For Attorneys & Financial Advisors - The New York Community Trust

Let Us Help You Help Your Clients


During the estate planning process, clients often involve their lawyer or financial advisor to help them shape their charitable giving, but ultimately clients need to decide what causes are important to them, how they want to structure their giving, and whether they want to involve family members.

It can be a sensitive and complicated process, but The Trust is uniquely suited to help you and your clients successfully navigate it.

Since 1924, we’ve been working with lawyers and financial advisors to help their clients with philanthropy. The Trust is the right choice for thousands of generous New Yorkers because of our staff of experts, range of giving options, capacity to accept complicated assets, knowledge of community needs, and efficient management.

Contact us for a copy of our tax-exemption letter, fund information, and suggested wording to help draft the gift instrument. Donors can set up funds in either The New York Community Trust (NYCT) or in Community Funds, Inc. (CFI), our not-for-profit corporate affiliate. They share staff and a governing board, and file a combined IRS return.

The IRS has classified us as “tax exempt” under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; as a “publicly supported” organization under Section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi); “not a private foundation” under Section 509(a)(1); and as a “community trust” under Treas. Reg. Sections 1.170A-9(e)(10) and (11).

This status ensures donors the maximum tax benefit allowed by law. This also applies to our divisions, the Long Island Community Foundation and the Westchester Community Foundation.

To learn more, contact Carrie Trowbridge, general counsel, at (212) 686-2563 or



The Resolution and Declaration of Trust Creating “The New York Community Trust” (the R&D) details the powers and duties of the trustee bank, and our Distribution Committee (governing board). To set up a fund in trust, the founding document must incorporate the R&D by reference and the donor needs to select one of our trustee banks. Call or visit our website for a list of these 11 banks.


Community Funds, Inc. (CFI) is a New York not-for-profit corporation. The assets of a fund with CFI are managed by outside money managers and overseen by our staff and Investment Committee. Call or visit here for copy of our Certificate of Incorporation and bylaws.


The Long Island Community Foundation and the Westchester Community Foundation are divisions of Community Funds, so donors have the same options described above. Visit their sites for contact information.


  • If a change of circumstances makes literal compliance with the terms of the gift “unnecessary, undesirable, impractical, or impossible,” our governing body can change those terms. Donors are assured their gifts will remain useful forever.
  • We must review the terms of a fund before accepting it.
  • For funds held in trust in The New York Community Trust, a co-trustee is not permitted.


Building a Relationship on Trust


Magdalen Gaynor headshot.

Photo by Ari Mintz

MAGDALEN GAYNOR is an attorney in private practice with offices in Manhattan and Westchester. She is a former chair of the New York State Bar Association Trusts and Estates Law Section.

“One of the great benefits of having been a trusts and estates attorney for almost 40 years is that many of my clients have become like family. It’s important to know I have done right by them, and made sure their plans for the future are securely in place.

For people who don’t want to tackle all the administrative challenges of creating their own foundation, The New York Community Trust has been a great fit. Because of The Trust’s reputation, clients know their funds will be well-managed. And it gives them an ongoing way to provide for what they care about.

Some of my clients have cared deeply about specific fields—social work, the arts, or dance— and The Trust worked with them to make sure that it could guide their philanthropy now and into the future.

The Trust has always been a trusted partner that I feel confident recommending to my clients.

“The Trust has always been a trusted partner that I feel confident recommending to my clients.”
– MAGDALEN GAYNOR, is an attorney in private practice with offices in Manhattan and Westchester