Memories we Make & Legacies we Leave

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Grand Rapids Community Foundation is truly fortunate to have the opportunity to journey through life with our partners. People from all walks of life have chosen to treat us as family, by giving gifts during their lives, and even beyond their lifetimes. The choice to make a gift that lives beyond us is a selfless one and ensures organizations like the Community Foundation have a reliable source of income from which to carry out their mission.

What is planned giving?

A planned gift is a fancy phrase for planning to make a gift that is often given after your passing. Sometimes these gifts are given through your estate, where you name a nonprofit to receive a gift, just like you might include a loved one.

Everyone has an estate of some kind. The word "estate" sounds like you own multiple homes, large bank accounts, valuables or cash, but truly your estate is anything you own. That includes your checking account, a home, and even jewelry or valuable items passed down to you from a family member.

In our 100+ year history, the Community Foundation has benefitted from over 300 people leaving us a planned gift. The total impact of their collective giving is over $122 million! They have given to build our permanent endowment, and in doing so left a legacy that grows and grows, forever. Growing an endowment means pooling your gifts with the many gifts of others and investing it responsibly to grow over time. Ensuring a future pipeline of resources is how endowment benefits our community, and leaving a gift for our endowment in your estate is a gift that keeps giving.

Leaving a permanent mark on community

Metz Legacy Society honors the people who include us in their estate, and then notify us about their wishes. Eugenia Marve is one of our newest Metz Legacy Society members. She built her life and career caring for others as an artist, teacher and as a medium. For 12 years she provided educational scholarship funds and wishes to continue her aid of giving. Her passion is to see young people of color flourish, so they can build strong foundations for their families. Eugenia never had children and never married, so she is choosing to name the Community Foundation in her will to make a planned gift after she is gone. This gift will establish a fund in her name for our Fund for Education, and her mark will be permanent.

Eugenia Marve

Partners like Eugenia are demonstrating what it means to embrace every moment as a gift. Through countless meetings with our partners, we are encouraged to see how people are doing the things they love with the people who matter most to them. When you factor in the hours we spend working, cleaning and driving, we’re left with few precious moments. Hopefully, those cherished moments are filled with vacations, passing time with our favorite people and pets, and making memories our loved ones remember. When it’s all over, those memories, and the impact we made in this world, are what lives on forever.

How to leave a planned gift

It's quite simple to include your favorite nonprofit in your estate plan. Many people choose to make an uncomplicated planned gift, by simply listing the Community Foundation as a beneficiary of bank or retirement accounts, like savings accounts, IRAs or 401Ks This is particularly easy to do during transitions in life like starting a new job, having children, or changing banks. Others choose more complex giving strategies that provide tax advantages during lifetime and at death. We enjoy working closely with the professional advisors in our community who are experts in helping you accomplish your goals.

Gifts of assets that can be made through beneficiary or transfer on death designations

  • Bank accounts such as checking and savings accounts
  • Health savings accounts
  • Retirement plans like IRAs and 401k’s
  • Life insurance


A bequest describes the act of leaving a gift to a charitable organization or a loved one through a will or trust. Bequests are part of an overall estate plan that should be done with the help of a professional advisor.

Gifts that pay income

  • Charitable gift annuities
  • Charitable remainder trusts

Scott Urbanowski, listed the Community Foundation as a beneficiary of a percentage of his Roth IRA account, as an easy way to make a future gift to benefit our local LGBTQ+ communities. “It was so easy to add the Grand Rapids Community Foundation as a beneficiary. All I had to do was decide what percentage of my IRA assets will go to the Community Foundation, then fill out and submit a simple form.”

Scott Urbanowski

What will you be remembered for?

Partners of the Community Foundation are inspiring us. They have taken time out of their busy lives to think beyond their lifetimes, and to consider the ways their hard work can leave a permanent imprint on the future. During our century-long history, more than 300 people have raised their hands to notify us of their plans, and we have made the promise to carry out their wishes after they are gone. We have been honoring these individuals with recognition as members of our Metz Legacy Society, named after the first bequest the Community Foundation received in the 1920s. The precious moments we cherish today, are the memories we leave our loved ones. What will you be remembered for?


Jenine Torres, development officer, is a native of Grand Rapids although she has travelled extensively throughout the United States and abroad. In her role, Jenine starts new funds, stewards and invites donors, supports the work of Somos Comunidad Fund and Our LGBTQ Fund and ensures support for our Metz Legacy Society. Jenine is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® and serves on various nonprofit boards. In her free time Jenine enjoys spending time with family, and her dog, Wednesday.