The ways to give to an endowment fund are as diverse as a donor's individual circumstances.  These are some of the more popular ways in which donations are made to community foundations in Canada.  They include:

Present Gifts:  cashable (immediately available)

Cash and cash equivalents - GICs, Treasury Bills
Gifts-in-Kind - real estate, securities, personal property
Life Insurance - cash value of a life insurance policy
Securities - transfer of publicly traded stock

Deferred Gifts:  for use at some future time

Bequest - provision in a will instructing executors to distribute a certain amount, a percentage or residue of the estate to the charity

Life Insurance - death proceeds of an insurance policy

Charitable Remainder Trust - a donation placed in trust with the income paid to the donor or other specified person for life and the remainder paid to the charity upon death

Residual Interest - gift of an asset (e.g. - a house or work of art, with provision for lifetime use by the donor)