include a house or personal residence, farm, vacation home, commercial buildings and income-producing land. Please note that all gifts are subject to review by the Foundation’s Gift Acceptance Committee. All gifts must meet the LVCF gift acceptance guidelines and will require additional procedural steps.

The Community Foundation accepts gifts of personal property—such as antiques, cars, art, collections. All gifts are subject to review by the Foundation’s Gift Acceptance Committee and require an independent appraisal arranged and paid for by the donor. If you are considering making a gift of personal property to the Community Foundation please contact Erika Riddle Petrozelli at erika@lvcfoundation.org.

People purchase life insurance to provide financial protection for their family, business or estate. Later in life, donors may find that they do not require as much insurance and may find it desirable to use insurance policies for charitable giving. A gift of life insurance enables donors to make a much larger charitable gift than they thought possible and will most likely not significantly reduce the donors current income stream. Donors can make a current gift to LVCF life insurance by transferring ownership of a whole-life policy that is no longer needed and naming LVCF the beneficiary. Provided minimum fund requirements are met, donors may choose to create an endowed LVCF fund to benefit from the gift. This type of gift provides a current tax benefit & ultimately creates a donor’s legacy that will support the causes they care about in perpetuity.

IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions | On Friday, December 18, 2015, Congress passed the PATH Act making the IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution and two other charitable giving incentives permanent law. The IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution provision allows individuals who have reached age 70½ to donate up to $100,000 to charitable organizations directly from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA), without treating the distribution as taxable income. We are ready to help you with your IRA Charitable Rollover as a gift into a designated, area-of-interest, or unrestricted charitable fund. 

Donors can also name LVCF as a full or partial beneficiary of their IRA, retirement fund or any financial account. Such a gift provides income and estate tax benefits and helps maximize bequests to your family. Download IRA Rollover Information

Lehigh Valley Community Foundation has established a “digital wallet” and has begun accepting donations in cryptocurrency. You can establish a fund at the Community Foundation or donate to an existing fund. LVCF has partnered with a specialized giving application, Engiven, to ensure a smooth and transparent giving experience.  There are several benefits to donating cryptocurrency.  The IRS classifies cryptocurrency donations as property, meaning they are not subject to capital gains tax and are tax-deductible at fair value. LVCF will immediately liquidate the donated position and transfer the cash proceeds.

Planned gifts may be made through:

A bequest is a provision in your will that designates a gift to a specific person or entity such as the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation. In most cases, a bequest directs that a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your estate, specific property or the remainder of the donor’s estate be given, upon your death (or the death of you and your spouse) to the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation. Such gifts may be in any amount. If sufficient in size, the gift may be used to establish a named charitable fund at the Foundation. If you are interested in making a bequest to the Foundation, you are encouraged to communicate with Foundation staff about your charitable interests and preferred grantmaking intentions.

Bequest language can be as simple as either of the following:

“I give and bequeath to Lehigh Valley Community Foundation $ (dollar amount) OR (percentage) % of my estate OR specific property (such as artwork or a car or a house), to be held, administered, and used by Lehigh Valley Community Foundation.”

“I give and bequeath to Lehigh Valley Community Foundation all of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, to be held, administered and used by Lehigh Valley Community Foundation.”

There are other types of bequests for specific circumstances, and donors are advised to seek the assistance of attorneys and other professional advisors in the preparation of wills and other legal documents. The Bar Association of Lehigh County (610-433-6204) and the Northampton County Bar Association (610-258-6333) are available to assist people who are seeking an attorney for estate planning or other purposes.

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Charitable Remainder Unitrusts (CRUTs) are maintained as separate trusts and provides income for beneficiaries based on a fixed percentage of the trusts’ market value, recalculated annually. Upon the death of the surviving beneficiary and the termination of the CRUT, the amount remaining in the CRUT becomes a Foundation asset and, depending on your stated preferences, may be added to an existing fund of the Foundation or, if sufficient in size, used to establish a new charitable fund at the Foundation. LVCF can be the trustee and the beneficiary or the beneficiary only.

Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts (CRATs) are maintained as separate trusts and provides a fixed annual income for the beneficiary. Upon the death of the surviving beneficiary and the termination of the CRAT, the amount remaining in the CRAT becomes a Foundation asset and, depending on your stated preferences, may be added to an existing fund of the Foundation or, if sufficient in size, used to establish a new charitable fund at the Foundation. LVCF can be the trustee and the beneficiary or the beneficiary only.

Charitable Lead Trusts reverse the concept of CRATs and CRUTs by providing the Community Foundation with an income stream from the trust for your lifetime or for a specified period of time. At the end of the trust term, the corpus of the trust is returned to your estate or to your pre-determined designee. While the Foundation is receiving income from the trust, it may use that income as you specify, including for the establishment of one or more charitable funds if the income is sufficient.

Life Insurance

People purchase life insurance to provide financial protection for their family, business or estate. Later in life, donors may find that they do not require as much insurance and may find it desirable to use insurance policies for charitable giving. A gift of life insurance enables donors to make a much larger charitable gift than they thought possible and will most likely not significantly reduce the donors current income stream. Donors can make a current gift to LVCF life insurance by transferring ownership of a whole-life policy that is no longer needed and naming LVCF the beneficiary. Provided minimum fund requirements are met, donors may choose to create an endowed LVCF fund to benefit from the gift. This type of gift provides a current tax benefit & ultimately creates a donor’s legacy that will support the causes they care about in perpetuity.

IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions

On Friday, December 18, 2015, Congress passed the PATH Act making the IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution and two other charitable giving incentives permanent law.

What does this mean for our donors?

The IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution provision allows individuals who have reached age 70½ to donate up to $100,000 to charitable organizations directly from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA), without treating the distribution as taxable income.

We are ready to help you with your IRA Charitable Rollover as a gift into a designated, area-of-interest, or unrestricted charitable fund. 

Download IRA Rollover Information

Donors can also name LVCF as a full or partial beneficiary of their IRA, retirement fund or any financial account. Such a gift provides income and estate tax benefits and helps maximize bequests to your family.

Estate Gifts

The Community Foundation is your trusted partner when planning your philanthropy. Work through a fund agreement now so that your philanthropic plans and wishes are in place. Whether supporting organizations in perpetuity or creatively thinking through issues that may arise in the future, a fund at the community foundation can address all of your wishes.

Find the Gift Options that Meet Your Goals


ASK CARRIE | Ask me which type of fund is right for you and how the Community Foundation can help you create a lasting legacy and make a difference in the community….

Carrie Krug Nedick
Director of Donor Services
840 West Hamilton Street
Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18101
610 351-5353 Ext. 10
carrie@lvcfoundation.org