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Your legacy is
our priority

Your charitable legacy should reflect your values, your vision for the future, and the way that you would like to be remembered. Arlington Community Foundation brings ease to the process of legacy planning so that it is personal, intentional, and deeply rewarding.

We’re here to help you support
the arts
animal welfare
LGBTQ+ organizations
parks and the environment
your church
equity and justice
mental health
workforce development
for generations to come.

“Knowing that I can directly impact and choose how and where the money will be used even after I’m gone is pretty significant.”

Dimple Dhabalia, Legacy Society Member

Legacy gifts are a unique expression of generosity, oftentimes highlighting the causes and charities donors connect to most during their lifetimes. Planned gifts can offer important estate, financial and personal advantages – allowing you to give in the most effective and beneficial manner. Whatever your inspiration for giving, your legacy gift is an enduring testament to the causes you hold dear, whether in Arlington or beyond.

We know the process can be intimidating. That’s why we have a tried, true, and trusted process that can help you determine the type of gift to leave and see the impact your gift will have. We work with your professional advisors and create a custom legacy plan that captures your charitable intentions and preserves your personal giving story for future generations.

We invite you to explore this page to learn more about the process and meet a few of our current Legacy Society members. But more importantly, please know that you can reach out to us at any time with questions and charitable conundrums.

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There’s more than one way to leave a legacy.

Leaving a legacy gift through Arlington Community Foundation is simple and flexible. We offer a variety of options to ensure that your gift aligns with your financial goals and desires for impact. These are just a few of the most common options, and we are here to help tailor your plan to your specific needs and desires.

Bequests and Charitable DesignationsClick to learn more
Life Income GiftsLife Income Gifts
Holistic Charitable PlanningClick to learn more
Bequests & Charitable Designations

Making a bequest in a will or revocable living trust to the Arlington Community Foundation is a simple way to donate and it can also help to reduce inheritance taxes. Some highly taxable assets, such as retirement plans, often make sense to donate to charity while leaving other assets to loved ones. Any percentage, part or component of estate or trust assets can be left to Arlington Community Foundation and we are very grateful for each and every gift, small or large.

Designating Arlington Community Foundation, or a specific fund, as a beneficiary of a bank account, brokerage account, savings bond, certificate of deposit, retirement plan, trust or life insurance policy is another simple way to support what you love and the Foundation long into the future and help to reduce inheritance taxes. Any percentage, part or component of these assets can be left to Arlington Community Foundation.

life income
Life Income Gifts

Life income gifts offer donors three key benefits: a reliable income, a charitable income tax deduction, and an opportunity to make a larger gift to charity than they may have thought possible. We can provide custom gift illustrations to help you compare and contrast different giving strategies. Contact Christy Cole at to learn more.

Charitable remainder trusts (CRT) are one of the primary gift options of interest to ACF donors. A CRT allows you to donate highly-appreciated assets to a charitable entity, retain an income stream for life or for a term of years in the form of an annuity or a percentage of trust assets, and direct what’s left at death (or after the expiration of the term) to a charity or charities of your choice, including your fund at the community foundation. You’ll be eligible for an immediate charitable deduction for the value of the remainder interest and, depending upon the assets used to fund the trust, your income from the trust may be taxed at a preferential rate.

A charitable lead trust (CLT) is often thought of as a charitable remainder trust but in reverse. A CLT can be created during life or at death, under a revocable trust or will. The lead income interest is paid to the charitable organization(s), and the remainder interest is transferred to a noncharitable beneficiary (i.e. the donor or the donor’s family). The income interest can be in the form of a “guaranteed annuity” interest or a fixed percentage of the annual valuation of the trust’s assets. CLTs are a powerful planning tool that can achieve charitable goals and facilitate a tax efficient family wealth transfer.

holistic planning
Holistic Charitable Planning

Through one or more facilitated meetings and optional self-guided work with our legacy planning workbook, we help you create a legacy letter of intent (LOI): a plan that covers all of your charitable interests in Arlington and beyond.

With the LOI in place at the Community Foundation, you need only have one charitable designation in your will or living trust for your legacy fund at the Community Foundation. The LOI will provide specific direction for how funds are to be disbursed and can include immediate distributions as well as funds that may exist for a term of years or in perpetuity.

Legacy LOIs are reviewed with donors every couple of years. Any time a change or update is needed, the LOI can be amended and there is no need to revise the estate planning documents.

Our process. Tailored to your preferences.

Opening a Legacy Fund with the Community Foundation gives you the opportunity to explore and craft your giving plan in whatever way works for you. If you only have an idea of the causes you want to support, but you’re not sure how, the process below can help you define and execute your plan. And if you already know exactly what organizations you want to support, you can participate in whatever part of the process inspires you. Either way, we can’t wait to meet you.

1. Introductory Meeting (Nice to meet you)

Tell us the questions on your mind, and we’ll share how the Community Foundation can help you create a charitable legacy. And again, feel free to say hello at any time.

2. Personal History

Share biographical information to preserve for future generations. Tell us your story so far so we can continue to write your legacy story together.

3. Self-exploration

Complete our self-guided workbook to reflect on experiences, people, and values that connect to your charitable interests.

4. Facilitated Meeting(s)

Join a member of our philanthropic advising team to discuss your ideas and workbook reflections and to the identify the key priorities for your legacy plan.

5. Create a Plan

Your Community Foundation advisor writes a first draft of a legacy plan and letter of intent that you will revise and edit together to make sure it expresses the impact you wish to make and how you would like to be remembered. The letter of intent will provide specific direction for how funds are to be disbursed and can include immediate distributions as well as funds that may exist for a term of years or in perpetuity.

6. Ongoing Planning and Engagement

Legacy letters of intent are reviewed with donors every couple of years. Any time a change or update is needed, the letter can be amended, and there is no need to revise the estate planning documents. Update your plan any time. Engage with the Community Foundation’s educational and community building activities as much (or as little) as you like.

Let’s get started on your legacy.

Your legacy is a story waiting to be written. Contact Christy Cole, Director of Philanthropy, at or 703-243-4785×206 to discuss your needs and find out how we can write that story together.

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Mirrored Stories: A Legacy of Healing
Dimple Dhabalia’s two-decade career in humanitarian work is marked by a profound connection between her own story and the lives she touches.
“My family made me the person I am: the things I’ve learned, the experiences I’ve had, the love I’ve received. If this fund in some way makes a legacy for them too, that makes me really happy.”
Dimple Dhabalia
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Love, legislation, and legacy
Using a legacy fund to ensure safe, stable, affordable housing where Arlington seniors can thrive.
“I want this fund to help bring the elderly issue to the table, making it part of how we think about the connections in the community.”
Jeanne Broyhill
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Preserving and Protecting Nature and History
Carrie Johnson’s name is synonymous with selflessness in Arlington. It is fitting, then, that she made provisions to support a number of charitable causes through her estate.
“Carrie wasn’t interested in credit. Her intention was to do something that mattered to the future of the community she loved.”
Carrie’s friend and neighbor, John Andelin
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Partners in Planning
Estate attorney Ryan Brown partners with Arlington Community Foundation to ensure his clients’ charitable and estate wishes are carried out in a way that is highly impactful and holistic.
“When it comes to estate planning, it’s the quality of life for the people you leave behind that keeps clients up at night.”
Ryan Brown