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You are an important partner in Chinook Fund’s efforts to create social change, whether your financial situation allows you to give $25, $250, or $25,000. If you’d like to join us in supporting social justice organizing in Colorado, here are some of your options:

  • Give online using a credit card using our secure donation page.
  • Write a check today (here’s our mailing address: 1031 33rd Street Suite 237, Denver, CO 80205)
  • To give from a Donor-Advised Fund, have your advisor mail a check to Chinook Fund at the address above.
  • Donate appreciated stock or real property and receive tax benefits while supporting social justice. (Learn more about donating stock below.)
  • Write Chinook Fund into your will, or talk to family members about planning a bequest Chinook Fund in your name.
  • Contact Chinook Fund about establishing a charitable trust. Contact Chinook Fund’s Executive Director for more information.
  • Honor a special person or celebrate a birthday or relationship ceremony by giving a gift in their name.
  • Join a Giving Project.
  • Volunteer your time.

All contributions are tax-deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law.

Chinook Fund is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) public foundation.

If you are are working with an attorney, insurance provider or stockbroker to designate a gift to Chinook Fund, you may need our Federal Tax ID Number: 84-1076325. 


Most people think of writing a check when they want to make a charitable gift. However, gifts may be made with many types of property. You can receive significant tax advantages by donating securities rather than cash.

Many donors have found that they achieve substantial savings by giving appreciated securities (stocks or bonds that have grown in value since they were originally purchased). You may deduct the full market value of appreciated securities, and avoid any obligation to pay capital gains taxes.

An Example of How Donating Stock Can Benefit You:

As part of her investment portfolio, Maria owns oil company stock bought in her name for $1,000 by her grandfather. The stock is now worth $5,000. As an environmentalist, Maria is not comfortable holding oil company stock, but is reluctant to pay capital gains taxes on the profits, should she sell the stock. At the same time, Maria is planning a gift to Chinook Fund of an amount equal to the value of the stock.

Maria has three options for giving:

  1. Sell the stock and donate the cash proceeds
  2. Just give a cash donation
  3. Give the stock itself

Option three, giving the stock itself as the gift, results in the lowest cost of giving because Maria receives a deduction for the full current value of the stock while also avoiding tax on the capital gain. In effect, she saves taxes twice by giving the appreciated stock to Chinook Fund And she gets the added benefit of knowing that she’s turned oil company profits into something that helps rather than hurts the environment. As a charitable foundation, Chinook Fund can sell the shares and not pay taxes on the gain.

Giving Securities to Chinook Fund is Easy…

Securities must be received by Chinook Fund in the calendar year for which you intend to take the tax deduction (in other words, by December 31st). It is best to allow six weeks for the transfer.

  • Consult with your tax and investment advisors about the amount and types of securities you wish to give.
  • Email or call Chinook Fund to find out how you can make a donation of stock to Chinook Fund.
  • If you are gifting mutual fund shares, the mutual fund will usually be able to set up a courtesy account for Chinook Fund. Ask the mutual fund or your investment advisor to send the new account forms to Chinook Fund. Then prepare a letter of instruction to the mutual fund, asking them to transfer the designated number of shares to the new Chinook Fund account, at no sales fee.
  • If you hold your own stock certificates, you can safely transfer those certificates to Chinook Fund’s investment account at CCIM (Cornerstone Capital Investment Managers).
  • If you have an investment account of your own at CCIM, draft a letter of instruction to CCIM, listing your account number, the number and type of securities you wish to transfer, and the instructions to transfer to the Chinook Fund’s account.
  • If you have an investment account at another brokerage, write a letter of instruction to your broker with your directions to transfer the securities to Chinook Fund’s account at CCIM.

Have questions and want to make a stock donation to Chinook Fund? Contact our Executive Director via email or phone at 303-455-6905.

Interested in socially responsible investing? Visit

Chinook Fund is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Our federal tax identification number is 84-1076325


It might surprise you to learn that you don’t have to be wealthy to make a significant gift to CHINOOK FUND. That’s because a planned gift allows you to make a gift not from your income, but from the assets that you own.  In many cases, a planned gift can increase your income and reduce your taxes, giving you greater security and benefits than if you had not made a gift.  Here are simple explanations of just a few of the options available for you to consider giving.

