Mississippi Legacy Circle

Mississippi Legacy CircleAt the Community Foundation for Mississippi, we know that philanthropy is highly personal because you have several options. Our desire is to help you reach your goals and help you leave your 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.

Why choose to partner with CFM for legacy planning?

We make it simple for donors to help enhance the quality of life in their communities— now and forever.

That’s the Foundation’s job. You list one beneficiary, CFM, in your will or estate and designate all the nonprofits or charitable causes you are passionate about in the Foundation’s non-binding letter of intent. It is that easy.

The Foundation can assist you and your professional advisors to ensure that your charitable intentions are appropriately documented and work with you on any necessary modifications over the years. For over 25 years, donors have trusted the Foundation to help them with their philanthropic giving. Legacy gifts are invested with a trusted money management company and have oversight with our Board of Trustees and the Board’s Investment Committee. CFM manages over 260 funds and $55 million in assets.

Membership Benefits

  • Opportunity to belong to a group of forward-thinking people who have made a commitment to support the emerging needs of their communities and/or nonprofits they care about for generations to come.
  • Recognition in Foundation publications.
  • Invitations to exclusive events.
  • Satisfaction in knowing your gift will make a difference for future generations.

Mississippi Legacy Circle Stories

Lucy and John ShackelfordJohn and Lucy Shackelford’s legacy of giving continues to be seen throughout the capital city, particularly centered in downtown Jackson. Throughout the years it was a place they visited during their courtship, window-shopping and dreaming together along Capitol Street. John Shackelford, who made his fortune in trees and lumber, recognized that the Community Foundation for Mississippi was a place with deep roots in the community and represented an opportunity to grow their impact for years to come. After Lucy’s death in 2015, CFM received a bequest — half of their remaining estate — valued at $8.8 million. Since that time, the John F. and Lucy Shackelford Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi has made a transformative impact on the streets of Jackson they knew and loved. Click the tabs below to learn about projects touched by their incredible gift.

Peggy Huff HarrisIn 2006, Peggy Harris visited the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson and brought with her a team of people—a CPA, attorney, and financial advisor—with the skills and experience to help her realize her philanthropic goals and honor the memory of her son. The Foundation helped Mrs. Harris establish a bequest to create the Thomas G. Ramey and Peggy Huff Harris Charitable Fund. From filling pantries to fulfilling the promise of public broadcasting, this endowed fund continues to support the charitable organizations closest to her heart and will continue to, for good. Forever.

Genevieve Falk at the dinner table.Genevieve Falk had a love for and commitment to the arts in Jackson. She left a bequest to benefit five arts organizations—Ballet Mississippi, Mississippi Museum of Art, Mississippi Opera Association, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, and New Stage Theatre—in addition to any other arts organization the Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees identified as aligning with Genevieve’s philanthropic mission in the future. Lynn Crystal, Genevieve’s granddaughter and CFM donor, shared her perspective on the motivation and importance of leaving a legacy gift: “

I think the family’s commitment to being charitable comes from the Jewish tradition of taking care of your community. I once heard a rabbi say that it is more important to care for your community than for your neighbor, and more important to care for your neighbor than yourself.”

Hear From Falk Grantee: New Stage Theatre

How do I leave my legacy? (Expand to learn more)

A gift in your will.

A charitable bequest is a simple instruction that part of your estate will go to a designated charitable organizations such as CFM. This type of gift can take many forms. You can leave stocks, bonds, or a percentage of your estate as a gift for those you love. You can change any bequest provision during your life, which means you remain in complete control of the process.

If you already have a will, you can include or update a bequest to the Foundation through a simple codicil, without the need for executing a new will. A codicil is simply an amendment or addition to your will. It is commonly used to add bequests to those already included in your will. Speak with your attorney regarding any change to your will or estate documents.

Gifts of retirement account assets such as IRAs.

Retirement account assets left to loved ones are subject to higher taxation. By making CFM a beneficiary, in full or in part, you may reduce taxes that otherwise would be passed to your loved ones. Adding a charity as a beneficiary is usually as simple as completing a form provided by the account custodian.

Gifts of life insurance.

Do you have a life insurance policy that you purchased to protect your children who are now grown? Often these policies have cash value and make excellent charitable gifts. You may also consider naming the Foundation as a contingent beneficiary, should your primary beneficiary predecease you. All you need to do is request a “change of beneficiary” form from your insurance company.

Gifts of stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

A gift of appreciated stocks, bonds or mutual funds (held for more than one year) can be a meaningful, simple way to make a significant difference for your community. There are two important benefits for this type of gift:

  1. You qualify for an income tax charitable deduction for the full value of the gift.
  2. You pay no capital gains tax on any appreciated value of your gift, but you receive an income tax deduction for the full amount gifted.


You can ensure that the nonprofit(s), church or school that mean the most to you receive continuing support. This could include the arts, your church, a school, our youth, human services, health, the environment, animal welfare, education and much more. Share with us what is important to you, and we will help you with your plan.

Any time you are drafting or changing your will or estate plan, consider what you want your charitable legacy to be. Your financial or legal advisor can provide professional guidance related to your specific estate, beneficiaries, income goals, taxes, and other considerations. Or you can call us to discuss your ideas.

The process is very simple. First, you will complete a non-binding letter of intent that communicates to the Foundation both your commitment and your wishes. Then, you will work with your professional advisors and the Foundation to make provisions for naming the Foundation as a beneficiary. As an additional alternative, you may wish to establish a fund during your lifetime. This allows you to begin to see the impact of your giving and serves as a repository of your future planned gift.

We do! Click the button below to download our Estate Planning Guide.

We have a website for that! Click here to learn more about planned giving, including types of gifts, a wills planner and more.

Tell us your story. Let us help you create a legacy gift that will perpetuate your desire to improve the future of your community.

Contact us to learn more about:
• Setting up a fund
• Joining the Mississippi Legacy Circle
• Making a planned gift
• Receiving the Mississippi Legacy Circle Letter of Intent

Jane Alexander, President and CEO – jane@formississippi.org
or info@formississippi.org