There are many types of gifts that may be given to establish a fund or add to an existing fund at the Foundation. Click on each option to learn more.

Credit Card: Give Now!

If you wish to make a credit card gift to any Fund at the Community Foundation, please click on the "Donate" button below. The "Donate" button will take you to Pay Pal.

IMPORTANT: The initial screen will indicate your contribution is being made to the Community Foundation of North Florida. At the final stage of "check out," you will be asked to indicate the name of the Fund to which you are contributing.


Please note: Your credit card statement will show the donation charged as "PAYPAL *COMMUNITYFO".


NOTE: The amount of each credit card gift will be reduced by a credit card processing fee charged by the credit card company. Each credit card company charges a different amount but the approximate fee will be 2.2%-2.5% of the amount of the gift.

You can make a current gift of cash or check to any fund at the community foundation and receive the maximum tax advantage under federal law.

To wire a gift of cash please contact us for specific instructions.

To make a gift using a check, make the check payable to CFNF, write the name of the fund you want to donate to in the memo line and mail your check to:

Community Foundation of North Florida
3600 Maclay Boulevard South, Suite 200
Tallahassee, FL 32312

Including a charitable bequest in your will is a simple way to make a lasting gift. Your bequest establishes a fund that benefits your favorite charities forever and becomes your personal legacy of giving.

A Donor Story: The gift of a lifetime

Irene Hoover and her husband owned a bakery and enjoyed a great deal of success and prominence in their hometown. After her husband passed away two years ago, Irene decided it was time for her to update her will. Part of her plan was to give something back to the community the Hoovers had loved as both residents and business owners. "Not only did Jim and I love our town, but we felt as though we owed it a lot for the success of our business," says Irene. With the help of her professional advisor, Irene revised her will to include an inheritance for the Hoovers' college-age niece, with the remainder creating the Hoover Bakery Fund, a Field of Interest Fund designed to support community development efforts. Because it will be endowed, her gift will provide a growing source of community funding for festivals, neighborhood revitalization, publicly accessible artwork, and other community improvements. "I like knowing that when I'm gone, our legacy will be one of helping others strengthen our community," says Irene.

Now it is easier than ever to make the gift of a lifetime; IRAs can qualify for tax-free charitable distributions.

The Community Foundation of North Florida can help turn your individual retirement accounts (IRAs) into tax-saving charitable gifts.

You can give more for less: Charitable IRA

For years, estate planners have recommended that retirement assets may be the most tax-effective asset in larger estates to distribute to charity. These assets are not only vulnerable to heavy taxation as part of an estate but also can be taxed again as income in respect to a decedent on the tax returns of heirs. Until now, there was a disincentive for retirees to give IRAs to charity during their lifetimes because withdrawals from IRAs were subject to income tax--even those given to charity.

New tax law.

As of January 1, 2006, retirement assets may become a preferred charitable gift for seniors. IRA distributions to charity can now receive new tax advantages. Americans age 70 1/2 and up can make tax-free IRA contributions to public charities such as your community foundation. Extensions of the law have made this opportunity permanent.

You can make a difference

By giving through your community foundation, you can use your gift to meet ever-changing community needs; including future needs that often cannot be anticipated at the time your gift is made. Your gift can target the causes and programs you care about most. The Community Foundation of North Florida can help you establish a fund to make an impact in areas of need or opportunity that are important to you. Here are three great ways to turn your IRA into community good:

Community Foundation Opportunity Fund: Meeting ever-changing community needs.

Address a broad range of current and future needs. The Community Foundation of North Florida evaluates all aspects of community well-being; arts and culture, community development, education, environment, health and human services and awards strategic grants to high-impact projects and programs.

Field of Interest Fund: Connecting personal values to high-impact opportunities.

Target gifts to the cause most important to you: arts, education, environment, neighborhood revitalization, youth welfare and more. The Community Foundation of North Florida awards grants to community organizations and programs addressing your special interest area.

Agency Endowment Fund: Helping local organizations sustain and grow.

Support the good work of a specific nonprofit organization (a senior center, museum or any qualifying nonprofit charitable organization) by creating a specially Designated Fund or adding to an existing Agency Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation. The Foundation will invest your gift for long-term growth and issue grants to your favorite nonprofit on a regular basis.To learn more contact Katrina Rolle, 850.222.2899 x104 or

Frequently Asked Questions: Charitable IRA

Why do donors want to give IRA assets to their community foundation?

