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Ways to Give

There are many ways to give through the Watertown Area Community Foundation. Here are some of the most common methods that philanthropists choose.


Cash is the easiest way to contribute. Donors who make gifts of cash are eligible for a charitable deduction in the year the gift is made.

Appreciated Stock

Stocks may be donated to the Watertown Area CommunityFoundation as a charitable gift. Donors are eligible for a tax deduction for the fair market value of the stock. By donating appreciated stock to theWatertown Area Community Foundation, donors can avoid capital gains tax that would otherwise occur at the sale of the stock.


By including a charitable bequest in a will, donors are able to make gifts that are simple. The bequest can take the form of a specific amount of money, or may serve as a residual bequest, where the remainder of a donor’s assets become a gift after all other specific bequests have been paid out.

IRA's, Qualified Retirement Plans, 401k’s & Life Insurance

Donors can use assets held in an individual retirement account (IRA) 401(k), 403(b) or similar account to start a fund at the Watertown Area Community Foundation at the time of their death. Donors can choose to donate all or part of their retirement plan to the Foundation.

If you are 72 or older, you have an opportunity to make a gift from your IRA. While required minimum distributions are waived for 2020, qualified charitable distributions remain a viable tax strategy and  could be more valuable than ever to charities during these challenging times.

In choosing the Watertown Area Community Foundation, you may designate your gift to a specific charity or help meet the community’s most pressing needs. Either way, your gift will make a difference – right here at home.

  • Check with your financial advisor regarding your gifting.
  • Give any amount – any time.
  • Gifts to the Foundation become part of a permanent endowment, helping the Watertown area forever.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

Charitable Remainder Trusts allow donors to transfer assets to a trust, take an immediate tax deduction and receive an income stream for his or her lifetime. The amount of the deduction varies with the age of the income beneficiary(ies).


The Foundation can accept gifts of farmland and retain the land as an asset so it can continue to be farmed while benefiting a donor’s community.

The Watertown Area Community Foundation pays taxes on the land, rents the property to farm tenants and earns revenue from the rent while holding the land as an asset for the benefit of local nonprofits.

Learn more about our Farmland Retention program.

10 Reasons People Choose to Give to the Watertown Area Community Foundation

  1. We are a local organization with deep roots in the area.
  2. Our director and board has broad knowledge regarding community issues and needs.
  3. We provide highly personalized service tailored to each individual's charitable interests.
  4. Our funds help people invest in causes they care about.
  5. We accept a wide variety of assets and can facilitate even the most complex forms of giving.
  6. We partner with professional advisors to create highly effective approaches to charitable giving.
  7. We offer maximum tax advantages under federal law.
  8. We multiply the impact of gift dollars by pooling them with other gifts and grants.
  9. We build endowment funds that benefit the community forever and help create personal legacies.
  10. We are a community leader, convening agencies and coordinating resources to create positive change.