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Alice and Cal Elshoff

Alice and Cal ElshoffOregon residents Alice and Cal Elshoff spent most of their careers teaching students about the wonders of science and nature. In retirement, they volunteer with and support causes dedicated to preserving wildlife and wildlands, including The Wilderness Society.

“We’ve been Wilderness Society members since the late 1950s,” Alice said. “We believe in their mission of protecting America’s wildlands. It seems especially important now when our public lands are in jeopardy.”

Alice and Cal spend much of their free time protecting a special area near their home—the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. “When I moved to Oregon after college, I met Cal and he introduced me to Malheur,” Alice said. “It’s a wonderful oasis of high desert that also has wetlands, a river canyon and many kinds of ecological niches. We’ve been volunteering there since the late ‘60s doing everything from trail maintenance to bird censusing—basically whatever the refuge needs us to do. It’s a magical place.”

When Alice and Cal decided they wanted to expand their support of our country’s wild places, they funded a charitable gift annuity with The Wilderness Society. “The gift annuity just seemed like the right fit for us and it was extremely easy to set up. It provides us with quarterly payments to add to our retirement income, and it helps us support something we really believe in,” Alice explained.

“When Cal and I were teaching, we would take our classes to do field work whenever we had the opportunity,” Alice continued. “Many of those students remember those trips as the high point of their education. Now we feel strongly that the best way for those lands to continue to be there for future generations to visit and enjoy is to designate as much acreage as possible as official wilderness. Wilderness designation is our best hope for saving the precious remnants of our pristine American lands. We hope our support will help The Wilderness Society protect as many acres of wildlands as possible.”

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The Wilderness Society a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to The Wilderness Society, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 1801 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20006, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to The Wilderness Society or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to The Wilderness Society as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to The Wilderness Society as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and The Wilderness Society where you agree to make a gift to The Wilderness Society and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.