give to your community

Make a Donation

Thank you for your interest in making a donation to the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation. Whether you want to give to an established fund or create one of your own, we offer a variety of giving options to help donors maximize their impact.

For questions or additional information on donating to the Community Foundation, please contact Philanthropic Advisor Carrie Summy 708-848-1560, x112 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Giving Options

There are many ways to fund your charitable interests. The Community Foundation accepts cash, check, cashier's check, money order, wire transfer/ACH, credit card, as well as a variety of other assets described below. No matter which option you choose, we are committed to working with donors like you to fulfill your charitable goals.

Donate Online

donate onlineUsing a credit or debit card, make a gift through our secure online platform in a few easy steps. Donations may be made anonymously or in honor or memory of a specific person.

  • Click the DONATE button or the icon above to make a secure donation
  • Select our Annual Fund or search our fund list for a giving opportunity that matches your charitable interests 
  • Enter the amount you wish to give
  • Complete your donation by filling in the required information

Please note that credit card transactions carry a processing fee. This fee will be deducted from the gift amount and the net proceeds will be added to the fund. Your tax deduction will still be the gross amount of the gift. Please consider covering the processing fees by adding 3% to your donation.

Cash or Check

Please make checks out to Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation and include any gift direction in the memo section or a cover letter. Donations may be mailed or dropped off to:
1049 Lake Street, Suite 204, Oak Park, IL 60301
Cashier's checks, money orders and wire transfer/ACH are also accepted. Please contact us for wire transfer information.

Other Options

The Community Foundation also accepts the following assets:

Appreciated Stock

Appreciated Stock makes an excellent charitable gift. Under current tax laws, when an appreciated asset (such as stock) is sold, a capital gains tax is due. By making a charitable gift of the appreciated stock, you avoid the capital gains tax and take an immediate income tax charitable contribution deduction for the full current fair market value of the stock, no matter what was originally paid for it.

Bequest Through Will or Trust

One of the most simple and popular ways to make a gift that will live after you is to give through your will or trust. You can make a bequest to benefit one or more charitable not-for-profit organizations by providing a specified dollar amount, specific property, percentage of your estate, or the remainder (what's left) through a fund at the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation. We provide an extra level of assurance that your charitable intentions are fulfilled. Such a designation can reduce your estate taxes. In many cases, a simple addendum to your will or trust can create a lasting gift for the charities and community you love. Ask your estate planning attorney and see our Bequest Language.

Charitable Remainder Trust

Charitable remainder trusts enable donors to provide annual payments for themselves or loved ones for life or a term of years, with the remainder distributed to charity. Through discussions with the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation and professional advisors, the donor selects the annual distribution percentage and frequency. Depending on the asset contributed, the capital gain tax on appreciated property may be reduced.  The donor receives an immediate income tax charitable deduction based on the present value of the future gift. There are two types of charitable remainder trusts, unitrust and annuity trust. The Foundation and your professional advisors can help determine which would best suit your situation.

Charitable Lead Trust

In a charitable lead trust, assets (generally income producing assets that are expected to appreciate significantly in value ) are transferred to a trust that makes annual distributions to the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation for a specified number of years. At the end of the designated time period, the trust terminates and the assets are distributed to an individual, typically the donor or relatives. This trust is more of a wealth transfer vehicle than a charitable vehicle because of the possibility of lowering the estate and gift taxes paid on the transfer.

Life Insurance

Life Insurance is another simple way to make a substantial future gift. Designate the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation as a beneficiary to receive a percentage of the proceeds of an existing life insurance policy. All you need to do is ask your life insurance agent for a beneficiary designation form to update. More than likely, a 10% distribution (or more) to the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation will not impact your family, but it will provide a lasting benefit to the community.

An alternative is to purchase a new life insurance policy, or gift an existing policy, designating the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation as owner and beneficiary. With this option, you receive an income tax deduction for each premium made and make possible a major gift with a modest annual payment (or one-time premium payment).

IRAs, 401K Plans, etc.

