For Advisors

Johnny Van Zant, lately of Lynyrd Skynrd, rather famously said, “When you’re dealing with a big amount of money, you should have your own accountant and your own lawyer.” We might add, “…and a great community foundation” (forgive us for shilling), and great advisors.

As a professional advisor, you help your clients identify the best way: to structure a business deal, to consider tax consequences, to invest their resources, and to achieve a meaningful, lasting impact in the communities they care about.

Whether you’re an attorney, CPA, financial planner, broker, insurance agent or other professional advisors, we can help you help your clients – to make sure people with a desire to give can take advantage of our experience, expertise, resources and network, all across Mississippi.

We directly serve 22 counties. And if your client isn’t in one of those counties, we know the people who can help. Call us today at 601-974-6044 or email to explore how we can help your clients make the most of their charitable dollars, the best way – for good, forever.

Customized Philanthropy

Your clients can determine the causes, communities, and organizations they want to support with a Donor Advised Fund. This giving tool allows your client to choose and make recommendations for grants to nonprofits.

Your clients can select a specific charity or group of charities to give to through a Designated Fund. It’s simple. Your client chooses the organization to support and we do the rest. Our team will manage the distribution of funds.

Some clients choose to set up a donor advised fund now, which becomes a designated fund upon their death, to benefit the charitable causes most important to them.

Community impact is amplified with your clients’ gifts to the Community Trust Fund. This endowed fund allows your clients to join a network of donors whose charitable dollars support nonprofits across the state through a granting cycle, under the direction of the Foundation’s Grants Committee.

Advisor Resources

You work closely with clients to create and implement the best plans for their finances. The Community Foundation for Mississippi takes outright gifts and other gift models.

Any of these funds can be established in your name or in the name of your family, your organization or anyone you wish to honor. All grants made—today and in the future—are awarded to charities in the name of the fund. It’s a beautiful way to link your community investment with a special person or purpose, forever. Contact us at 601-974-6044 or contact us at to get started.

OUTRIGHT GIFT. Make a gift today with cash, stocks, bonds or other assets to your community foundation. Your charitable gift may qualify for attractive tax advantages.

BEQUEST BY WILL. Establish a fund in your name (or in the name of your family) by designating a gift or portion of your estate to your community foundation. In some cases, receive a substantial reduction in federal gift and estate taxes.

REAL ESTATE. Turn property gains into community impact. The value of your real estate may exceed that of any other asset you own. Use it to establish or contribute to a community foundation fund; you can fulfill charitable interests and receive tax benefits.

RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS. Choose our community over taxes. Naming the community foundation as a beneficiary of your retirement account (401(k) or IRA) is an easy way to make a significant, lasting gift that may not be possible during your lifetime. It’s easy; no need to modify your will or estate plan.

LIFE INSURANCE. Make community the full or partial beneficiary of a life insurance policy. It’s a simple way to make a major gift back to the community that you call home, with possible tax benefits during your lifetime.

CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITY. Give cash or property to your community foundation now, get immediate tax benefits and ensure that you or a loved one receive fixed income payments for life.

CHARITABLE TRUSTS. Place cash or property in a Charitable Remainder Trust that pays income to you or a loved one for life. After your death, the balance transfers to the community foundation for a charitable purpose you have selected. You receive income tax benefits the year you establish your trust. Or establish a Charitable Lead Trust that pays a fixed amount to the community foundation for a number of years. After this period, trust assets transfer to the beneficiaries you name. In some cases, this arrangement reduces your federal gift and estate taxes.

UNRESTRICTED FUNDS. Your gift is highly flexible and available to meet the breadth of community needs—including future needs that may not yet be imagined. Your community foundation’s program experts evaluate all aspects of community wellbeing—arts and culture, economic development, education, environment, health and human services, neighborhood revitalization and more. Unrestricted gifts empower us to make strategic grants, where need and opportunity are greatest.

DONOR ADVISED FUNDS. Enjoy ongoing involvement. When you establish a donor advised fund, you work with our professional program staff to identify possible grants that may benefit a variety of causes and organizations important to you. Your recommendations are submitted to our local board for approval, and grants are distributed in the name of your fund. 

