Professional Advisors

How We Work with Professional Advisors

We know as a professional advisor you take seriously your responsibility to help your clients and that you want to stay up-to-date on changes in laws and information that may assist you in charitable giving options for your clients. We would like to be considered a resource for starting a conversation with your clients about planned giving, and for the latest research into planned giving options. We are here to help you serve your clients and facilitate all forms of charitable giving.

Here are some of the services we can offer to you:

  • Offer counsel on giving instruments and funding options
  • Illustrate, project, draft or review necessary documents
  • Develop strategic giving plans for your clients and their families
  • Assist with grantmaking research, recommendations, and outcomes
  • Provide information and guidance on the communities' charitable needs

Consultations are provided confidentially and at no cost.

For more information or to set up an appointment, contact Ellen Didion at or (352) 587-2710.

For more research on planned giving, here are web sites with more information for you and your clients:

National Committee on Planned Giving -
Aims to increase the quality and quantity of charitable planned gifts by serving as the voice and professional resource for the gift planning community

Council on Foundations -
An association of foundations promoting effective and responsible philanthropy

Florida Philanthropic Association –  By partnering with Florida community foundations, professional advisors can help their clients fulfill their personal financial and charitable goals.


Talking with Clients About Charitable Giving

Why should you talk to your clients about charitable giving?

As a professional advisor, you are in a unique position not only to serve the charitable needs of your clients, but also to dramatically improve the quality of life in our region. Some advisors are reluctant to begin a charitable giving conversation with their client. Advisors may be concerned about appearing to make a value judgment, especially if the client has not expressed charitable intentions. You can help your clients realize their charitable objectives by listening for charitable giving opportunities, explaining options, and suggesting solutions. Significant giving opportunities often arise when clients are making major business, personal, and financial decisions. Our staff can work with you and your clients to recommend the best charitable solution.

Ask your clients these questions about charitable giving:

  • What are your personal motivations for charitable giving?
  • What are your charitable interests in the community?
  • What are your priorities? (Focusing on fewer areas may make the greatest impact.)
  • What level of involvement do you want to have in identifying charitable uses for your gift?
  • What type of giving vehicle best fits your financial situation and tax status?


Types of Funds

Sumter Sunshine Community Foundation works with individuals, families, businesses and not-for-profits who want to be charitable through various means. Here is a basic outline of some options for donors:

  • Fund For Greater Sumter: This is our unrestricted fund. Donations to this fund help us to make competitive grants to deserving charities each year in Lake and Sumter Region. This is the least-labor intensive option for a donor.
  • Donor-advised fund: For donors who wish to actively participate in grant-making by making suggestions to the Foundation about grant recipients.
  • Donor-designated fund: For donors who wish to permanently designate grants to a field of interest or one or two specific charitable organizations.
  • Scholarship funds: Helps students overcome the increasing costs of tuition and attain the degrees that greatly increase their chances of success in life. With the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (HR 4), Congress significantly altered the requirements for a sponsoring organization (CFSI) to administer scholarship funds.
  • Agency endowments: Are endowments for local charitable organizations.
  • Field of interest funds: Allows donors to invest in an issue they care about while relying on the Community Foundation's experienced staff and volunteers to identify not-for-profits that make the greatest impact on that issue.

If you would like to create your own fund, we would love to talk to you. Please contact Ellen Didion at or call (352) 587-2710.


Sample Bequest Wording

Charitable Bequests

A charitable bequest is simply a distribution from your estate to a charitable organization through your last will and testament. There are different kinds of bequests. For each, you must use very specific language to indicate the precise distribution of your assets, and to successfully carry out your final wishes. In any charitable bequest, be sure to name the recipient accurately. For instance, a general bequest to the "Community Foundation" might go to a different local community foundation than you intended. Be sure to use “Sumter Sunshine Community Foundation” when making a bequest to us. And, always, feel free to contact us about the specific name of the charity of your choice. We will be happy to assist you in finding their legal name and address.

Sample Bequest Language

General Bequests

are legacies left to certain people or causes that come from the general value of the estate, and are made by designating a specific dollar amount, a particular asset or a fixed percentage of your estate to the cause of your choice. General bequest language:

"I give, devise, and bequeath to Sumter Sunshine Community Foundation headquartered in Leesburg, Florida, the sum of $________(or a description of the specific asset),for its general purposes."

Specific Bequests

are made when a particular item or property is bequeathed for a designated purpose. (Specific bequest language:

"I give, devise, and bequeath to Sumter Sunshine Community Foundation, headquartered in Leesburg, FL, the sum of $_______ (or a description of a specific asset), to be added to a permanent endowment fund held by the Sumter Sunshine Community Foundation for the benefit of NAME OF CHARITY. If at any time in the sole judgment of the Board of Directors of Sumter Sunshine Community Foundation, it is or becomes impossible or impracticable to carry out the designated purpose of this gift, then the Board of Directors of Sumter Sunshine Community Foundation shall determine an alternative purpose closest to the original designated purpose."

Residuary Bequests

are made when you intend to leave the residue portion of your assets after other terms of the will have been satisfied. Residuary bequest language:

"All the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, I give to Sumter Sunshine Community Foundation headquartered in Leesburg, FL, for its general purposes."

Contingency Bequests

allow you to leave a portion of your estate to a particular charity if your named beneficiary does not survive you. Contingency bequest language:

"I devise and bequeath the residue of the property, real and personal and wherever situated, owned by me at my death, to (name of beneficiary), if (she/he) survives me. If (name of beneficiary) does not survive me, I devise and bequeath my residuary estate to Sumter Sunshine Community Foundation headquartered in Leesburg, Florida for its general purposes."

Beneficiary Designations

Beneficiary designations

in a life insurance policy, checking account, or a retirement plan are also simple and meaningful ways to make a planned gift to Sumter Sunshine Community Foundation. These allow you to list the Foundation along with others that you would like to benefit from the proceeds of the policy or plan. You can name the Foundation as the sole beneficiary or as one of numerous beneficiaries. As well, you can name the Foundation for a percentage or for a specific dollar amount of the proceeds. Just ask the administrator of your policy or plan for a designation form if you wish to make this kind of gift.


Always check with your attorney before making these beneficiary designations

If you have questions about this information, please contact Ellen Didion at (352) 587-2710 or 



SSCF Professional Advisor Partnership

Sumter Sunshine Community Foundation is making it easier than ever for you to help your clients establish charitable funds.

By partnering with SSCF, in many instances you may continue to manage your clients' assets while meeting their tax and charitable goals.

In addition, you will be connecting them with one of the most trusted philanthropic leaders in the community.  With the help of the Foundation, your clients can support the causes they care about most while gaining maximum tax benefits under the law.  At Sumter Sunshine Community Foundation, we offer a variety of giving options and can assist you in helping your clients achieve their charitable dreams.

Of major importance to legal and financial advisors, community foundations provide an attractive, cost-effective alternative for clients considering the establishment of a private foundation. The client/donor gets superior tax advantages and freedom from annual reporting requirements but can retain the right to advise on grant recipients from his or her fund.

Click here to download a brochure with more information about the SSCF Professional Advisor Partnership.