Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your own life – it’s also about what you inspire others to do. Planned giving is a unique way to support the Fossey Fund’s critical work during your lifetime and beyond, while also fulfilling your own financial goals and objectives.
With a planned gift to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, you can combine your desire to give to charity with your overall financial, tax and estate planning goals. Planned giving offers a special connection with the Fossey Fund, allowing you to help us continue our commitment to conservation — now and in the years to come.
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 as part of your 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.
Testimonials: Why the Fossey Fund?
Legacy gifts to the Fossey Fund help ensure:
- Our trackers remain in the field.
- We continue to address conservation challenges and support training the next generation of researchers – thus supporting individuals and science as a whole.
- We are able to continuously conduct the critical science needed to develop effective conservation strategies – not just for gorillas but also the countless species of plants and animals that are critical to the survival of their forest habitat.
- We are able to use our people-centered approach to conservation allows us to work directly with the communities surrounding the gorillas’ forest home.
- We can end food insecurity and increase livelihood opportunities for the benefit of all people in Rwanda and Dr Congo.
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:
What assets can I use to make a gift to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund?
Generally speaking, during your lifetime you can make an outright gift of securities or other property (e.g., real estate, personal property).
Through your will or living trust, or with a distribution from a retirement plan or life insurance policy, you can designate a gift to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
What sort of gift plans also return income to me?
You have the option of making a gift that returns income to you, your spouse, or other individuals, such as a charitable gift annuity (CGA) or a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT). You should speak with a tax or financial advisor to seek information and financial guidance in setting up these types of gift plans.
What tax deduction will I receive for my gift?
Your tax benefits will depend on several factors: the type of gift, the time at which it is made, whether it is outright or deferred, and whether it includes income payments. In general, though, here are some guidelines:
- Outright gifts to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund generate a full income-tax charitable deduction. Outright gifts of appreciated securities are deductible at fair market value, with no recognition of capital gains.
- Bequests do not generate a lifetime income tax deduction. However they are exempt from estate tax.
- Similarly, life insurance distributions to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund are not income-tax deductible, but are exempt from estate tax. If you have made us the irrevocable owner and beneficiary of a policy during your lifetime, you may deduct annual gifts that offset premium payments and possibly the value of your policy at the time of contribution (for more details on this point, see Question 4 below).
- The charitable deduction for a gift that returns income to you, such as a charitable gift annuity or a charitable remainder trust, is the fair market value of the gift asset minus the present value of the income interest you retain.
In addition to retaining 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.
I want to set up a life insurance policy and name the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund as beneficiary, but retain ownership of the policy. Can I deduct the premium payments I make?
No. The IRS would not consider that a “completed gift” – they’d say that, as the owner of the policy, you could change the beneficiary designation to a friend or family member. We must be made the irrevocable owner of the policy for gifts offsetting premium payments to be deductible.
I’ve heard that transferring gifts of IRA assets to charity is advantageous. Why?
Qualified retirement plans such as IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s and Keoghs allow individuals to defer paying taxes on a portion of their income until the assets are withdrawn during retirement years. However, after a person’s death, these accounts are exposed to income and in some cases estate taxes, at a combined rate that could rise to 75% or even higher on large taxable estates. The only way to avoid both income and estate tax on your retirement plan is to give those assets to a charity. By designating the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund as your beneficiary, you will ensure 100% of the value of your account benefits the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
I'm interested in establishing a charitable gift annuity. What financial provisions will you make for the income payments to me and my spouse?
Your charitable gift annuity will be treated as a general obligation of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, backed by all of its assets. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund will ensure timely payments to our annuitants, and that ongoing responsibility is a key element in its financial policies.
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.
If I create a bequest or life-income gift, will you continue to ask me for annual contributions?
Your planned gift is a significant addition to our long-term financial strength and our ability to meet the challenges and opportunities the future will bring. However, today’s efforts are supported through annual gifts, and we greatly appreciate and encourage any annual support you may want to consider.
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 Beth Warner at [email protected] or 404-624-5693.