“I want to make a difference in the community I call home; where I grew up, where I raised my family and where I started my business.”

At the Community Foundation, we’ve heard these and similar sentiments again and again from donors. If this is how you feel about the place you call home and the people and communities you care about in our region then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve partnered with hundreds of area residents in their search for charitable giving solutions that align with their interests and intent, and their personal financial situation. When you make a gift to the Community Foundation it not only helps communities now; it will also help build a permanent endowment that will address the region’s needs in the future.

Why Give Through the Foundation? Sample Scenarios

Fund Spotlight: Mighty Max

New field of interest fund celebrates a life rich in activity, courage, and love.

Max Gabriel Edell Kranbuhl had a great sense of humor, a ready laugh and a deep connection to his family. He loved hanging out in the garage with his father, Mike, caring for his family’s tractor mowers and full-sized tractor, and riding the mowers around the yard. He collected horror movie masks and figurines connected with the “Scooby-Doo” TV series and the movie “Cars.” He loved to catch fish in the family’s pond, catch lawn snakes, watch YouTube videos and make videos of his own.

As a person with autism, Max had “a particular way of doing things,” says his mother, Maureen. And he loved to go shopping. “No matter where it was, he always thought it was for him to get toys—‘just because,’” she says.

Max was also a warrior. Diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer shortly before his 16th birthday, he endured two major surgeries, including a five-organ transplant, plus radiation. Three times, doctors declared Max cancer-free. But when the disease came back in the spring of 2019, there was nothing more to be done. “Mighty Max” passed away that June at the age of 19.

To celebrate Max’s life, his family worked with the Community Foundation to establish the Mighty Max “Just Because” Fund. The fund will provide toys to children who faces challenges—maybe due to special developmental needs, or maybe because their families need to be extra-careful with money. Max was lucky that his family could buy things that brought him pleasure, and his family wants to do the same for other children, Maureen says. “And maybe not just for Christmas, not just for their birthdays—just because.” 

The fund might also help families hire professionals to assist with the legal and administrative challenges they face as children with special needs become young adults. 

Now that they’ve started the fund, Maureen and Mike, their daughter Maeve and other relatives and friends have started brainstorming about fundraisers they might hold. “I would like it to have to do with something Max liked,” Maureen says—maybe an event during the local demolition derby, or a horror movie night at the Unadilla Drive-In. 

“We are really looking forward to seeing this fund be successful and keeping Max’s memory alive,” Maureen says. “There’s more to come. This is definitely in its infancy, and definitely something our family is passionate about.”

Meet Others Who Have Given

Sample Scenarios

We believe that anyone can be a philanthropist, at any income or asset level. As a focal point for philanthropy in the region, our goal is to ensure that your giving experience through the Community Foundation is personally meaningful, that your gifts are stewarded responsibly and that they achieve real, significant local impact through thoughtful and directed grantmaking.

“I know I want to ‘give back’ to the community and I could really use the tax deduction this year but, I’m not sure which organizations I want to give to.” Setting up a Donor Advised fund gives you the maximum charitable deduction allowed by law for your gift in the current tax year, while allowing you plenty of time in future months to make decisions about which organizations you’d like to fund through grants you recommend from your fund.

“I enjoy giving to a variety of local organizations, but I’m tired of chasing after them to send me the tax letters I need to file my income tax returns.” A Donor Advised fund might be the answer for you. With this type of fund you make your initial charitable contribution(s) to your fund at the Community Foundation, receiving a tax letter from us right away for each contribution you make. Then, up to four times per year, simply tell us how you’d like grant distributions awarded to other organizations from your fund.

“I’m not in a financial position to establish my own fund right now, but I’d still like to know that my charitable gifts are making a real impact in the community.” Anyone can make a gift of any size at any time to many of the established funds at the Community Foundation.

“I’ll be receiving a fairly significant sum of money soon (Inheritance, Life insurance, Sale of a business or a home) and I’d like to do something special for the good of the community with all or part of it.” We can work with you and your professional advisor to set up the type of fund that best matches your charitable intent.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about the legacy I’d like to leave the community after I’m gone. I know what I’d like to do but I won’t be here to make sure it’s done!”Community foundations are “for good, for ever.” We can work with you and your professional advisor now to establish a charitable fund at the Foundation that will be fully funded when your estate is settled and that will carry out your charitable intent for the period of time that you envision, whether permanently or for a specific number of years.

“I’ve been considering setting up my own family foundation, but the legal complexities and on-going costs of running it are starting to give me second thoughts. Is there an alternative that would let me accomplish my goals without all the hassle?”Yes. With a Donor Advised fund at the Community Foundation you could direct that grants be awarded to the area nonprofits of your choice once each quarter. And because the Foundation takes care of all administrative costs and legal requirements, as well as all investment decisions, you can enjoy concentrating on the fun part: grantmaking!

These are just a few of the kinds of charitable goals we have helped donors attain with highly personalized Donor Services. Contact us for questions or more information at (607) 772-6773.

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