Design the charitable legacy you want to leave

August 10, 2021

The idea of leaving a legacy is part of being human. Our earliest ancestors left their marks on cave walls; Neil Armstrong left his on the moon. We all have a desire to be remembered and to make an impact that will outlast our lifetimes. 

For many, we do this through our family, teaching our children and grandchildren our traditions and histories through meaningful family conversations and routines. Next thing you know, our children and grandchildren are passing these lessons down to the next generation. That’s one way to start a legacy.

A philanthropic legacy fund is another. In this way, you can ensure the causes and organizations close to your heart will thrive long after you’re gone - and it’s never too early to start planning. Establishing your legacy starts with asking, “What do I want to change in the world or in my community?” Perhaps someday, you’d like to change the landscape of child hunger in Delaware, grow the presence of the arts, or protect the environment for our descendants. 

The Delaware Community Foundation can help you turn “someday” into “today.” Through philanthropic planning, even people who feel unable to make a large gift during their lifetimes have the opportunity to impact the future. 

A person’s philanthropic legacy is not simply the money they leave behind. Significance also comes from how they pass on and share their values and beliefs. This could be done through volunteering, talking with others about your passions and leading by example, and in leaving behind a financial gift. 

Everyone has the potential to leave a legacy. There are many factors, both personal and financial, that shape exactly what that legacy will be. The DCF can work with you and your financial advisor to put your charitable dollars to work, creating  future impact for a cause or organization you care about.

Every day, the DCF helps donors like you make meaningful decisions. With the right resources and support, you can make choices today that will add up to a transformational future, and feel proud of making an impact that will last for generations to come.

Rebecca Elzey is the senior philanthropy officer and compliance officer at the Delaware Community Foundation. Contact Rebecca at 302-504-5234 or
  • Cape Gazette commentaries are written by readers whose occupations, education, community positions or demonstrated focus in particular areas offer an opportunity to expand our readership's understanding or awareness of issues of interest.

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