The Acorn Society: The Foundation's Legacy Society

Our Acorn Society honors donors who have established planned gifts or provided for the Foundation in their wills. While recognizing our donors’ generosity, we hope their example will inspire others to consider this creative and effective form of philanthropy.

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With planned gifts, donors demonstrate their abiding stake in our community. The Acorn Society invites its members to participate in special events throughout the year that offer a deeper look at our region’s challenges and opportunities in the company of fellow donors. These popular events include our annual meeting, investment breakfast and Insights tour.

We list the names of our Acorn Society members in our annual report. However, if a donor prefer anonymity, we are glad to respect this wish.

Become a member simply by notifying us that you have included the Foundation in your estate plan or will. There is no minimum gift level and membership is lifelong, complimentary and nearly 100 strong. We hope you will join us.

Give Later

Making a planned gift - one that benefits the community after your lifetime - is easier than you might think. Options include:

Gifts by Will

After providing for your loved ones, leaving a bequest to Greater Worcester Community Foundation can be one of the simplest ways to achieve your charitable goals. A fund created through a Will can benefit particular organization(s); an area of interest, e.g. the arts, environment, education, etc., to meet the changing needs of the community (discretionary), or a scholarship you decide. No matter which option you choose your bequest will generate an estate tax deduction. In consultation with your attorney you may wish to consider which of the following types of charitable bequests would best suit your situation.

Learn more about Gifts by Will.

Life Insurance Policies

Your premium payments become tax-deductible when you designate the Foundation as owner and beneficiary of your life insurance policy. After your lifetime, the Foundation uses the money to create a fund in your name that fulfills your charitable goals in perpetuity.

Life insurance policies are an excellent vehicle for charitable gifts, often enabling donors to achieve family and charitable goals simultaneously.

What are my options?

For insurance policies with a cash surrender value whose original purpose no longer exists, you can:

  • Gift the policy to Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Inc., and receive an income tax deduction for the present value of the policy. The tax savings can be invested to generate future income and will reduce the value of your taxable estate.
  • Make Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Inc., the owner and irrevocable beneficiary; you continue to pay the premiums and claim continuing tax deductions. It is possible to use appreciated stock as a gift to Greater Worcester Community Foundation to cover premium costs and avoid capital gains.

Individual Retirement Account (IRA) assets

Now it’s easier than ever to make the gift of a lifetime.

IRAs can qualify for tax-free charitable distributions.

Greater Worcester Community Foundation can help turn your individual retirement accounts (IRAs) into tax-saving charitable gifts. Extended tax benefits allow more people to experience the joy of giving during their lifetimes.

You can give more for less.

Thanks to the new legislation, American seniors can make the gift of a lifetime by giving their IRAs to charity without federal tax penalty. So your retirement funds can go further than ever before. 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 recent legislation, 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.

The IRA Rollover allows people age 70 1/2 and older to make direct transfers totaling up to $100,000 per year to qualified charities such as Greater Worcester Community Foundation. Amounts given this way count toward the required IRA minimum withdrawal amounts for the year of the gift.

You can make a difference.

Your community foundation can help you connect to the causes you care about most. You can set up a charitable fund in your name or make an unrestricted gift. Giving is one of life’s pleasures; we can help you enjoy it today. By giving through Greater Worcester 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.

Greater Worcester Community Foundation understands our community’s most pressing issues and can help you establish a fund to make an impact in areas of need or opportunity that are important to you. Please contact us at 508-755-0980 if you'd like to discuss your options.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Do This?

To name Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Inc., as the plan beneficiary, contact the plan administrator of the IRA or tax-deferred retirement account and request a change of beneficiary form. Members of the Foundation staff are available to assist you with this process.

Charitable Gift Annuity

Greater Worcester Community Foundation offers Charitable Gift Annuities. This enables you to make a contribution and receive steady income during your lifetime. State Street Global Advisors administers the Charitable Gift Annuity program on behalf of the Foundation.

Learn more about Charitable Gift Annuity.

Pooled Income Fund

Greater Worcester Community Foundation offers a Pooled Income Fund (PIF) to provide donors with lifetime income from a professionally managed, diversified fund. Our PIF is administered by State Street Bank & Trust Co. and is comprised of the commingled gifts of many donors, invested in a balanced equity/bond portfolio.

Learn more about Pooled Income Fund.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

A Charitable Remainder Trust provides income to you for life or for a limited number of years. After that time, the remainder is distributed to the Foundation in accordance with your charitable intentions. Contact your legal advisor to discuss.

Gift of a Retained Life Estate

You may donate a residence, farm or other land as a future gift and continue using the property throughout your lifetime. You receive a partial income tax deduction and reduced estate taxes.

Over a lifetime, your interests change and new ideas come along. For me it was all about education at first, then the environment. Giving through the Foundation makes sense because the Foundation knows where the money is needed and where it will do the most good."

— Evelyn Silver, Acorn Society Member

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