Charitable Contributions

Improving The Quality Of Life in Atherton

The Town of Atherton is a qualified organization for the purposes of charitable contributions. Generally, contributions made directly to the Town of Atherton for purposes other than personal benefit will serve as a qualifying charitable contribution. That said however, the Town also has a number of locally active charitable organizations established to receive donations intended to benefit a wide variety of community services and programs.

Most of these organizations are established to support services and programs that meet the social, physical, developmental and recreational needs of local residents. Some of these organizations also support community youth organizations and educational programs through the purchase of equipment and supplies.

Tax-deductible donations are accepted by the Town and by these local non-profit organizations. Contributors may specify the type of service they wish to receive the funds. All funds received must be used for their intended purpose and no funds may be directed to administrative overhead costs.

In addition to the Town, the following are local non-profit groups accepting donations for their specific charitable direction:

* Atherton Now

* Atherton Civic Interest League

* Atherton Disaster and Preparedness Team

* Friends of Holbrook-Palmer Park

* Holbrook-Palmer Park Foundation

* Atherton Arts Foundation

* Atherton Heritage Foundation

* Atherton Police Activities League

Individuals, corporations and community organizations are key sources of financial support for important programs and projects such as the Town's Civic Center Project. As an example, the Atherton-Now Building Community campaign is committed to raising funds from private citizens, local groups, foundations and the community at large to build the Civic Center Project. You can participate via donation in the project through naming opportunities large and small.  In addition to special capital projects, gifts and contributions are needed to help people in a variety of ways in Town.

Why Should I Support The Town or these Local Non-Profit Groups?

The Town and these groups work to make lives better in the community. The groups assist in providing for community involvement through much needed programs, services, and Town infrastructure. These groups need your help to continue making a difference. They seek the generous private support of long-time residents, newcomers, businesses, foundations, and caring people like you. Every contribution, no matter how small or large, is important.

Ways to Support Our Community

There are many ways to lend your financial support to community services and activities in the Town. Gifts may be unrestricted in use so the Town or organization can decide which local need is the most pressing. You may also specify that your gift be targeted to a particular program or purpose. You may designate further that the gift be placed in an endowment so that the interest it earns keeps giving for many years. If a gift is not designated for endowment, it is considered a "current expenditure" gift. Some donors make current gifts, and others choose to satisfy their commitment over a period of time.

You may wish to retain an interest in your gift, such as the right to receive income from it, or to give through your estate. Under certain circumstances, your gift may entitle you to significant tax benefits.

However you choose to support the community service activities in Town, be assured that your gift will help to make Atherton an even better community in which to live.

Gifts to support the community may be made payable to the Town of Atherton or the specific, non-profit, public benefit corporation that accepts and administers private support for the community.

Since the Town and the above organizations qualify as non-profit organizations, gifts may qualify for a federal, and often state, income tax charitable donation. As with all financial considerations, potential donors are encouraged to discuss the tax advantages and other aspects of charitable giving with their attorney, tax advisor or financial consultant.

Outright Gifts

Outright gifts or donations in the form of cash, securities or other property can be an important means of assisting. Outright gifts can have an immediate impact on the community because they are available to address a variety of current needs.

Gift Pledges

A pledge is a formal statement of intention to make a gift. It may be followed by an immediate gift, or it may simply confirm your intention to make a gift in the future. Donors may choose to complete their gift pledge by making regular payments over a period of time. This method often allows donors to give more generously than they may have originally considered. Whenever possible, we encourage full payment of pledges within five years of the original commitment.

Gifts with Retained Interest

Your gift can allow you to hold an interest in that gift for your lifetime or for a specified term of years. After that time, the funds become available to the organization generally. For example, you can set up a charitable trust allowing you to receive income from that trust for a specified period, or for life.

Unrestricted Gifts

When you do not designate a specific use for your gift, the Town or organization gains flexibility. Unrestricted gifts can be used at the discretion of the Town or Board of Directors to meet the most pressing needs in the community at the time.

Gifts of Endowment

Your long-term commitment to building a better Town can take the form of a gift for endowment. An endowment is a fund that is maintained in perpetuity, and only a portion of the annual investment return is used for the purposes specified by the donor. The rest of the investment yield is returned to principal. This process allows the fund to grow and hopefully keep pace with inflation. Endowments, which typically bear the name of the donor or donors, reflect your interests and serve an enduring testament to your generosity.

Appreciated Securities

A gift of long-term appreciated marketable securities helps you save taxes twice. Such a gift may provide an income tax charitable deduction and capital gains tax savings.

Closely Held Securities

Securities in a company that is not publicly traded are known as closely held securities. When a donor makes a gift of these securities to the Town or organization, the donor may enjoy tax savings and can even increase his or her income from the donated stock.

Matching Gifts

Many corporations may be willing to support the community by matching, or multiplying, their employee’s gifts to a cause, up to a set amount. Before making a gift, you may want to ask whether your employer offers such a program. Certain restrictions may be applied to matching gifts. Consult with your company’s personnel office for further information.

Gifts of Real Estate

When you give a gift of real property to the Town or organization, you may claim an income tax charitable deduction based on the full market value of the gift, avoid capital gains taxes, and eliminate certain costs associated with the transfer of real property. Gifts of real estate can also provide income to you.


You may wish to give the Town or organization a personal possession of special interest. We may accept a variety of such gifts, including historical materials, works of art, vehicles, equipment and other items. To determine the Town or organization’s interest in the specific object you would like to give, please contact the group.

Planned Gifts

Planned gifts offer specific tax advantages and often include lifetime income to a beneficiary named by the donor. Planned giving methods offer several benefits to the donor: capital gains tax savings, increased income, and income tax savings. A planned gift maximizes your giving potential and can even allow you to ensure your future financial security or that of a loved one.

The Rewards of Giving

Whatever way you choose to demonstrate your support for community services and programs in Town, you will be helping to build a better community.

For more information on possible contributions to the Town, please contact the City Manager. The Town accepts contributions toward projects in Holbrook Palmer Park, the Civic Center Project, plaques, benches, and rest areas, and/or other community improvement projects and programs.