Your Legacy of Conservation

The Dian Fossey Legacy Society offers unique ways to support the work of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund during your lifetime and beyond, while also fulfilling your own financial goals and objectives. There are so many creative ways to build a legacy of conservation. Here are some of the questions and opportunities to explore:

What is planned giving?

A planned gift is a contribution that is arranged in the present and allocated at a future date. Simply put: planned giving is the process of making a significant charitable gift during a donor’s life or at death as part of his or her financial or estate plan. Planned gifts can take several forms. There are outright gifts of assets, such as appreciated securities, cash, stocks, and other assets.  Other types of planned gifts provide a financial benefit on top of tax deductions for donors. Charitable gift annuities provide an income stream for individuals, and at the death of the donor, the charity receives what is left in the trust. Some planned gifts are payable upon the donor’s death, such as a life insurance policy where the beneficiary is a charitable organization.

What are my options?

There are many vehicles for direct planned giving opportunities and others that provide tax benefits as well. Gifts that provide direct benefit are:

  • Wills and Living Trusts 
  • Gifts of Stock or Securities
  • Cash
  • Charitable Gift Annuities
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Bank and Investment Accounts
  • Retirement Plans
  • Donor-Advised Funds
  • IRA distributions in the form of a qualified charitable distribution or “QCD”

How do bequests work?

A bequest is an act of giving personal property or financial assets such as stocks, bonds, jewelry and cash to an individual or organization through the provisions of a will or estate plan. Bequests can be made to family, friends, institutions or charities, and are typically legally recorded in a will or trust. They are distributed when you die.

What is a charitable gift annuity?

A charitable gift annuity is a contract between a donor and a charity with the following terms: As a donor, you make a sizable gift to a charity using cash, securities or possibly other assets. In return, you become eligible to take a partial tax deduction for your donation, plus you receive a fixed stream of income from the charity for the rest of your life.

How does a charitable gift annuity work?

The Fossey Fund offers charitable gift annuities through Charitable Solutions LLC. Once you make a gift to the Fossey Fund through a charitable gift annuity, the gift is set aside in a reserve account and invested. Based on your age(s) at the time of the gift, you receive a fixed monthly or quarterly payout (typically supported by the investment account) for the rest of your life. At the end of your life (as well as your spouse’s, if you’re giving as a couple), the charity receives the remainder of the gift.

In addition to the income stream, annuitants may also be eligible to take a tax deduction at the time of the original gift, based on the estimated amount that will eventually go to the charity after all the annuity payments have been made. A portion of the payments you receive may also be tax-free for a period based on your statistical life expectancy.

What is a donor-advised fund?

A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a charitable investment account, created for supporting charitable organizations of your choice.  Many community foundations and larger financial institutions, such as Fidelity Charitable, Charles Schwab and Vanguard offer donor-advised funds 

What is a qualified charitable distribution and who qualifies for these?

A qualified charitable distribution  (QCD) is a distribution that you can make directly to a charity from your IRA.

You have to be 70.5 years of age or older to make a qualified charitable distribution directly from your IRA to the Fossey Fund. Please consult with your IRA custodian or tax advisor for more details.

Where do I start?

When you inform us of your planned giving intentions, you become a member of our Legacy Society, allowing us to recognize you appropriately for your generosity and dedication to wild gorilla conservation in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A planned gift to the Fossey Fund may allow you to make a larger gift than you thought possible, reduce your income tax liability, avoid capital gains taxes, and/or leave a lasting legacy without giving up assets today. This information is not intended as tax or legal advice and we recommend that you consult with your legal and financial advisors to learn about the best giving options for you, given your unique circumstances.

To learn more or to inform us of a planned gift, please contact Katherine Cadwallader at kcadwallader@gorillafund.org  or 404.624.5920