Qualified retirement accounts (IRAs or 401ks or 403bs) may be given (like life insurance proceeds) to the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation through proper beneficiary designation. Qualified retirement accounts are considered “income in respect of the decedent” (IRD) assets, meaning that a natural recipient (individual) must pay taxes in place of the decedent.  Because the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation is a tax-exempt, qualified public charity, we do not have to pay income taxes on the receipt of such gifts.  100% of the amount designated to the Foundation will be available for community use.

Real Estate

For some people, a gift of land, primary residence, or vacation home is a preferred way to make a gift. Such asset can be given outright, through a charitable trust, or by retaining a tenancy for life. Your income tax charitable contribution deduction will be based on the full fair market value, and may remove the asset from your estate. Call the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation to discuss. We will review options with you and your professional advisors to determine what is best for your situation.

Fund Types

You can give to an existing fund or create a new fund. Funds can be named for a particular individual, family or anonymously. Distributions can be made to qualified organizations serving those in Oak Park and River Forest or anywhere in the United States.

Annual Fund

The Community Foundation’s Annual Fund, previously known as the Fund for Now, supports a broad range of activities for community impact, such as strengthening local nonprofits through capacity building and funding, cultivating the next generation of philanthropists, and harnessing collective giving of donors in our community. All of which creates catalytic social capital so vital to the future of our community.

Support your community now with a secure online donation to help us continue our important work of building a racially just society in which all members of our community thrive and prosper.

Endowment Funds

Gifts to the Community Grantmaking Endowment Fund increase the future distributions to our area organizations. Gifts to the Impact Excellence Endowment Fund ensure programs and services will continue into the future for the area social impact, or non-profit, organizations.

A gift or a group of gifts that total $10,000 or more can be established as a named or designated endowment fund you may name for a loved one or to honor the memory of someone special to you. Such a fund will assure funds for your charitable interests in perpetuity. These funds can be created through an estate plan and funded upon the death of the Donor.  Specific charities or programs at specific charities are named within the fund agreement to receive annual distributions.

Donate to Endowment Funds Here

Advised Fund

Donor Advised Funds are the most commonly known type of Fund within the field of philanthropy.  You make recommendations to the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation's Board of Directors for distributions from the fund to support the charitable, cultural or educational programs that are of interest to you and that meet the policies established by the Board of Directors.

Designated Fund

Designated Funds are often (but not always) created through an estate plan and funded upon the death of the Donor.  Specific charities or programs at specific charities are named within the fund agreement to receive annual distributions.

Scholarship Funds

For Oak Park & River Forest High School students, the Oak Park-River Forest Scholarship Foundation provides a variety of scholarships for high school graduates. You can contribute directly to those Funds.

We support other scholarships as well. See http://www.oprfcf.org/for-students/college-scholarships.  

If you want to provide a scholarship for a different school, you can create a new scholarship fund with us. You can specify the schools the young people come from or ones they are to attend. Scholarships can be for any level of education you, the donor, specifies.

Field of Interest Fund

Field of Interest Funds provide distributions for specified causes. The organizations that further the cause may change over time, but the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation’s staff and Board of Directors will ensure that dollars entrusted to the Community Foundation will always be used for the designated purpose. Select from existing field of interest funds or establish a fund designating a particular area of interest as broadly or as narrowly as desired.

Agency Endowment Fund

Typically established by an Agency, annual distributions from the fund will help support the activities and programs of the agency. Should a particular agency cease to do business, the Foundation will search for another organization providing similar programs. Learn more.

Fund From Will or Trust

A charitable bequest by will or trust is a simple way to make a lasting gift to your community. Making a bequest does not reduce your current assets. Rather, it stipulates asset distribution after your death. At any time during your life, you may cancel a bequest, change the beneficiary, or modify gift amounts.

Your decision to leave a bequest to your community means that all future earnings from your gift serve as a permanent source of community capital, helping you to do good work forever.  See bequest language for how to include the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation in your estate plan.

Evaluate Your Options

You can make a greater impact with your charitable giving by developing a plan. The Community Foundation can help you evaluate your options for giving, as we offer a number of different types of funds to fit your charitable intentions. Call us at 708-848-1560 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions or for a free consultation.

find giving opportunities

Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation Federal Tax Identification Number:

All contributions, once accepted by the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation Board of Directors, represent an irrevocable contribution to the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation and are not refundable.

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