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Join Grow Food Northampton’s Deep Roots Society

What is the Deep Roots Society?

Members of The Deep Roots Society are committed to building and sustaining a just local food system for years to come.

The Deeps Roots Society is a way to let your values live strong through Grow Food Northampton’s work to create a just and vibrant local food system by naming us as a future beneficiary in your estate plans, i.e. your will, trust, retirement plan, or insurance policy. 

The Deep Roots Society is a Way to Create a Lasting Legacy

The Deep Roots Society is our way of thanking and recognizing you NOW for your lasting generosity and long-term commitment. As a member, you will lead the way for others in keeping Grow Food Northampton’s future bright for generations to come. When you make a gift through your estate planning, you help to ensure the future for Grow Food Northampton. 

Will you join us?

A gift to GFN in your will, trust, life insurance policy, or retirement plan will go a long way to ensuring equitable food and land access for generations. To become a member of the Deep Roots Society, you need only inform us of your estate commitment and you can choose what level of detail regarding your plans you would like to share with us. However you choose to structure your future gift to GFN, we will be grateful for your support of GFN’s future needs as we build and strengthen a vibrant and equitable food system for our region. Members can choose to be named or anonymous. If you would prefer to become an anonymous member, we will not name you in any public mention of members. But please don’t remain anonymous from us – we value knowing we will receive a planned gift from you far in the future.

How to Name Grow Food Northampton in Your Will or Trust

You may designate GFN to receive a percentage of your estate, a specific dollar amount, and/or as the ‘residual’ beneficiary, to receive the funds remaining after all specific bequests have been awarded.

Please use the following wording:

  1. For a percentage of your estate: “I hereby give to Grow Food Northampton, Inc. of Northampton, Massachusetts, FEIN #01-0959428 (10, 20, 50%) of my estate;”
  2. For a specific dollar amount: “I hereby give to Grow Food Northampton, Inc. of Northampton, Massachusetts, FEIN #01-0959428 the sum of ($5,000, $25,000, $50,000, etc.);” or
  3. For the residue of your estate: “I hereby name Grow Food Northampton, Inc. of Northampton, Massachusetts, FEIN #01-0959428 as residual beneficiary of my estate.”

Many states allow amendment of an existing will with the addition of a codicil (memo) naming new or additional beneficiaries. Please consult your estate attorney about the most efficient way to modify your existing will to include a bequest to GFN.

How to Name Grow Food Northampton In Your Retirement Plan or Insurance Policy

Most retirement plans (both 401(k) and 403(b) plans) and insurance policies allow individuals to name charitable organizations as recipients of proceeds after the donor’s death. You may name GFN as the recipient of any percentage of the proceeds. You may also name Grow Food Northampton as either the primary (first) beneficiary or contingent beneficiary (to receive proceeds only if any individual beneficiaries are no longer living). Most retirement plans, IRA fiduciaries, and life insurance companies will allow the naming of primary and contingent beneficiaries without requiring the assistance of an attorney. Naming charitable organizations as direct beneficiaries may remove the retirement plan or insurance policy from the portion of your estate that must go through probate, according to state law.

How do I become a member?

To learn more about becoming a member of the Deep Roots Society, please contact Corey Kurtz, Development Director, at: or (413) 320-4799, X116.

Frequently Asked Questions About GFN's Deep Roots Society


What is a bequest?

Many people are familiar with using a will to care for family and take care of personal obligations after their death. Wills can also be used to support nonprofit organizations by including a provision known as a charitable bequest. 

How do I make a bequest?

Your lawyer can provide counsel to help you create a valid will that reflects your goals and wishes, including supporting charity. 

I already have a will. Do I need to create a new one to include a bequest? 

You may be able to amend your existing will with a document known as a “codicil.” This allows you to add a bequest or make other changes to your will without starting from scratch. 

How may I define the size of my bequest to GFN?

  • Outright – A donor leaves a specific dollar amount or a percentage of the entire estate.
  • Residual — A donor leaves all or a portion of the estate after other provisions have been satisfied.
  • Contingent — A donor leaves all or a portion of the estate if their primary instructions cannot be satisfied or if all individual beneficiaries have died.

What are some suggested steps for making a bequest?

Your attorney can provide guidance. We offer these recommendations:

  • A donor may leave a specific amount of money or specific assets (i.e., investments or tangible property) to a non-profit organization as a general estate gift, or may designate a project or program to be supported with the estate gift. We recommend that you make the gift unrestricted, which will give us flexibility to support the greatest needs of GFN at the time. If you are interested in designating your gift for a particular purpose, we encourage you to speak with us when making your plans, as the timing of your bequest cannot be predicted and we want to be sure that your generous gift is as useful as possible when received.
  • We recommend that you notify us of your bequest so we can recognize you during your lifetime and celebrate you as a member of the Deep Roots Society.  

Are there other ways I can leave a legacy through my estate plans?

Yes. Some trusts allow charitable beneficiaries. Please contact us for additional information.  

How do you recognize donors during their lifetime?

The Deep Roots Society honors individuals who include a gift to Grow Food Northampton in their estate plans, trusts, retirement accounts, and life insurance policies. Society members will be recognized in our annual reports and enjoy other opportunities to be celebrated. When you join the Deep Roots Society, we will have a conversation with you about how you would like to be recognized and celebrated. 

How can I learn more or tell you about my bequest?

Please contact, Grow Food Northampton’s Development Director, Corey Kurtz at: or (413) 320-4799, X116

This information is intended for educational purposes only. For legal, tax, or financial advice, please contact your professional advisor.

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