Support Defenders with Your Retirement Assets

Name Defenders of Wildlife as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k) or other qualified retirement plan and contribute to the wildlife you love while avoiding the double taxation your retirement savings would incur should you leave it to your heir(s).

Fill out a form through your plan administrator to designate us to receive all or a portion of the balance of your plan. Beneficiary designations can be changed or revoked at any time without a penalty, and your regular lifetime withdrawals will not be affected.

Did you know?

Your retirement fund can be taxed up to 75% if passed on to heirs, yet it’s tax-free to charity.

There is a sensible charitable alternative: Name Defenders of Wildlife as the beneficiary of your retirement plan, then use other assets not subject to income tax to make gifts to your heirs. Defenders of Wildlife, as a qualified 501 (c)(3), won't pay income tax on our distribution and your heirs will receive their share of your estate without the burden of extra taxes.

Gray wolf pups with flowers
Image Credit
John Pitcher/iStock


I have included Defenders in my will, trust or retirement plans.

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Use Your Traditional IRA to Make Your Charitable Gifts Today

Giving through your qualified retirement plan or IRA can provide you tax benefits on up to $100,000 worth of charitable rollover gifts each year. These gifts also count towards each year’s required minimum distribution (RMD).

In order to qualify for a charitable rollover donation, you must be at least 70 ½ years of age at the time of your gift.
Please keep in mind that rollovers must come directly from your IRA account – funds that you withdraw and then choose to contribute do not qualify.

We partnered with FreeWill, so you can easily complete the necessary forms to make a tax-free gift from your IRA. Get started now!

We are also happy to provide you with a sample instruction letter for you to fill in and send to your IRA administrator. Please contact us to let us know and so you can provide us with the information we need to ensure you receive your tax benefits.

Contact the Planned Giving Team at 1-800-915-6789 or to discuss these gift options.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve heard that transferring gifts of IRA assets to charity is advantageous. Why?

After a person's death, these accounts are exposed to income and in some cases estate taxes, which at a combined rate could rise to 75% or higher. The only way to avoid these taxes on your retirement plan is to give those assets to a charity. By designating Defenders of Wildlife as your beneficiary, you will ensure 100% of the value of your account benefits Defenders.

How do I arrange a gift from my retirement plan?

Simply contact your IRA or retirement plan administrator and request a copy of the Change of Beneficiary Form. You can fill this in as you wish and include Defenders of Wildlife for a portion or all the remainder of your plan’s assets. Learn more here.

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