Estate Planning Types

Silicon Valley Community Foundation accepts a variety of planned gifts left by generous individuals who are dedicated to ensuring a positive future for our community. Any of these gifts would qualify the donor to join the community foundation’s Legacy Society, a special group of visionary Peninsula and Silicon Valley philanthropists.

Read on to learn more about:


The simplest way to leave a planned gift to benefit our community is to make a bequest including specific language in your will or living trust naming Silicon Valley Community Foundation as the recipient of a testamentary gift. Your will or living trust can include gifts in the form of cash, securities or personal property. You may contribute a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your estate or the residual of your estate in this manner.

Your estate will receive a charitable deduction for the full donation, so your heirs will not pay estate tax on these assets.

The community foundation is happy to provide sample language to include in your will or trust, as well as guidance and a thorough review of our policies regarding such a gift.

Charitable Gift Annuity

Charitable gift annuities allow you to make a significant gift to benefit the community while receiving fixed payments for life, regardless of the economic climate. A charitable gift annuity is a simple contract between you and the community foundation. In exchange for your contribution, the community foundation agrees to make fixed payments for the life of one or two beneficiaries. The payments are based on the age of the beneficiary(ies) and are insured by the full assets of the community foundation. A portion of the initial gift may be tax-deductible and a portion of the fixed payments may be tax free. When the contract ends, the remainder is used to support the work of the community foundation and the charitable causes and organizations that are important to you. Learn More

Charitable Remainder Trust

By transferring assets to establish a Charitable Remainder Trust, you receive an immediate tax deduction and lifetime income for you or your named beneficiary. You also reduce or avoid capital gains taxes associated with the gifted asset.

Eventually, when the trust's term is complete, the remaining assets pass on to the community foundation.

The community foundation will accept gifts from a variety of CRTs including standard unitrusts, net income unitrusts, net income with a makeup provision unitrusts, and charitable remainder annuity trusts. Silicon Valley Community Foundation has the capacity and expertise to act as trustee.

Charitable Lead Trust

When you create a Charitable Lead Trust, the CLT makes regular income-tax-deductible gifts to the community foundation as the income beneficiary. When the trust terminates, the entire principal is returned to you or to your family.

Retirement Plan Donations

Naming Silicon Valley Community Foundation as a beneficiary of your retirement funds, such as an IRA, 401k or 403b, is a simple and effective way to benefit the community while avoiding significant, often unanticipated tax penalties. Your retirement plan is tax-deferred only until death. The remainder of these assets are subject to multiple taxes, if left to an individual other than your spouse. Donating retirement accounts can reduce or eliminate these taxes completely and make a significant impact on the community.

Life Insurance Donations

Among the many ways to donate life insurance, the simplest is to designate Silicon Valley Community Foundation as a beneficiary of the policy.

You may also transfer ownership of a paid-up policy to the community foundation, or donate insurance policy dividends. Or, you may also choose to name the community foundation as designated owner and beneficiary, making annual gifts to the community foundation in the amount of the annual premium. In this arrangement, the premium would be paid by the foundation.

Pooled Income Fund

If you are interested in the tax-saving benefits of a charitable trust, but also want to minimize investment risk and investment overhead costs, consider a pooled income fund gift. Your gift is combined with gifts from many members of the community to create a common investment portfolio. It operates much like a mutual fund. Your gift is invested and 100% of the net income is distributed in proportionate shares to you, or to those whom you designate.

Your gift to Silicon Valley Community Foundation's pooled income fund creates life income for you as well as an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of the gift. You will also avoid capital gains tax on your gift of an appreciated asset. Finally, even though you receive income for life, there is no estate tax on this gift.

When you pass on, your shares will be donated to support the foundation’s Community Endowment Fund, a vital resource for this region, or another endowed fund at the community foundation. The minimum initial contribution to the pool is $10,000 and beneficiaries must be 55 or older.

Planned Giving Calculator

You can access Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s planned giving calculator to calculate the income and tax benefits a donor might receive from establishing a charitable gift annuity, charitable remainder trust, charitable lead trust, or pooled income fund.


Silicon Valley Community Foundation is not engaged in rendering legal, financial, or tax advice. Information in our publications and on our website is provided as a service to provide general information about charitable giving. Many topics related to charitable giving have complexities and nuances that cannot be adequately detailed in brief articles or announcements. Individuals’ personal situations may vary. Please consult your financial or legal advisor. Performance data is based on past performance and is no guarantee of future results. If you would like to report discrepancies with information presented, please contact us at