Leading Change. Transforming Communities.

Ways to Give

Charlie Waites maintaining the Ayer Mill Clock Tower in Lawrence
Ways to Give

Essex County Community Foundation provides you a simple, powerful and highly personal approach to giving. While the easiest way to give is either cash or stock, the Foundation also welcomes other types of assets. You can make a gift now or establish a Planned Gift.

Cash or Stock

  • Cash - Cash gifts can be made by check or online. Make a gift now. You may also make a wire transfer of cash.  See our Asset Transfers page
  • Stock - A gift of stock enables you to avoid capital gains taxes. See our Asset Transfers page.
  • Real Estate - Real estate can make a wonderful gift now or as part of your estate planning. Contact us to learn more.

Planned Giving

Thinking about creating your legacy? Planned giving can be a very effective approach to charitable giving— allowing you and your heirs to enjoy the assets you have earned and support the causes you care about. A planned gift to the Foundation now can offer lifetime income for you or a named beneficiary, while realizing significant estate and income tax savings. In addition, a planned gift can ensure that the causes you care about will be supported for generations to come.

We can help you plan your legacy through a number of planned giving options.

  • A bequest
    Including a Charitable Bequest in your will is a simple way to make a lasting gift to your community. ECCF can establish a fund to honor your intent and direct grants to the causes you care about in perpetuity. You can give cash, appreciated stocks or other assets. Some of the most tax-efficient assets to give as a bequest are retirement plan accounts, since heirs would be taxed on the Income in Respect of the Descendent (IRD). You can choose to give a stated dollar amount, a specific property, a percentage of your estate, the remainder after distributions to other beneficiaries, or you can make your gift contingent on certain events.
  • Charitable Gift Annuity
    Giving through a Charitable Gift Annuity allows you to arrange a generous gift to your community, while providing yourself steady income through fixed annuity payments for the rest of your life.
  • Charitable Remainder Trust
    Giving through a Charitable Remainder Trust allows you to receive income for the rest of your life, with the remainder to benefit your community. Assets are transferred into a trust, and the trust pays you or a beneficiary regular income payments. Upon the beneficiary’s death or after a defined period of years, the remaining assets in the trust transfer to the Community Foundation. While similar to a Charitable Gift Annuity, a Charitable Remainder Trust provides more options in payout methods.
  • Charitable Lead Trust
    A Charitable Lead Trust enables you to support the Community Foundation's charitable work until the trust terminates. At that time, all remaining assets are transferred to you or your heirs, often with significant transfer-tax savings. Assets are transferred into the trust, which pays the Community Foundation an annual amount, and when the trust terminates, either upon your death or after a specified number of years, all remaining assets, including any growth, are transferred to designated recipients of your choice.
  • Real Estate
    A real estate gift enables you to make a sizeable charitable contribution, avoid estate and capital gains taxes, and minimizes or eliminates a potential tax burden placed on your heirs. You may choose to donate real estate outright and receive an immediate tax deduction, or you may choose to retain the use of the property during your lifetime and make a planned gift to the Community Foundation. You may also choose to convert real estate into a stream of income for your lifetime by establishing a Charitable Trust or Charitable Gift Annuity with the Community Foundation. By doing this, 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 and assessed for compliance with our gift acceptance policies.
  • Life Insurance
    A gift of life insurance provides a simple way to establish your legacy by giving a significant gift to charity, while enjoying tax benefits during your lifetime. A gift can be made when life insurance is no longer financially needed by donating either a fully paid policy or continuing to pay the premiums. A number of tax benefits can be gained, including reduced estate and income taxes. And, if you choose to continue paying premiums through ECCF, you will be entitled to a charitable contributions deduction of up to 50% of your adjusted gross income.


We look forward to working with you and your professional advisor to create a planned giving strategy that works best for you.