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A contribution of $2,500 or more in cash or securities establishes a fund held in an account you name. Any contributions of securities you’ve held for at least one year or cash are fully tax-deductible and afforded the most favorable tax treatment. In addition, all funds held in the account grow tax-free.

At any time, you may recommend that grants of $100 or greater be made from the fund to specific charities you wish to support, freeing you from the pressure to make such decisions at the end of each year. Unless you request anonymity, grant checks are sent with a transmittal bearing your name.

You may designate your children to make grants on your behalf, either now or as your successor(s)—enabling your family’s future generations to carry on the tradition of charity you’ve established.

A Donor Advised Fund can provide the advantages of a private foundation, without ongoing legal and accounting costs or excise taxes on investment income. When large contributions are made, the allowable tax deductions are greater than those available when contributions are made to a private foundation.


  • less burdensome than operating a private foundation
  • may be established with cash or securities
  • can be created with a minimum gift of $2,500
  • allows you to recommend grants to organizations
  • minimum grant requirement $100
  • offers considerable tax benefits
  • enables continuity through generations of your family

A bequest to the Houston Jewish Community Foundation in your will is perhaps the easiest way to ensure the continuity of your charitable giving. A specific dollar gift, a percentage of your estate, or specific asset(s) can be designated as a general bequest to either the Houston Jewish Community Foundation or specifically designated to one of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston’s various programs or endeavors.

Bequests are deducted from the amount of an estate, which can reduce or eliminate estate taxes. A charitable bequest allows you to retain use and control of your assets during your lifetime. A bequest may also be used to establish an endowment fund.

A bequest can easily be made by naming the Houston Jewish Community Foundation as beneficiary of your will. An outright bequest may be unrestricted, may add to an existing fund of the Foundation, or may establish a designated or restricted fund. If a donor already has a will in place, a simple codicil can be written.

Examples of Bequest Wording
To the Houston Jewish Community Foundation for its general purposes:
Will be contributed as a one-time gift to the General Endowment Fund of the Foundation, which funds emergencies, innovative programs and pilot projects.
I bequeath to Houston Jewish Community Foundation, 5603 S. Brasewood Blvd., Houston, TX 77096 the sum of ___________ dollars ($__________) for its general purposes.

To establish an endowment fund:
I bequeath to Houston Jewish Community Foundation, 5603 S. Brasewood Blvd., Houston, TX 77096 the sum of ___________ dollars ($__________) as an endowment gift, and solely the income therefrom shall be distributed on an annual basis in equal portions to the ________________ (example: Annual Campaign of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston),  to the _________________ (example: Jewish Community Center of Houston), and to _________.

A bequest to an established fund at the Foundation:
 I bequeath to Houston Jewish Community Foundation, 5603 S. Brasewood Blvd., Houston, TX 77096 the sum of ___________ dollars ($__________) for the benefit of the _______________ MEMORIAL ENDOWMENT FUND of the Houston Jewish Community Foundation with distributions to be made each year in accordance with Paragraph ____ of the document establishing that fund.

If qualified retirement plan assets, IRA assets, or similar property will be in your estate, it is wise to include the following paragraph with the charitable bequest:

The Executor shall first use any property, which if received by my estate would constitute income in respect of a decedent for federal income tax purposes, in satisfying this bequest to the Houston Jewish Community Foundation.

We are excited about the IRA Charitable Rollover….. and you should be, too! The Houston Jewish Community Foundation can help turn your individual retirement accounts (IRAs) into gifts to your favorite charities. The IRA Charitable Rollover allows you to experience the joy of giving during your lifetime. Take advantage of this opportunity every year to bring life changing programs and services to Houston, Israel, and around the world.

  • Satisfy your required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year.
  • Avoid taxes on IRA transfers to the Foundation
  • Join others and learn how to support your favorite charities in a unique way through a designated fund (donor advised funds prohibited per IRS guidelines).
  • If you are considering an IRA Charitable Rollover gift of up to $100,000 and are 701/2 or older, we would be happy to give you additional information.

An endowed gift to the Houston Jewish Community Foundation has the power to endure. Your endowment fund will continue to make an annual gift to your favorite Jewish causes, preserving your memory and sustaining our community for generations to come.

Your annual gift alone cannot secure the future of the Houston Jewish Community Foundation. Your endowment fund can.

An endowment is a permanent restricted fund dedicated to endowing your annual gift to your favorite organizations. An endowment fund is not intended to substitute for any part of your annual gift—it is, instead, a lasting legacy for the future.

Endowments can be created through a variety of vehicles, some of which do not necessitate funding during your lifetime, yet still provide your estate with considerable tax benefits.

