Legacy giving: Accessible philanthropy with lasting impact

Building charitable giving into your estate plan can help you realize your philanthropic goals, achieve tax advantages, and leave a growing legacy for generations to come. This type of charitable giving is accessible to all, allowing you to preserve financial security for yourself and your family during your lifetime, while leaving a permanent legacy through your estate. 

Legacy gifts from generous donors have supported and, in some cases, established, many of the charitable funds the North Carolina Community Foundation holds. NCCF has helped steward and guide fundholders and donors to make legacy gifts of all shapes and sizes, including bequests from wills and trusts, retirement assets, and charitable trusts.

We hope you gain inspiration from these two stories of donors whose charitable legacies have made a tremendous impact on their communities. If you would like to talk about legacy giving, please contact a member of NCCF’s development team.

Estate boosts resilience in challenged community

Irene and David Smathers shared a love for Haywood County and spent their lifetimes quietly giving to many local nonprofits and causes. Together they established the Cruso Endowment in 1996, and in 2010 Irene Smathers added it to her estate plans, forever cementing the Smathers’ generosity and love for Haywood County.


Named for the eastern part of Haywood County, the Cruso Endowment is dedicated to supporting the community there, especially the town of Canton.

Since the endowment started in 1996, it has granted more than $700,000 to organizations in the area, including nearly $127,000 in 2022.

“They were modest people that no one knew had accumulated wealth,” said Pat Smathers, fund advisor and former Canton mayor. “They wanted to ensure their money went to things they knew they could help that would make a better quality of life for the people here locally.”

Their legacy now provides hope in a community that has faced  in recent years, including devastating floods following a 2021 tropical storm and the sudden closure of the Canton paper mill this year.

As the region looks to its next chapter, the Cruso Endowment will remain a strong root of hope and support for the community. 


A generous life fuels a forever legacy


Louise Oriole Burevitch,
known to friends as “Mrs. B,” was a well-loved philanthropist in Wilmington, known for her generosity to charitable causes, particularly those serving children and animals. Aside from some well-publicized major gifts to universities, Burevitch did not seek the limelight for her giving.

“She was that quintessential ‘millionaire next door,’” said Beth Boney Jenkins, NCCF development officer for eastern North Carolina. “She lived modestly, drove an older model Ford and really didn’t appear to spend much money, except on charitable causes that mattered to her.”

Mrs. B considered establishing a private foundation; however, when she realized the responsibilities associated with managing a foundation during her lifetime and after, she opted to start a fund at NCCF.  By working with NCCF, Mrs. B was assured she would be able to continue supporting the organizations she knew and loved, as well as respond to the current needs of nonprofits serving eastern North Carolina.

To date, approximately $6.8 million has been granted from the fund to benefit charitable organizations in eastern North Carolina supporting education, health and human services, including $1.18 million in 2022. Read more about Mrs. B’s phenomenal legacy to eastern North Carolina.