This week’s post is courtesy of Alex Eaton, Executive Director of The Community Foundation of Utah—an important partner and resource for donors in Utah. Community foundations represent unique strategies and methods of giving. They also offer expertise in planning, vetting and assessing your desired charitable outcomes. GIVE is pleased to partner with the Foundation and encourages you to explore the options and skill sets they offer.

“It’s a lot more fun to give when you’re alive than when you’re dead”.  —Donor Advisor, Community Foundation of Utah

Community foundations are philanthropic organizations with over 100 years of history stewarding charitable dollars to foster social good and improve lives in a given place.  There are over 700 community foundations throughout the United States, and the Community Foundation of Utah has served the state of Utah in that capacity since 2008.  As of 2016, over $60,000,000 has been raised by the Foundation to support Utah not-for-profit organizations and social entrepreneurs through grants and special projects.  The Foundation has also become the catalyst for donors at all ends of the spectrum, offering a simple and effective way for all Utahns to give. You don’t have to be Bill Gates to make a difference in your community!

Families, individuals, businesses and not-for-profit organizations establish funds with the Foundation and contribute a variety of assets for charitable purposes.  This may take the form of private or public stock, land and other complex assets – at one point the Foundation owned a wedding chapel in Las Vegas!  Donors recommend how grants are to be distributed to qualified nonprofit groups and schools and these funds make a positive difference in the lives of Utahns every day.

The assets of the Foundation are pooled and invested, offering donors a tax-advantaged opportunity to grow philanthropic dollars and create a legacy of giving.

What do you want your legacy to be?

Philanthropy offers valuable estate planning advantages and allows you to create your legacy.  If you’ve put off writing your will or making a plan for your estate, you’re not alone (think of Prince!).  Without this vital document, the reality is. state law will dictate how your estate is divided according to a formula that likely will not match what you want – because how will they know! We encourage you to work with your estate planning professional or tax advisor to determine the type of giving that is right for you.  

The Foundation supports a range of planned giving options that give you the flexibility to fulfill your wishes for the future and benefit your favorite causes. We can help you prioritize your goals for social impact while achieving the most favorable income tax benefits available.  And, leaving a planned gift to the Foundation ensures the funds will be directed toward the most effective nonprofits and most critical needs.  Let us be part of your journey to help the charitable causes and organizations that are close to your heart.  

You can learn more about philanthropy and giving options during GIVE Salt Lake, October 11-12. You can also visit the Community Foundation of Utah website at