Easy Ways to Make a Larger Gift in the Future

For some of us, our largest gift will be made in the future. Here are some of the ways you can plan to make a larger gift later rather than right now.

Include Chinook Fund in Your Will

One of the easiest ways to make a significant gift to CHINOOK FUND is through a bequest in your will. You can name CHINOOK FUND in your will or by adding a codicil to a will you already have.  You can bequeath CHINOOK FUND a specific amount of money, a particular piece of property, or even a portion of your estate that remains after your other obligations and bequests to family and friends are distributed.

CHINOOK FUND prefers bequests that do not have any conditions, so that they can be used in areas where it’s needed most. However, donors may designate gifts to the endowment, general fund or specify an area of interest.

For more information about naming CHINOOK FUND in your will, read the instructions that we’ve included on our You Should Have a Will below.

A Gift of Deferred Retirement Income

Giving the remainder of your pension plan, IRA, 401K or other qualified retirement plan to charity is one of the smartest estate planning decisions you can make.

Deferred retirement income that is held in a pension plan, IRA or 401K can be taxed very heavily if it is left to anyone but a legally married spouse. Since retirement plans can be a very expensive inheritance for your heirs, your retirement savings cab be an excellent asset to give to charity.

To designate CHINOOK FUND as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401K or other qualified retirement plan, please use the following information on your beneficiary designation form:

Chinook Fund
Address: 1301 33rd Street, Suite 237
Denver, CO 80205

Tax ID #:  84-1076325

Making a Gift with Life Insurance

Life insurance can be an easy and inexpensive way to make a significant gift to CHINOOK FUND. For the cost of an insurance premium, a life insurance policy allows you to make a gift many times larger:

  • Perhaps you have a life insurance policy that you took out long ago, perhaps to pay a mortgage or fund a college education, that you no longer need. This is a perfect gift to give to a non profit organization. You can either give the policy to CHINOOK FUND or name CHINOOK FUND as the policy’s beneficiary.
  • You can also establish a new policy with CHINOOK FUND as owner or beneficiary.
  • As a part of your gift, you pledge that you will continue paying the premiums.  You can also ask CHINOOK FUND to pay the annual premiums as long as you pledge to make an annual gift that will cover their cost.

Here are additional ideas if you want to make a larger gift in the future or today:

Gifts of Appreciated Securities

One of the best things you can gift to CHINOOK FUND are stocks, bonds, or shares of mutual funds that you own. This is an especially effective way to make a gift if you own highly appreciated stock that is now worth far more than you originally paid for it.

You can also gift non-publicly-traded securities (such as those from a closely held company) if they are appraised by a qualified appraiser and can be immediately liquidated through redemption or sale.

Gifts of Real Estate

You can make a gift of your home or other real estate with approval of CHINOOK FUND.  As a part of your donation, you must provide an appraisal of the fair market value and an environmental audit of the property.  CHINOOK FUND will also conduct a visual inspection of the property before acceptance.

You can also give real estate in the form of a Bargain Sale – selling CHINOOK FUND a piece of property at a steeply discounted price for resale at market value. This allows you to eliminate capital gains and claim the market value as a charitable gift.

If you donate your personal residence to CHINOOK FUND, we can reserve a “life estate” that allows you to live in the property as long as you live.

Gifts of Personal Property

Have you collected valuable artwork or inherited jewelry that you’d like to donate?  Gifts of jewelry, artwork, collections, equipment, etc. may be accepted after approval by the Executive Director. Property will generally be sold upon receipt. For all gifts of tangible personal property you are responsible for determining the value of your gift. For gifts exceeding $500 in value, you are responsible obtaining a written appraisal and for filing IRS Form 8283 with your income taxes.


Kim Klein | 2013-11-08

Printed with permission from Jossey Bass. This article is for general information only. The specific laws of your state may vary. Seek appropriate legal advice for your specific situation.

