There are two main types of planned gifts: bequests and life income gifts.
While a bequest is a gift left in your will, life income gifts allow you to donate to NOLS now, but keep or increase the income from your assets. Learn more about the options below.
A charitable bequest is a simple way to support NOLS. Tax laws favor bequests, providing a 100 percent charitable deduction for gifts made to NOLS through a will or estate plan. Bequests offer considerable flexibility too, allowing you to tailor your gift so that you and your heirs can reap the greatest benefits.
See Sample Language for Bequests
NOLS has partnered with FreeWill, an online tool that guides you through the process of creating a legally valid will. It’s easy to use, free of charge, and can be completed in 20 minutes or less. In addition to taking care of your loved ones and their future, you can use this tool to support NOLS and strengthen our outdoor programs for generations to come. Get started on your plans today.
Naming NOLS as a beneficiary of your retirement plan is a tax-smart way to donate. Because retirement contributions are often made with before-tax dollars, those assets are taxable when withdrawn.
IRA Charitable Rollover
Supporters 70.5 or older with a traditional IRA are eligible to make a potential tax-free donation to NOLS from their IRAs. These gifts are tax-free, regardless of whether or not you itemize deductions on your tax return. If you are 72 years old or older, these gifts can even count towards fulfilling your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) for the calendar year. You can use our online tool (available to NOLS through our partnership with FreeWill) to: make your tax-free donation online, print out the forms you need to complete the gift offline, or learn more about the benefits of giving from your IRA.
Life insurance is a straightforward way to support NOLS. The most common method—especially if you have a policy your family no longer needs—is to designate NOLS the owner of that policy. This option allows an immediate income tax deduction. Or you can simply name NOLS as a beneficiary.
Through a charitable remainder trust, you transfer assets of cash, securities, or other property to a trust for NOLS’ benefit. In return, you or another beneficiary receives an income for life or for a term of years. After that term ends, those assets become a charitable gift to NOLS.
Benefits to you:
There are two kinds of remainder trusts designed to meet differing donor financial goals.
The simplest of the life income gift options, a charitable gift annuity, is a contract that you sign with NOLS. You make your gift directly to NOLS and we agree to pay you or your designated beneficiary a fixed income (based on a percentage of your gift) for the remainder of your or the beneficiary’s life. Additionally, because part of the principal used to make your gift will eventually be returned to you as income payments, part of your income will be tax-free. The amount you receive is based on your age, the amount of your gift, interest rates, and whether or not you have another beneficiary. All of these factors go into determining the rate of these payments, as defined by the American Council on Gift Annuities. If future rather than immediate income is your goal, you can choose to delay income payments with a deferred gift annuity. You make a gift to NOLS and we guarantee a fixed income to you or your chosen beneficiary starting at a designated future date.
A valuable, often-overlooked tool for individuals with sizable estates, a charitable lead trust is a tax-smart way to support NOLS now and pass a portion of your estate on to heirs while avoiding heavy gift and estate taxes.
Established during life or through a will, lead trusts sometimes provide a larger inheritance to heirs than an outright bequest or taxable gift.
To create a charitable lead trust, you transfer securities, real estate, business interests, or similar properties to a trust for NOLS’ benefit. The trust pays income to NOLS for a fixed term of years. At the end of that term, the assets go to a non-charitable beneficiary, such as a child or grandchild. The assets often appreciate and are transferred with lower gift or estate tax.
Our recognition society for legacy donors, the Summit Team is a prestigious group of supporters dedicated to the long-term success of the NOLS mission.
Established in 1999, it honors those who have made supporting wilderness education a top priority. By including NOLS in their estate plans, Summit Team members demonstrate their commitment to creating a strong future for the school.
The generosity and foresight of the Summit Team ensures that generations of students will be able to experience the immeasurable rewards of a NOLS education.