Gifts That Cost You Nothing Now

Joyce Kleven  
Adjust Text Size: A- | A+

Gifts That Cost You Nothing Now

More and more supporters appreciate this unique way of creating a legacy for wildlife, as it costs you nothing now to give. You can make this gift without affecting your current lifestyle or your family’s security. Yet, your generosity has a real, and lasting impact to ensure that wildlife and habitats thrive for generations to come.

Please let us know if you have included a gift to the National Wildlife Federation in your will, trust, or by beneficiary designation, as providing us with documentation will ensure your gift is used in the way you intend.

Gifts in a Will

Our supporters often find that including a provision in their will or trust is the greatest expression of their commitment to conservation. When you make this gift, you are joining the Federation family by making a declaration about how much you care about protecting wildlife and how much you value the Federation’s purpose. What’s more, you can amend your gift at any time and for any reason, making this act of generosity, not only convenient, but meaningful as well.

Here are some popular ways to leave a gift in your will to the National Wildlife Federation:

  • A residuary gift in your will leaves the National Wildlife Federation a fraction or percentage of your estate after all specific bequests, debts, and expenses have been paid.
  • A general gift in your will leaves a gift of a stated sum of money in your will or living trust.
  • A specific gift in your will leaves the National Wildlife Federation a particular asset referring to any non-cash items such as shares, property, or other valuables.
  • A contingent gift in your will leaves the National Wildlife Federation a stated share of your estate only if a stated future event occurs, such as the passing of a beneficiary.

View Sample Language for Your Will or Trust

Gifts by Beneficiary Designation

Financial Instrument Gifts: Life insurance policies, savings bonds, CD’s, bank accounts, and other financial accounts are wonderful tools that you can use to show your commitment to saving wildlife and habitat across America. All it takes is designating the National Wildlife Federation as a beneficiary of any of these assets. When you do, you create a lasting legacy for conservation, and the impact you have is infinite.

Retirement Fund Gifts: When you designate the National Wildlife Federation as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, you give a gift that may reduce taxes, costs you nothing now, and provides a better future for wildlife.

Benefits to You and Your Family:

  • Reduces or eliminates taxes on retirement assets.
  • Removes highly taxable assets from your estate by direct beneficiary designation.
  • Reduces or avoids probate fees.
  • No cost to you now to give.
  • Creates your conservation legacy with the National Wildlife Federation.

To name the National Wildlife Federation as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, contact your bank or insurance company to see whether a change of beneficiary form must be completed.

Savings bonds: If you have bonds that have stopped earning interest and that you plan to redeem, you will owe income tax on the appreciation. In the end, your heirs will receive only a fraction of the value of the bonds in which you invested. Since the National Wildlife Federation is a tax-exempt institution, naming us as a beneficiary means that 100% of your gift will go toward protecting wildlife, transforming conservation, and connecting Americans with wildlife.

CDs, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and commercial annuities: Changing the title of a certificate of deposit, a checking or savings bank account, or a brokerage account, is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to ensure that wildlife can thrive in America.

Donor Advised Fund (DAF) residuals: Final distribution of contributions remaining in a Donor Advised Fund is governed by the contract you completed when you created your fund. Consider naming the National Wildlife Federation as a “successor” of your account or a portion of your account value. With your support, more wildlife and habitats will thrive in America for generations to come.

To help ensure a brighter future for wildlife, please contact the Gift Planning Office, at 1-800-332-4949 or

This information is not intended as legal, accounting or other professional advice. For assistance in planning your legacy gift, please consult an estate planning attorney and/or financial advisor for professional advice.