After decades of deliberate saving and favorable investment returns, some retirees have more money in their IRAs than they'll ever need. For larger estates, a good portion of IRA wealth goes to estate taxes and income taxes of non-spousal beneficiaries; heirs may receive only 25 percent to 30 percent of IRA assets passed on to them through estates.Instead, IRA holders may choose to leave their IRAs to qualified charitable organizations; choosing charity over taxes.

Which donors stand to benefit most from giving their IRAs to charity?

Because charitable IRA transfers are not included in taxable income and not available for itemized charitable deductions, these special rules may benefit many different types of individuals:

  • High-income earners: Donors who itemize deductions may find that they cannot take full advantage of their tax deductions. Often referred to as the 3 percent floor, a taxpayer must reduce itemized deductions by 3 percent of the amount by which the taxpayer's adjusted gross income exceeds a certain amount that is adjusted annually for inflation. 
  • Generous donors: When making a major gift, some taxpayers may give more to charity than they can deduct that year. Donors cannot deduct more than 50 percent of their income for gifts of cash to public charities (30 percent, if giving to private foundations). Although amounts over 50 percent can be carried forward and deducted in future years, taxpayers will face an immediate tax bill and may lose some of the benefit of the deduction if they die before the gift has been fully deducted. Donors who consistently give above the limit will not be able to take advantage of the carry forward provisions. 
  • Non-itemizers: Donors who regularly give a portion of their income to charity are not able to enjoy a tax break from the contribution because the standard deduction is still greater than the total of all itemized deductions. This may be especially true if state and local income taxes are low. 
  • Financially comfortable: Individuals or couples who distribute the minimum from their IRA (and have other forms of income to pay living expenses) may find that transferring their minimum distributions to the community foundation helps fulfill personal charitable goals, tax-free.

In the past, how did the tax law treat charitable gifts made from IRAs?

Under past law, IRA holders faced a disincentive for giving retirement assets to charity during their lifetimes because all withdrawals from traditional IRAs were subject to income tax. Thanks to the new tax provision, retirees will be able to give far more support without being penalized, doing so during their lifetimes and seeing their gifts benefit their communities.In the past, when a donor of any age withdrew IRA funds to make a charitable gift, he or she was liable to pay income tax on the withdrawal, offset to varying degrees by a charitable deduction for the gift. (Charitable deductions are limited by legal restrictions, such as the percentage of adjusted gross income [AGI] limitation on charitable deductions and the 3 percent floor on all itemized deductions. If an individual does not itemize on his or her income tax return, no charitable deduction can be taken.) As a consequence of this unfavorable tax treatment, very few individuals donated IRA funds to charity during their lifetimes.

How has the tax law changed?

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 permits individuals to transfer up to $100,000 from individual retirement accounts directly to a qualifying charity without recognizing the assets transferred as income for federal tax purposes. In tax years beginning after December 31, 2005, a donor who has reached age 70 1/2 is now allowed to exclude from his or her income tax calculations certain IRA withdrawals. In most circumstances, these charitable contributions are not tax deductible unless the retirement accounts were funded with after-tax dollars.This provision is now permanent.

What are the advantages of this new law?

The tax benefits now available to American seniors will encourage new contributions from individuals who will no longer have to pay tax on a charitable gift of IRA funds. When given through a community foundation, these contributions can support all aspects of community well-being: arts and culture, economic development, education, environment, health and human services, neighborhood revitalization and more.Now it is easier than ever for more people to enjoy the experience of making the tax-free gift of a lifetime using their excess retirement assets.

What if a donor contributes more than $100,000 from an IRA?

Because the amount that the donor is able to exclude from income is limited to $100,000 under the act, the remaining amount would be recognized as income. Within a married couple, each person can transfer $100,000 from his or her account. Donors may choose to contribute additional amounts to charity; however, the extent to which additional amounts can be deducted from their income will be determined following general rules of itemized deductions where the charitable percentage limitations and itemized deduction reduction are factors.

Does a donor also receive a charitable deduction when he or she transfers assets to a charity under this provision?

No. The benefit under this provision is that the individual does not realize the amount contributed directly from the IRA to a qualifying charity. Because a donor does not include the amount in his or her gross income, the individual may not take a charitable contribution deduction for the contribution. To do so would allow a donor to receive a double benefit from the contribution. For this reason, charitable contribution deductions are explicitly prohibited.

