The Cranberry Legacy Endowment was created to provide a home for what would grow to become hundreds of named endowments, with tens of millions in assets. Income from those assets is distributed annually to enhance and grow our community’s nonprofit and civic groups. Their services, in turn, will make Cranberry Township, Butler County, and the surrounding area an even better place to live. Legacy Endowments allow the name and spirit of committed community members to endure for future generations. And it plants the seeds for others to step up and support their communities by establishing their own endowments as well.

Creating A Legacy

All of us wonder: Will my life make a difference?  How will I be remembered? What can I accomplish to advance my community, my people, my most deeply held convictions?


As college loans morph into mortgage payments and our assets focus on family and retirement needs, those larger questions of life’s meaning can become derailed. But when the kids are grown, the mortgage is paid, and we once again listen to our hearts, our priorities shift once again. The Cranberry Legacy Endowment creates an attractive opportunity to make a lasting difference in our community.


Creating a Legacy provides the assurance that your name and contributions will continue to benefit your community, your children, and their children – in perpetuity. A community foundation allows you to invest directly into the fabric of your own community. The Cranberry Legacy Endowment enables anyone to create a fund supporting their choice of more than 40 different causes. 


The Cranberry Legacy Endowment is patterned after the successful Centre County Foundation in central Pennsylvania. As Cranberry’s 25 year-comprehensive plan was being developed, we looked at other communities to see what they were doing to strengthen their local nonprofits. That’s when we discovered the Centre County Community Foundation, in the State College area. Back in 1983, a county judge bequeathed $10,000 to help local nonprofits. A group of people then joined together to encourage the formation of other endowments, and a foundation was started. That original donation eventually grew to over 300 endowments valued at more than $20 million today, and the foundation donates more than $1 million each year to nonprofit organizations.


The minimum gift to establish a Legacy Endowment is $10,000. 

There are currently four levels of Legacy Endowments:

  • $10,000 - Legacy

  • $25,000 - Heritage

  • $50,000 - Pillar

  • $100,000 - Legend

Endowments are recognized in CTCC's Annual Report, featuring an expanded description of your fund along with a photo. Tax benefits and employer matches can make a direct donation an affordable option for creating a lasting legacy.

Credit Card


You can donate an existing insurance policy or take out a new one that will be owned by the Cranberry Legacy Endowment to benefit the specific nonprofit/civic group of your choice.

  • Insurance premiums are tax deductible in the year they are made.

  • Insurance premiums made over $10,000 will be immediately recognized as a Legacy Endowment in the Annual Report.

  • Premiums can be made in convenient annual payments or in a one-time payment.

  • Company matches may be used to help pay premiums.

Insurance Agent


You can make a substantial gift through a transfer of residential, commercial, or undeveloped real estate. If you own property not subject to a mortgage which has appreciated in value, a charitable gift to Cranberry Legacy Endowments and the nonprofit of your choice may be an attractive proposition. 

  • An outright gift of appreciated property offers maximum tax advantages because the charitable deduction is generally based on the full fair market value of the property. An appraisal is needed for IRS purposes.

  • A gift of the remainder interest in your home or farm (called a “retained life estate”) can provide a current tax deduction, avoid capital gains taxes, and allow you to continue to live in your home.

  • A gift (or partial interest) of appreciated property can be used to create a charitable remainder trust, which will provide you (and/or you and a second beneficiary) an annual income for life.

White Wooden House


A charitable gift annuity is a simple combination of two concepts: a charitable gift and income for life. A gift annuity allows you to make a gift to your endowment and benefit from the following:

  • Safe, fixed income for your life and the life of a loved one

  • Tax savings-immediately and in the future

  • Favorable treatment of gains, if funded with appreciated assets

In exchange for an irrevocable gift of cash, publicly traded securities, or other assets, the Legacy Endowment agrees to pay one or two persons a fixed annual income. The charitable gift annuity rate of return is set by the American Council on Gift Annuities and is often higher than what is available from many conservative investments.

The minimum contribution to establish a gift annuity is $25,000. There is no maximum gift amount. The minimum age for receiving annuity payments is 65. While cash is the most popular way to fund a gift annuity, you may also use maturing CDs, publicly traded stock, and other appreciated assets.

Going for a Run


For gifts of $100,000 and greater, you can create a charitable remainder trust, which can be created during your lifetime or through your estate. When you transfer assets and name Cranberry Legacy Endowments (CLE) as the trustee, we invest the assets for the length of the trust term. This gift option provides you or your loved ones with annual income, for the rest of you or your loved ones' lifetime; or a term of no more than twenty years.  When the trust term is over, the remaining assets are distributed to a nonprofit/civic group that you designated in the initial agreement.