Everyone should have a will. In the same way that you have authority over what to do with your property during your lifetime, you can take responsibility for what happens to it after your death. Or let the state decide. But seven out of ten people don’t have a will and of the 30 percent, who do have a will, 50 percent leave their entire estate to their spouse.

Further, half of all people with wills have wills that are five years old or more. To get a sense of just how much money is distributed from estates without wills, $100,000,000 a week goes through probate courts from intestate estates here in the United States.

If you die without a will (intestate), the law specifies who will receive your estate. If you are survived by a spouse and not by a child or a parent, your spouse receives all your property. If you are survived by a spouse and if you have no surviving children, your spouse will receive your entire estate. If you are survived by a spouse and children, and all the children are the children of the spouse, your entire estate also goes to your surviving spouse.

In this case, your children would not share in your property. If, however, a spouse and children survive you, and if your children are not the children of your surviving spouse, then your children would share in the estate.

A few examples of people who died without wills may convince you: First, there is Mary Springhill, a 40-year-old woman who died recently of breast cancer. She had no children and her parents were dead. She was separated, but not divorced from her husband. Legally, he is the surviving spouse. Mary was a successful artist, and her estate, including a house, new car, and some savings, was worth a little over $400,000. Mary mistakenly believed that, since her estate was under $600,000, there was no point in getting a will.

During the time she had cancer, she was too sick to think about preparing a will, and was probably not aware of how much she was worth. What’s sad about Mary’s husband getting her entire estate is that she left him three years prior to her death after enduring his physical and emotional abuse for more than 15 years.

In another example, Alice Williams, a pro-choice activist was killed in a car accident at age 33. She and her parents had clashed about her pro-choice views, and her general progressive attitude toward all issues.

Her parents were active in their fundamentalist Baptist church and had told their daughter, on a number of occasions, that she was going to hell. Although they were on speaking terms and Alice spent some holidays with them, their relationship was very strained.

Alice thought she was too young to need a will and, again, that her estate did not warrant the cost of going to an attorney to draw up a will. (Alice erroneously believed that only attorneys can make legally binding wills.) She had an inheritance of $100,000 that she received from an aunt when she was 21. She had never spent it, although she occasionally augmented her meager salary with the interest generated. Through her work, she had a life insurance policy worth $25,000.

This estate of $125,000 went to her parents. Alice may not have objected to that, however, her parents believed that her money could, as they put it, “nullify some of the evil work poor Alice had done,” and they gave it all to a wide variety of far-right organizations.

Everyone is probably familiar with the high number of AIDS patients who leave no wills, causing estates to return to parents who had not spoken to them in years. Or the classic case of a daughter caring for an aged parent until the death of the parent, then being forced to share an estate with a sibling who had not shared in the care or expense at all.

Most people underestimate the worth of their estate and overestimate the ability of themselves or others to handle money. They overestimate the time and cost of setting up a will, and do not realize the work involved in getting an estate in order after someone is dead. Finally, besides the distribution of your property, a will can express your desire about how you want to be buried, who you want to care for your children or pets, and other legal and moral obligations you need to make your heirs aware of.

The Bequest

A bequest is one of the oldest methods of supporting non-profits. One of the first and most famous bequests was given by Ben Franklin in 1790. He left the equivalent of $4,000 (in British pounds) to be split between the people of the State of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia. The state received 76 percent of the bequest and the city 24 percent. He left it on the condition it not be touched for 200 years.

In 1998, his bequest was worth $2.3 million and it can now be spent. A group of Franklin scholars was given authority to recommend the best use of the money. It has been decided that the money belonging to the people of Philadelphia will be kept in a permanent endowment at the Philadelphia Foundation; the state’s money will be shared between the Franklin Institute and a consortium of community foundations around the state. Franklin himself had put no strings on the money.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received one of the first bequests explicitly designated for an endowment. In 1867, Benjamin Hicks left his estate to his mother, with the stipulation that, on her death, $20,000 went to the society. On the death of a cousin, another $20,000 went to the society. His mother left her own bequest of another $20,000. In today’s dollars, each $20,000 gift would be worth about $350,000. Hicks specified that only the interest from his gift could be used and the principal has to remain intact.