To calculate the amount needed to create your endowment, simply multiply your current annual gift by twenty. You can also endow a portion of your gift by establishing a fund with a lesser amount and building the fund through subsequent contributions.

Frequently Used Vehicles to Fund an Endowment

  • less burdensome than operating a private foundation
  • may be established with cash or securities
  • can be created with a minimum gift of $2,500
  • allows you to recommend grants to organizations
  • minimum grant requirement $100
  • offers considerable tax benefits
  • enables continuity through generations of your family

Leverage the value of property while securing the future of the Jewish Community. Your charitable future may be in your possession right now.

A donation of real estate allows you to achieve your charitable goals and provides you with the maximum benefits allowed by law. The retained right of use of the property can be for the lifetimes of the contributor and a surviving beneficiary, and it does not need to be the primary residence (it can be a second or vacation home).

Gifts of real estate allow you to bypass capital gains taxes, preserving 100% of your real estate’s current value. In addition, you receive a charitable income tax deduction equal to the fair marketing value of the land to offset other tax liabilities.

Types of real estate you can give:

  • A house or condominium
  • An apartment building
  • Undeveloped land
  • A shopping center
  • A vacation home
  • A commercial or industrial building
  • An undivided interest in real estate

Supporting foundations, also known as supporting organizations, are special entities that are similar to private foundations, but have the investment and tax advantages of public charities.

They are separate, not-for-profit corporations that support the mission of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston. The Federation handles all bookkeeping and record maintenance for these foundations, however, the assets of the supporting foundation may be manages by outside investment experts of your choice and don’t have to be commingled with Foundation assets, as is the case with donor advised funds.

Unlike private foundations, which have strict limitations on tax deductions, supporting foundation contributions are subject to public charity deduction limitations.

Donors may donate closely held stock and may deduct up to 50% of adjusted gross income for gifts of cash and up to 30% of adjusted gross income for appreciated property. In addition, gifts of appreciated securities are deductible at their full fair market value. Also, unlike private foundations, there is no excise tax on net investment income. Supporting foundations are also not subject to the restrictions on investments and minimum distribution requirements of private foundations.

Family members can be appointed to the Board of Trustees of the supporting foundation, and can be involved in recommending and approving charitable distributions. A supporting foundation is an excellent method if involving loved ones in a charitable endeavor.


  • the supporting organization is classified as a public charity, meaning donors receive the most favorable tax treatment for contributions
  • a private foundation is subject to numerous IRS code restrictions and prohibitions which do not apply to supporting organizations
  • a private foundation pays up to 2% income tax on its investment income; a supporting organization pays no income tax
  • a private foundation is required to distribute at least 5% of its assets each year, whereas no specified percentage distributions are required of a supporting foundation
  • the donor chooses the name of the supporting foundation, and can, if desired, achieve the same name recognition in the community he or she would receive with a private foundation by including the family name in the name of the foundation
  • the donor will have the opportunity to include younger generations in their philanthropic traditions

The Houston Jewish Community Foundation is here to help you accomplish the mission and goals of your foundation. We are here to join your team and take care of the tedious office work for you, so you have more time to focus on what’s most important—philanthropy.

We treat each client as an individual and look forward to putting together a solution that will save you time and increase your efficiency.

Our standard services include:

  • Review of grant requests and verification of each organization’s tax-exempt status with preparation of grant checks and cover letters
  • Management of your assets, either with another fund advisor or in conjunction with placing assets within the Foundation
  • Quarterly reports on income, gains, losses, and investment performance. This report may be used by your CPA or professional tax advisor to prepare the Form 990 PF.
  • Full administrative and record-keeping services that will distribute your assets to you based upon your distribution policy and record you incoming additions and outgoing grants.
  • 24/7 access to your fund balances via our “Foundation Central” website, which has SSL encryption
  • Professional and experienced leadership team to proved excellence in customer service and financial accounting.
  • At your request, we will coordinate Board meetings, distribute agendas, grant summaries, and prepare meeting minutes.

Fore more information about our services for private foundations, please contact Roberta Herman at (346) 699-HJCF (4523) or rherman-dietrich@hjcf.org.

This information is intended as an educational tool. The information presented is to provide general information only and should not be construed as legal or accounting advice. Because tax and financial consequences involved with any gifting program depend on personal financial circumstances, individuals should consult with their own financial, legal and accounting advisors to review any charitable estate planning options.


Houston Jewish Community Foundation

5603 S. Braeswood, Houston, TX  77096

(346) 699-HJCF (4523) - office


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