How will charitable distributions affect the minimum required distributions from a taxpayer's IRA?

Shortly after an individual reaches age 70 1/2, he or she is generally required to receive distributions from his or her traditional IRA. Distributions from an IRA to a charity will receive the same treatment as distributions to the individual taxpayer for the purposes of minimum required distributions.

Are there any IRA transfers to the community foundation that do not qualify for preferred tax treatment?

Yes. Transfers to Supporting Organizations and Donor Advised Funds do not qualify. In addition, split interest gifts, such as Charitable Annuities, Charitable Lead Trusts and Charitable Remainder Trusts, do not qualify. Further, an individual may not receive a benefit in return for an IRA distribution.Because such transfers do not count as qualified distributions under these special rules, the donor will have to first recognize those distributions as income. The donor's charitable deduction must then be calculated as a regular itemized deduction.

How can an IRA gift be made?

IRAs are typically held by a financial service or trust company. These custodians will likely provide a form that could be used to transfer the IRA directly to charity, with no tax incurred. The information provided here is based on continuing analysis of the Pension Protection Act of 2006. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the answers to these questions. However, due to the complexity of the bill and the fact that many of these provisions introduce issues that are new to the Internal Revenue Code, this information may be subject to change. It is not a substitute for expert legal, tax or other professional counsel and we strongly encourage donors to work with their professional advisors to determine the impact of this legislation on their particular situations. This information may not be relied upon for the purposes of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code.


Everybody wins when you make a gift of appreciated stock to your community foundation. Your gains are put to good use. Your gift of stock is reinvested in your community, and it qualifies for an immediate tax deduction based on the full market value. Please contact us for specific instructions on donating stock.

Giving appreciated stock through a community foundation is popular among a range of givers - individual investors, families, entrepreneurs, and even groups of friends who have formed investment clubs.

By giving stock through your community foundation, you can avoid capital gains taxes that would be due as a result of its sale and establish a charitable fund that benefits the local causes and organizations you care about most. With gifts of appreciated stock, your stock market earnings translate into community impact, so you get a more rewarding return on your portfolio. You can set up a scholarship; support special programs for at-risk youth, senior citizens, or other people in need; address environmental concerns; support the arts; or any charitable cause you choose.

A Charitable Lead Trust helps you build a charitable fund with your community foundation during the trust's term. When the trust terminates, the remaining assets are transferred to you or your heirs, often with significant transfer-tax savings.

You transfer assets into a trust, which pays the community foundation an annual amount to build a charitable fund. During its term, the trust can be managed expertly by experienced trust professionals, which may help your trust investments grow over time. When the trust terminates, either upon your death or after a specified number of years, its final assets are transferred to those you designate; any growth in the trust passes to recipients, often with significant transfer-tax savings.

A Charitable Lead Trust entitles you to a number of financial benefits. It shelters investment earnings from tax, and it offers gift, estate, and generation-skipping tax benefits. For example, trust assets are removed from your estate for estate tax purposes. You may also capture future gift tax deductions. However, at the time your trust is established, you may owe gift tax on the present value of your gift to the final beneficiary.

A Donor Story: A lifetime gift for two

Annette Bernack wanted to create a fund to support her favorite charitable interests for years to come. At the same time, she wanted to provide an inheritance for her daughter in a way that created the least tax burden. "My attorney told me that creating a Charitable Lead Trust and designating my community foundation as the charitable beneficiary would allow me to give to the community now and provide for my daughter later," says Annette. Using a regular distribution from the trust, Annette has already begun to build a fund at her community foundation, which is, in turn, making grants to her community in areas important to her. The trust will continue to build the Bernack Family Fund until her death, after which the rest of the trust will transfer to Annette's daughter. "By giving through a Charitable Lead Trust," says Annette, "I am doing more for both my daughter and the community...and my estate will owe less in taxes."

Charitable Remainder Trust: Planning for the future - for you and your community

Giving through a Charitable Remainder Trust allows you to receive income for the rest of your life, knowing that whatever remains will benefit your community.

You transfer assets into a trust, and the trust pays you or a beneficiary you designate regular income payments. Upon the beneficiary's death or after a defined period of years, the remaining assets in the trust can be transferred to the Community Foundation.