Making a Bequest

Anyone can make a bequest. All that is required is that you are alive and of sound mind when you make your will, and that you own something that you can’t take with you.

You may think that bequests are only for wealthy people. In fact, however, if all you own is a 1969 Dodge Dart, you can leave your car to a nonprofit and they can sell it for $200 and take the money.

In 1987, an 84-year old woman in upper Tennessee left her church $50,000 in a bequest. She had never earned more than $3,000 a year in her life, and lived from Social Security and the vegetables she grew in her garden. Her husband and son had been killed in a mining accident, and she had no other relatives. She was very poor, and many of her needs had been taken care of by members of her church. Her bequest came from the value of the land she lived on and two antique quilts.

Wording of Bequests

Please note that gifts of this nature should be carefully considered in relation to your comprehensive financial and estate plans. We strongly recommend that you consult an attorney in the preparation of your will and to supervise its execution so as to comply with your state requirements. The following are examples for illustration only.

When including a bequest provision in your will, always use the full legal name of the group you are designating the beneficiary, and make sure to provide the federal taxpayer identification number.

The General Bequest
This is the simplest bequest in which a donor gives a stated amount to the non-profit without any conditions attached.

  • For a bequest of securities, the possible language is: I give Chinook Fund all of my shares of XYZ stock or mutual funds to be used for the benefit of Chinook Fund, Chicago, Illinois, tax id# 36-3092907.
  • For a bequest of cash, the possible language is: I give to Chinook Fund the sum of (AMOUNT) to be used for the benefit of Chinook Fund, Chicago, Illinois, tax id# 36-3092907.

Income Only to be Used
“I give and bequeath to the Chinook Fund the sum of $_________ to be invested or reinvested so that the income only may be used as the Board of Directors directs.” A phrase should indicate how long the principal should remain intact and what should happen if the organization should terminate.

Bequest of a Percentage
If you do not want to specify the exact amount or nature of the intended gift, perhaps because the size of your future estate is difficult to estimate, a proportional bequest can be the best way to accomplish your goals.  Chinook Fund would receive a percentage of the estate or the residue of the estate after all other provisions have been met.

  • Possible language: I give to Chinook Fund _______% of my estate, or _____% of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate to be used for the benefit of Chinook Fund.

Bequest of Residue
This is a provision in a will leaving the remainder of one’s estate to an organization after all other bequests are fulfilled. “The rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, wherever situated, I give and bequeath to the Chinook Fund to be used as the Board of Directors directs.”

Contingent Bequest
This leaves a bequest to the non-profit if any other beneficiaries are unable to receive their bequests because of death or other circumstances. Generally this reads, “Should ______ (name of person) predecease me, the portion of my estate going to (person) I give and bequeath to Chinook Fund. Everyone should have a contingent bequest in their will in case the will becomes very dated and circumstances have changed since it was drafted.

All bequests are revocable during your life because you can change your will as often as you want. For your own sake, please make a will. For the sake of social change organizing in and around Chicago, please consider making a bequest to the Chinook Fund.


A will is a great way to create a legacy for social justice, regardless of your income level.

People often think of a will as a way to pass property on to family members and other loved ones.  But you can also use your will to support organizations you love, by designating assets that will go to the organizations when you die. This type of gift is called a bequest. If you are going to receive assets from someone else (like a parent) through their will, there are also ways to designate all or part of those assets so they benefit nonprofit organizations and reduce your tax liability.

Chinook donors have funded programs throughout Colorado’s progressive movement by making bequests in their own wills, and by using money they inherited to set up long-term funds at the foundation.

Smaller bequests have helped Chinook Fund expand outreach efforts, increase grants and build an endowment, ensuring a vibrant future for the foundation and the progressive movement.

Wills are just one example of a type of planned gift. Chinook Fund staff and advisors can help you identify planned giving vehicles that meet your philanthropic goals throughout your lifetime and beyond. Your options could include bequests, charitable remainder trusts and insurance policies, among others.

For specific information about the planned giving program, please reach out by email or phone at 303-455-6905.

Have more questions? Feel free to reach out to us.

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