Michele DiCapua was a nurse devoted to caring for others. Her daughter and granddaughter are continuing her legacy with a fund at The Community Foundation. Contributed photo.

Whatever stage you are at in life, you may have questions about how to give back to the community. There are multiple ways for you to support the organizations and issues that are most meaningful to you or to honor the life of a loved one, in perpetuity. We can help.

It's easy to create a fund and build your legacy.

  1. Tell us how you wish the earning from your fund to be used. Is there a specific charity you'd like to benefit, or a specific cause? Or do you want to remain active by making grant recommendations throughout your life? Would you like to leave a legacy that can be used to meet any community problem or opportunity?
  2. Tell us what you would like to name your fund. It can be your name, your family's name or something else that is meaningful to you. You are creating a permanent legacy in that name. One hundred years from now, your fund will still be making gifts in whatever name you choose. Of course, you can also set up an anonymous fund if you prefer.
  3. Decide the type of gift and amount you want to use to create your fund. Any amount, from $10,000 and up*, can be used to start a fund. And almost any type of asset can be used - from cash to stock to your antique car!

The types of permanent funds that you can establish at The Community Foundation —throughout your lifetime and/or through your estate—are flexible in their design to provide something for everyone.

When you establish one or more of the funds below, your contribution is fully tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. Also, all of these funds can be opened with most types of assets—cash, stock, property—and can also receive legacy and planned gifts.

A donor-advised fund (DAF) enables you to make tax-deductible, charitable contributions immediately without having to select a recipient nonprofit on the spot. Gifts to your donor advised fund can be held for the future and invested, based on your preferences, so that your original contribution may grow in value to have an even greater impact. It's an easy and smart way to give to multiple charities you care about. Learn more

Establishing a Designated Fund provides you a wonderful way to give back to one or more specific organizations that have touched your life. Your gift provides more than just funding - your favorite organization will benefit from The Community Foundation's investment stewardship and ability to manage endowment funds. Learn more

Organization Funds are for nonprofits that wish to have a portion of their charitable assets managed according to a long-term investment model alongside and established for The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven Inc’s (The Corporation) own endowment. A charitable organization can participate in this commingled fund by entering into an investment management agreement, which identifies the nonprofit as the owner of the charitable assets. Learn more

Permanent Organization Endowment Funds are established from a gift of a donor or donors or by an irrevocable transfer of assets from an organization to establish a permanent component fund of The Community Foundation for the benefit of an organization. Grants are then made to the named organization. Learn more

By establishing a Preference Fund, your gift addresses a broad range of local needs - including future needs that often cannot be anticipated at the time your gift is made. While you direct the preference fund through the language you use to establish it, the maintenance is left up to us. The Community Foundation’s professional staff continually monitors changing community needs so that you can be sure grants made in the name of your fund have the most impact in your preference area and create your personal legacy of giving. Learn more

In creating a Scholarship, you invest in your community's future and help students - from preschool to postgraduate - achieve their lifetime dreams. You can create a scholarship as a memorial to someone special, selecting eligibility criteria that exemplify that person's goals and values. Or, you may use it to express your educational values - or those of your family or business. Depending on your preferences, the scholarship you establish can support any area of academic need, including tuition, room and board, and books. Learn more

When you establish an Unrestricted Fund, your gift addresses a broad range of local needs - including future needs that often cannot be anticipated at the time your gift is made. Because you set no restrictions on the use of your gift, it enables our staff and Board of Directors to do what they do best - assess community needs and respond by awarding grants to the nonprofit organizations that undertake our community's most critical work. Learn more


*funds can be built over a set time period, typically 3-5 years.

The Community Foundation is home to more than 900 charitable funds, established by individuals, couples, families, nonprofits and for-profit businesses. What inspires you? Find inspiration on our Giving Stories page.


Don't see an appropriate match for your philanthropic goals? Please tell us your thoughts and ideas. The Foundation has over 90 years of experience in the philanthropic sector and we have forged many partnerships with charitably-minded people, professional advisors and nonprofits along the way.

Sharon Cappetta, CAP®

Director of Development


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Liana Garcia, MS, PMP, CAP®

Director of Gift Planning


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