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Many people choose to leave charitable assets or gifts to The Denver Foundation through their estates, and we offer significant expertise in planned gifts of all types as members of the Foundation's Community Legacy Society.

In fact, the bulk of the Foundation's Community Endowment Fund was created by generous donors who sought to support the Metro Denver community in perpetuity. We encourage you to work with your legal or financial advisor as you consider these options. Our Philanthropic Services Group is experienced in the use of testamentary gift options.

If you or your advisor has questions about estate gifts, please call us at 303.300.1790. A planned gift can support the Foundation’s Community Endowment or can be used to create one of the following types of funds.

More information and examples of donors we've worked with can be found in the Leaving a Legacy brochure. 

Donor-Advised Fund

A donor-advised fund is a charitable giving account created by an individual or family and used to support charitable causes recommended by the donors and their successors. This option provides great flexibility for giving during your lifetime and allows you to leave the gift of philanthropy to future generations.                                                                                            

                                                                 Photo of Susan Lindsay. Click here to read her story.

Designated Fund

A designated fund provides support to your favorite charitable organizations in perpetuity, or over a set number of years. With an endowed designated fund, you can be confident that your gift will provide a lasting legacy to sustain your favorite nonprofits. Should an organization you’ve designated cease to exist, the Foundation will ensure that the funds are redirected to an organization meeting your charitable intent so that your generosity will continue to benefit the community in the way that you envisioned.

Field of Interest Fund

A field of interest fund allows you to make an impact in specific fields over time. You identify a specific or broad interest area (such as education, the arts, or animal welfare) and The Denver Foundation ensures effective grantmaking within that field as the needs change over time. This type of fund allows your grantmaking to evolve as the needs within the field do, and gives you peace of mind knowing that The Denver Foundation will be there to identify the best nonprofits in the issue area you have selected to ensure your legacy lives on.

Named Endowment Fund

A named endowed fund within the Community Endowment is the engine that fuels The Denver Foundation’s annual support to leading local nonprofit organizations and honors the names of generous and visionary individuals over many generations. These funds allow the Community Endowment to meet the changing needs of the community now and for generations to come, and are used with great diligence and attention.

The Denver Foundation accepts a variety of planned gifts. Any of the gifts listed below would qualify you to join our Community Legacy Society. Members are invited to events on issues in our community and are recognized for their forward-thinking gifts. You can also choose to remain anonymous – the amount of recognition you receive is completely up to you.


The simplest way to leave a planned gift to benefit our community is to make a bequest by including specific language in your will or living trust naming the Foundation (or your fund) as the recipient of a testamentary gift. The Denver Foundation has experience managing a wide-range of estate assets. We would be happy to provide sample language to include in your will or trust.

For more information on bequests, click here.

Retirement Plan Donations

Naming The Denver 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.

The IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution became a permanent part of the tax code in December 2015. This provision allows people age 70 ½ or older to direct up to $100,000 of their required minimum distribution from an IRA to a qualified charity, without counting the distribution as taxable income. IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions cannot be made into donor-advised funds or private foundations, but they can be gifted directly to your favorite charity, or used to create a perpetual endowment through a designated or field of interest fund.

To notify The Denver Foundation of a qualified charitable distribution from an IRA, please use this form. To request a qualified charitable distribution from your IRA plan administrator, please use this form

Life Insurance Donations

Among the many ways to donate life insurance, the simplest is to designate The Denver Foundation as a beneficiary of the policy. You may also transfer ownership of a paid-up policy to the Foundation, donate insurance policy dividends, or choose to name the Foundation as a designated owner and beneficiary.

Trusts and Other Giving Vehicles

If you have questions about Charitable Gift Annuities, Charitable Remainder Trusts, Charitable Lead Trusts, or other giving vehicles, please call us – we would be happy to discuss them with you.

Scholarship Fund

A scholarship fund offers you the opportunity to make education more accessible to students in our community. Scholarships allow you to meet your charitable objectives while providing the much-needed financial support for students to achieve their educational dreams. Choose a school, population, or other focus area to build the selection criteria for your scholarship and rest assured that it will have a significant impact.

For more assistance, call the Philanthropic Services Group at 303.300.1790.