DESIGNATED FUNDS. Direct your charitable gift to benefit a specific nonprofit organization or purpose with a designated fund. Your gift can provide an ongoing funding stream for a senior center, museum or virtually any nonprofit charitable organization. Nonprofit organizations may also begin their own agency endowments through CFM, using our capabilities to accept complex gifts and to build a lasting endowment.

FIELD OF INTEREST FUNDS. Focus your gift on an important area of community life, such as enriching education, safeguarding health, strengthening families, improving neighborhoods, cultivating arts or protecting the environment with a field of interest fund. You identify your personal interest when making your gift; our board awards grants to community organizations and programs that are making a difference in the area you select.

SCHOLARSHIPS. Invest in your community’s future and show students you care, all with your community foundation’s guidance and personal services. You determine the criteria students must meet to receive the scholarship you establish. Students achieve their academic and career-oriented goals with your assistance—from preschool to postgraduate work.

In a few easy steps, you can put your charitable dollars to work in the most important areas. Establishing a fund gives you the opportunity to:

  • Give today to sustain and support your favorite nonprofit organization/s
  • Ensure your legacy through planned gifts
  • Recommend grants to different organizations at your convenience
  • Make your own choices or consult with our staff to identify community needs
  • Receive Community Foundation staff support with your charitable giving plan


1. What is your passion? Do you want to improve the quality of life in your community? Help people in need? Nurture the arts?

2. When do you want to give? Do you want to establish a fund today so you can witness its impact during your lifetime? Would you prefer to defer your gift through a will or other planned giving option?

3. What is the name of your fund? Most funds are named for the donor or the donor’s family, or in memory of someone special. Every grant from the fund will carry this name. Donors who prefer anonymity may choose names that reflect their fund’s charitable purpose or may wish to remain completely anonymous.

4. What would you like to give? You can give cash, stocks, property, bequests and or a variety of other assets. Because of our network of experts, we can handle the most complex transactions and turn unusual gifts into community good.

5. What type of fund suits your needs? Donors may choose from the types of funds that reflect different charitable interests, listed on the sidebar. Any of our funds may be endowed or non-endowed. Endowments will pay a percentage each year to support the cause you care about. Non-endowed funds allow you the flexibility to make grants of any amount, any time.


There is no set-up fee. A contribution of $5,000 can open most types of funds. Funds must reach a minimum of $25,000 before grants may be made.

Deciding whether to establish a donor advised fund or a private family foundation can be a difficult decision. Both options have advantages. Donor advised funds are relatively inexpensive to establish and administer. Private foundations allow for greater control of assets. Some donors actually decide to do both.

The staff of the Community Founation for Mississippi has years of experience working on critical issues with nonprofit organizations and community leaders. Whether you choose to establish a donor advised fund, private family foundation or both, we can provide the tools and support you need. We offer comprehensive philanthropic services, from grantmaking strategy to investment management, to help you be efficient and effective in your giving.

Endowed funds are permanent, creating a pool of charitable dollars that can always address the causes you care about or support nonprofits of your choice. See the good your gift can accomplish.

Endow Mississippi LogoMississippi is incentivizing philanthropy, encouraging charitable giving, and building on the strong tradition of neighbors helping neighbors in our state through the Endow Mississippi Tax Credit Program. Endow Mississippi provides a 25% tax credit to donors who give to permanent endowments at qualified community foundations.

Donors who give from a minimum of $1,000 ($250 state tax credit) to a maximum of $500,000 ($125,000 state tax credit) to an endowment at a qualified Community Foundation are eligible for the credit.

Mississippi Legacy CircleAt the Community Foundation for Mississippi, we know that philanthropy is highly personal because there are several options. Our desire is to help your clients reach their goals and help them leave a legacy. That is what the Mississippi Legacy Circle is all about — guiding people who care to support their passions — forever.

The Mississippi Legacy Circle honors forward-thinking donors who include CFM in their estate plans to benefit the causes that mean the most to them. These gifts are a popular and easy way for donors to support the current and future needs of their communities. We are grateful for Mississippi Legacy Circle Members for their foresight, leadership, and philanthropic spirit.