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What will be your legacy?

Those who came before us left us the world in which we live. Those who come after us will have only what we leave them. We are stewards of this world, and we have a calling on our lives to leave it better than how we found it.

“I want my energy and support for EarthCorps to continue to thrive long after I’m gone” – Ann Lawrence

Planned giving opportunities offer creative, flexible ways for you to support EarthCorps – now and into the future.

EarthCorps’ Watershed Society ensures that legacy gifts of any size will be invested in developing global environmental leaders and protecting our Puget Sound region for future generations. Through your planned gift, you may be able to provide substantial charitable support while receiving significant tax benefits. Read Ann Lawrence’s story of why she joined the Watershed Society and is leaving a gift to EarthCorps in her will.

We invite you to leave a legacy for tomorrow by considering one of the planned giving opportunities below.


Making a gift through your will or living trust is a way to make a permanent statement of your values and a way to define your legacy and how you will be remembered. Bequests are also one of the easiest gifts to make and the most realistic way for many people to leave a legacy for succeeding generations.

With the help of a lawyer, you can provide not only for friends and family, but also for EarthCorps.

Here is suggested language for including the organization in your Will:

I hereby give to EarthCorps (tax ID #91-1592071), a Washington non-profit, with its principal place of business at 6310 NE 74th St. Suite 201E, Seattle, WA, 98115:

“the sum of $__________[amount]” and/or

“[identify here one or more specific assets in your estate]” and/or

“_______ percent (___ %) of the residue of my estate”

Gifts of Life Insurance

A gift of a life insurance policy is an excellent way to support EarthCorps. If you own a policy that has outlasted its original purpose, consider making EarthCorps the new owner of the policy. For example, this can be appealing if you have purchased a policy to provide for minor children and they are now financially independent adults. You can also designate EarthCorps as a partial, full or contingent beneficiary of a life insurance policy. This way you will continue to own the policy during your lifetime.

If EarthCorps retains the policy to maturity, or you name the organization as a beneficiary, then once the policy matures, the proceeds will be used to further our charitable work.

The benefits of gifts of life insurance are several:

  • Receive an income tax charitable deduction for a policy ownership gift
  • If EarthCorps retains a policy to maturity, you can receive additional tax deductions by making cash donations to pay the premiums
  • If EarthCorps cashes in the policy before it matures, you will be able to see firsthand how your gift supports our charitable work

How to make a gift of life insurance:

To make a gift of life insurance, please contact your life insurance agent or EarthCorps.

Gifts of Real Estate

Donating appreciated real estate you have owned for more than a year, such as a home, vacation property, undeveloped land, farmland, ranch or commercial property can make a great gift to EarthCorps.

Benefits of gifts of real estate:

  • Avoid paying tax on any of the capital gain
  • Receive an income tax charitable deduction based on the value of the gift
  • Leave a lasting legacy to EarthCorps

How to make a gift of real estate:

A formal deed drafted by a lawyer is used to make a gift of real estate, whether through an outright gift or through a trust or other arrangement that benefits not only EarthCorps, but also you and/or other individuals. Your gift will generally be based on the property’s fair market value, which must be established by an independent appraisal. Certain properties, however, may pose challenges. Please check with us before making a gift of real estate. We have a Gift Acceptance Committee that needs to approve all gifts of real estate before they can be made.

Gifts of Retirement Assets

Donating retirement assets, such as those in an IRA, 401(k), 403(b), or other tax-deferred plan, is a smart way to make a gift to EarthCorps. Donors typically arrange for EarthCorps to receive such assets once their lives have ended and they no longer need them. This can be accomplished by completing a simple beneficiary designation form. If you are 70½ or older you may also be interested in a way to lower the taxable income on the amount you must withdraw from your traditional IRA each year. This so-called “IRA charitable rollover” is a way you can help continue our work and benefit this year.

Benefits of IRA and qualified retirement plan beneficiary designations:

  • Avoid potential estate tax on the value of the assets
  • When you have heirs or other beneficiaries who would have to pay tax on any retirement plan assets they would receive, you can provide for them in other ways and designate Earthcorps – which is a tax-exempt entity – to receive the retirement assets

Benefits of an IRA charitable rollover:

  • Avoid taxes on direct transfers of up to $100,000 from your traditional IRA to our organization
  • Your gift can be used to satisfy your required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year
  • Reduce your taxable income, even if you do not itemize deductions
  • Make a gift that is not subject to the deduction limits on charitable gifts
  • Help further the work and mission of our organization

Charitable Remainder Trusts

A charitable remainder trust (CRT) is an irrevocable trust that serves a couple different purposes. You contribute assets to a CRT that pays you, or a chosen beneficiary, a stream of income each year for life or a term of up to 20 years. The remainder of the trust’s assets then go to EarthCorps (as well as to any additional charities of your choice). Placing assets in a CRT results in an income tax charitable deduction. In addition, many people with long-term appreciated assets choose to make a CRT part of their estate planning strategy in order to reduce capital gains tax.

How Charitable Remainder Trusts Work:

  • You transfer cash, securities or other appreciated property into a trust
  • The trust makes annual payments to you or to beneficiaries you name
  • When the trust terminates, the remainder passes to EarthCorps to be used as you have directed

Benefits of Charitable Remainder Trusts:

  • Receive income for life or a term of years in return for your gift
  • Receive an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of your contribution
  • Pay no upfront capital gains tax on appreciated assets you donate
  • Your trust can meet personal or family needs that are tied to a specific timeframe, such as tuition payments


Share Your Plans

Have you already included EarthCorps in your legacy plans? If so, please let us know so we can thank you and welcome you to The Watershed Society.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Devon Clemens, Development Director.

Ann Lawrence, Watershed Society Member

My initial attachment to EarthCorps was similar to my initial attachment to Seattle: I shared the love of our parks and green spaces and the inviting trails that took us out into nature!

Seattle became my home in 1974, and I was invited to join the EarthCorps board in 1998. Joining the board gave me an opportunity to combine my interest in the environment with EarthCorps’ unique international component.

My support and admiration for EarthCorps has never wavered in these past 20 years. I have hosted a number of the international corps members and I count them among my extended family. Now, I am able to visit them in their own home counties and see first-hand the wonderful work they are doing. Their energy continues to inspire me.

I keep in close touch with the field work that EarthCorps does throughout Puget Sound and I benefit from the healthy parks that surround my neighborhood, such as Cheasty Greenspace. I have watched that park evolve from a neighborhood nescience into a place of pride, not only for families in my neighborhood, but throughout the Seattle community.

A particularly unique aspect of EarthCorps is the relationships that it fosters, where people- staff, corps members, volunteers, and supporters stay connected to each other and to the organization for years. I am continually impressed with the quality and consistency of the staff. EarthCorps has been able to attract and retain an amazing number of dedicated and experienced people. This bodes well not only for EarthCorps’ culture of communitarianism where the staff know they matter, but also for the long-term health of the organization.

It has been a thrill to watch the impact of the organization grow and to see alumni become decision-makers in their own careers, fostered in part by their EarthCorps experience.

There is a sustainability that is built into the EarthCorps model that gives me great confidence. I know that whatever problems EarthCorps may face, they will be handled creatively, energetically, and resolutely. And, I am confident that the vision and spirit will endure, thrive, and attract others, which is why I have included EarthCorps in my will. I want my energy and support for EarthCorps to continue to thrive long after I’m gone.


Devon Clemens, Development Director | 206.209.2342