You love where you live.
We love connecting you with causes you care about most.

Gifts through your will or estate can make a lasting impact for generations to come.

We are uniquely positioned to assist you with your charitable goals today and for the future. We have the expertise to provide guidance on what assets or approaches might best help you achieve your goals. Our in-depth knowledge and understanding of the nonprofit community can help you connect with the causes you care about during your lifetime and beyond.

What is Planned Giving?

When you hear the term “planned giving,” you are hearing a way to describe gifts that take a little more thought or effort beyond writing a check or donating online. A planned gift can be a current gift, a deferred gift, or a split-interest gifts.

Current gifts include gifts made during your lifetime using assets such as stocks, bonds, mutual fund shares, real estate, personal property, art, or antiques. These gifts may require the assistance of a broker, an attorney, an appraiser, or a combination of more than one professional advisor. The team at the Winona Community Foundation is here to assist you in any of these transactions.

A deferred gift is one you arrange today and the charity receives at some time in the future. The most common deferred gift is a gift you make in your will or by naming charity as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan asset. You can do the same with other assets by using payable on death (P.O.D.) and transfer on death (T.O.D.) beneficiary statements. To learn more about which asset will help you accomplish your estate goals, contact the Winona Community Foundation.

Split-interest gifts involve making a gift to a charity, and in exchange, the charity provides you with an income payment or allows you to retain use of the asset over your life time or a set period of time. Examples of a split interest gift include charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, and retained life estates among others. An alternative split-interest gift is the charitable lead trust. This is an arrangement where you place an asset in a trust that pays interest to the charity for a period of time after which the asset returns to you or another person.

There are a variety of reasons you would consider making a split-interest gift. Contact the team at the Winona Community Foundation to learn how one of these gifts might be the right fit for you.

  • Name a charity or multiple charities as a beneficiary.
  • Life insurance
    • Name a charity or multiple charities as a beneficiary.
    • Transfer ownership of a paid up policy to a charity.
  • Stock or Mutual Fund Shares
    • Contact your charity and broker/agent to transfer the stock or mutual fund shares directly to the charity.
  • Charitable Gift Annuity
  • Charitable Remainder Trust
    • In vivos
    • Testamentary
  • Charitable Lead Trust
  • Retained Life Estate

You name the Winona Community Foundation as a beneficiary of your will, trust, life insurance policy, IRA, or other retirement fund. We can help you or your attorney with sample gift language.

  1. You include the community foundation in your will as a bequest; we can help you or your attorney with recommended language.
  2. You determine the type of fund you would like to establish with your gift.
  3. Upon your death, we set up a special fund in your name, in the name of your family, or in honor of any person or organization you choose.
  4. Your charitable gift is excluded from your assets for estate tax purposes.
  5. Our professional program staff considers your charitable wishes and determines the areas of community need that would be most impacted by grants from your gift.
  6. Our board issues grants in the name of the fund you establish (if you prefer, grants can be made anonymously).
  7. We handle all the administrative details.
  8. Your gift can be placed into an endowment that is invested over time. Earnings from your fund are used to make grants addressing community needs. Your gift—and all future earnings from your gift—is a permanent source of community capital, helping to do good work forever.

Why Work With Us

  1. We are a local organization with deep roots in the community.
  2. Our professional program staff has broad expertise regarding community issues and needs.
  3. We provide highly personalized service tailored to each individual’s charitable and financial interests.
  4. Our funds help people invest in the causes they care about most.
  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 advantage for most gifts 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.

Nancy M. Brown, President/CEO, brings knowledge and experience as your charitable advisor.

Brown’s past experience includes Senior Director of Development at Saint Mary’s University; Vice President/Consultant at Thompson & Associates, an independent consultant, Executive Director of Development at Winona Health, and Director of Major Gifts and Advancement Services at Winona State University. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Master’s in Philanthropy and Development program at LaGrange College in LaGrange, GA.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Master of Science in Administration Degree from University of Notre Dame. She is also a Certified Fundraising Executive.

Wondering how a gift might make an impact? Here is one example.

A retirement account is donated to the Winona Community Foundation with a value of $100,000. The Board of Directors establishes an endowment fund with this gift which is invested and grown while earnings are distributed annually based on the Foundation’s endowment spending policy.

Original Gift: $100,000 (tax-free), invested for one year


  • Total earnings: $7,500 (based on 7.5% return)
  • Distribution available: $5,000
  • Value of Fund after distribution: $102,500


  • Total earnings: $39,000+
  • Total distributions: $26,000+
  • Value of Fund after distributions: $113,000
Who do the distributions benefit?
  • If there is a specific cause you care about, earnings could be donated to that charity year after year.
  • If you want to contribute to a more flexible program, the earnings could go into the competitive Community Grant program of the Foundation.
Examples at the Winona Community Foundation:
  • A quasi-endowment fund where the first $5,000 of earnings is given to a local charity and any remaining earnings go to the Community Grant Program.
  • A quasi-endowment with a specific purpose (childhood literacy).
  • An endowment fund where heirs direct the earnings from year to year to a charity of their choice.
  • A spend-down fund where $10,000 is directed toward the Community Grant program until the funds are depleted (this fund is estimated to last 20 years).

IMPORTANT: The information provided is intended for illustrative purposes only and are not guaranteed. The illustration should not be relied upon nor deemed as endowment fund advice. The investment projections, outcomes and other information are hypothetical in nature, are based on community foundation investment goals and policies, and do not reflect actual investment results. Results may vary with each use and over time, and they are not guarantees of future results.

Nancy M. Brown, CFRE, President/CEO
Your Charitable Advisor


Please note: The Winona Community Foundation does not provide legal, accounting, or tax advice. Each situation is unique and donors are asked to check with their own advisors regarding their personal situation.