A portion of the income may be a tax-free return of principal, while some is taxed as ordinary income or capital gains. The amount of annuity paid and the tax deduction received depends on the age of the recipient and the current annuity rate (as established by the Internal Revenue Service).

A Donor Story: A gift that pays

James Assad was retired and in his late seventies. The stocks he owned had high market values, but they paid limited dividends. In addition to increasing his personal income, James was interested in giving to the community in which he had lived his entire life, so he decided to transfer the securities to a Charitable Remainder Trust that eventually would create a fund with his local community foundation. "The income I received from the trust is more than what I was collecting in annual dividends - by thousands of dollars. If I would have sold the stocks, I'd have paid a fortune in capital gains tax," says James. James also receives an immediate charitable tax deduction and pays less tax on trust distributions. "Plus," he says, "I know that when I pass, I've done something good." In time, James' gift will create the Assad Family Unrestricted Fund to address ever-changing community needs.

Life insurance provides a simple way for you to give a significant gift to charity, with tax benefits that you can enjoy during your lifetime.

You can make a gift when life insurance is no longer needed for personal financial wealth replacement by either giving a paid-up policy or continuing to pay premiums. You may receive a number of tax benefits, including reduced estate and income taxes. And, if you choose to continue paying premiums through your community foundation, you will be entitled to a charitable contributions deduction of up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income.

Additionally, you can use life insurance to replace the dollar value of an asset transferred to your community foundation. Or, you can use regular payments from a Charitable Remainder Trust to establish an irrevocable life insurance trust. The trust can purchase insurance on your life to benefit your heirs. This way, you can make a gift to your community foundation and replace the value of this gift within your estate with life insurance proceeds.

A Donor Story: A gift that pays

When his two daughters were young, Zachary Ding bought a life insurance policy to provide for his family in the event of his death. Now, he's 65, and things have changed. "My daughters are both grown and doing very well for themselves, and over the years, my wife and I have become fairly comfortable - she will no longer need the death benefit from my policy," says Zachary. The Dings support and volunteer for a youth mentoring program, as well as their local museum. "We've always planned to leave something for important community organizations when we pass," says Zachary. After talking with their financial planner, Zachary decided to give his life insurance policy to his local community foundation. "After giving my policy, I received a significant charitable tax deduction," says Zachary. "We had owned the policy for so long that we could choose to stop paying the premiums and maintain a sizable death benefit." The Ding Fund will be established with proceeds from the insurance policy to benefit youth development and other community organizations.

Making a charitable gift of real estate through your community foundation can help you turn your property gains into community good. Gifts of real estate range from personal residences and vacation homes to rental properties, farmland, and commercially developed land, the value of which may exceed that of any other asset you own. With the help of your community foundation, you can use real estate to make a bigger charitable difference than you thought possible, avoid estate taxes, and minimize or eliminate burden placed on your heirs.

You may choose to give real estate outright and receive an immediate tax deduction, or retain the use of the property during your lifetime and make a planned gift to your community foundation. You may also choose to convert real estate into a stream of income for the rest of your life by establishing a Charitable Remainder Trust. Doing this lets you transform a low-yield asset into a higher-yield, income-producing asset and claim a tax deduction for the charitable portion of the gift.

A gift of real estate must be professionally appraised to establish its fair market value. It is also assessed for compliance with our acceptance policies to make sure its resale will provide the appropriate value to community.

A Donor Story: Real charitable value

Sandra and Cliff Stewart owned a summer home and had no heirs interested in inheriting it. At first, the Stewarts planned to sell the home and give the proceeds to charity. But after talking with their local community foundation, they realized that giving the home directly to the foundation would create the biggest, most effective gift, while providing the greatest benefits to them as donors. "It was a great option - we could give our house to charity through the foundation and start any type of fund, not to mention the tax benefits," says Sandra. The Stewarts learned they could also retain use of the home for their lifetime. "This way," Cliff explains, "we can spend our summers enjoying the home for the rest of our lives. And after our lifetime, the community foundation will use the proceeds to make grants from the Sandra and Cliff Stewart Fund."

Some donors may have an existing private foundation. In this case, donors may find many benefits to transferring the private foundation to an advised fund with the Community Foundation. Through a simple transfer process, donors can remain involved with their funds but without the administrative burdens. At the same time, donors can ensure that their intent, name and pattern of charitable giving are maintained - in perpetuity if desired.

We are ready to guide donors and their advisors through the private foundation transfer process. Please contact us for more information.