Building a legacy: bequests and other gifts

Close up of a Will document with writing hand to illustrate charitable bequests

Making lasting legacies easy – help with estate planning, bequests, and gifts you may not have considered

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead

At CNDCF, we like to think of our donors as Community Builders. Your partnership with us allows us to build a strong community together. Providing customized service, we make it easier to create a fund or make a donation that meets your desired outcomes.

A fund can be established or a donation made using a wide variety of assets, including cash, appreciated securities, insurance policies and/or real estate. Assets can be given now, or later as a part of an estate plan.


Gifts to the Community Foundation made through bequests are called planned gifts or charitable bequests and the details of the gift are communicated in your will. With some simple pre-planning, your lasting gift to the community will also help reduce the tax paid by your estate.

What should I say in my bequest?

If you would like to leave a gift to the community as a planned gift in your will, we have several examples of bequest clauses that you can review here We recommend that you contact your lawyer for advice before making a planned gift.

Life Insurance – making your community a beneficiary

Life insurance is a popular and practical way to leave a lasting legacy to your Community through the Foundation. In many cases, it provides an opportunity to give a significant gift in a way that becomes manageable and attainable. Some donors will purchase a policy with the Foundation in mind, others will have an existing policy that they no longer need. Whole life policies, many term policies and many group insurance policies can be used to give a gift to your community. Ownership of the policy can be maintained by you or transferred to the Community Foundation. Working with your financial advisor and with CNDCF, we can help you find the option that is best for you and your family.

Jane and I and our family are very passionate about our community and wanted to contribute to improving the quality of life in Cambridge. By naming the Foundation as the owner of an insurance policy, we were able to establish a legacy that will continue to contribute to our community forever.


Our parent organization, Community Foundations of Canada has some excellent additional information that illustrates your options, benefits and potential tax savings.

2 ways to give a gift of life insurance

1. Ownership is transferred to us (small initial outlay leveraged into a larger future gift.) Donor receives a receipt for the cash surrender value and any future premium payments each year.

2. Donor owns the policy and the CNDCF is named as the beneficiary. Donation receipt is provided to the estate for the full amount of the death benefit.

Life Insurance options: weighing the benefits

Donation Options for Life Insurance Policies

Gifts of Securities

Donors can benefit from changes to capital gains laws for gifts of appreciated securities. A transfer of shares to the Community foundation (or any other charitable organization) allows the donor to avoid capital gains, reducing the real cost of their gift or providing an opportunity to increase the amount of the gift without increasing the cost. We can work with you or your financial advisor to complete the transaction.