Dancing Couple


Designate a charitable gift to Cranberry Legacy Endowments after your death to benefit a specific nonprofit/civic organization. If you are interested in remembering the Cranberry Legacy Endowments (CLE) and/or a specific nonprofit/civic organization in your will or living trust, please contact CLE about your intentions. A representative will provide you with bequest language that may assist you and your attorney when writing your will or living trust. We will also help you craft a Statement of Intent for your gift, specifying how the gift should be used when received by the Legacy Endowment.

Forest Trees

Who are the recipients of Cranberry Legacy Endowment funds?

Nonprofit/Civic Organizations

The primary reason for starting the Cranberry Legacy Endowment (CLE) was to create lifetime funds for the support of local nonprofit and civic organizations. Every cent of income generated by CLE’s fund investments goes to the nonprofit or civic group of your choice. The CLE board consists of representatives from each of the nonprofit/civic groups for whom an endowment has been created. Placing your endowment with CLE provides a level of protection to assure the principal is never touched in hard times or to used to fulfill a one-time need. Your endowment with CLE will last a lifetime and more.


Creating a named scholarship through the Cranberry Legacy Endowment is one way you can help current students and leave a legacy for the future. 

STEP 1: Determine Type of Scholarship Fund.

Endowed scholarship funds are designed to be permanent and can be created with gifts totaling a at least $10,000 at the outset or with an initial commitment of $5,000 that is added to over time until the $10,000 level is attained. A $10,000 endowed scholarship will award an approximately cash distribution of $500. A separate Annual contribution allows your endowed scholarship to increase each year. The principal of the fund is invested to produce income, and an annual award is made to the student(s). The principal remains untouched.

Is this scholarship for a specific university or college? Is it for a certain major? We also administer scholarships within the Seneca Valley area for home school, private school, and public sector institutions at the high school level.Please review the establishing criteria below.

STEP 2: Establish Scholarship Criteria
As a scholarship donor, you choose the name of the scholarship as well as the criteria. For most scholarships, we work with the administration of Seneca Valley so that they are awarded to deserving students based upon area of interest, geographical origin, leadership potential, merit, financial need, academic achievement and/or other criteria. For scholarships directed specifically to Butler County Community College, we would let the BC3 administration select the candidate based on your criteria. All of this can be determined during the scholarship setup.

STEP 3: Administration of Scholarship Funds
Typically, a school-based selection committee reviews the scholarship applications submitted by students and selects the most deserving recipient(s) based on the donor-established criteria. Benefactors of a scholarship fund are notified annually when the scholarship recipient(s) have been selected and are informed of their names and hometowns, as well as the amount of the award. Recipients often write a thank-you note to the donor, and in some cases, the recipient and donor are able to meet.

Community Assets

All of the methods used to fund Legacy Endowments are available to fund community assets. In a few cases, when an irrevocable trust or CLE-owned insurance policies are utilized, the asset can be built in advance of distributions. Each asset is different in funding, but what is consistent – beyond the direct cost of the asset – is the establishment of an Endowment to support the maintenance of the asset, typically around 25% of its original cost. Funds to support existing assets will be used by the Cranberry Legacy Endowment to benefit the group that owns those assets.




    • The Cranberry Legacy Endowment is managed by the Pittsburgh Foundation. Currently, the Pittsburgh Foundation manages more than $600 million in endowments. That provides the Foundation with access to the top firms for investment, including Cambridge Associates, whose customers include: Bill & Melinda Gates, Hersey Trusts, William Hewitt, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Andrew Mellon, W.K. Kellogg Trust, Harvard, MIT, Notre Dame and Princeton – access not normally available to smaller endowments.​


    • We recognize only scholarships established directly with Cranberry Legacy Endowments.​


    • The major benefactor of a fund establishes the name. You can establish it in your own name or choose to name it for a friend, family member, or organization.​


    • Scholarships are recognized at the following levels:

      • Legacy $10,000

      • Heritage $25,000

      • Pillar: $50,000

      • Legend $100,000+

      • A $10,000 scholarship will typically yield about $500 a year to the student.


    • The availability of scholarships for current students are announced by local high school and college guidance councilors who collect the applications. Typically, a school-based selection committee will review each application and select the most deserving recipient(s) based on the donor’s criteria.  Legacy scholarships specific to Butler County Community College which are available to incoming freshmen may be awarded by the BC3 Admission Office.​


    • You will be notified annually when the recipients of your scholarship have been selected. You will be informed of their names and hometowns, as well as the amount of the award and status of the fund.​