Legacy Giving

Keep Bainbridge Island Green Forever
What is it that we value most about Bainbridge Island? For many, it’s the green that surrounds and envelops us, the verdant woods and flower-filled meadows that beckon us to walk, to think, to reflect. The most important legacy that we can leave for future generations is ensuring that that Bainbridge Island retains its natural beauty.

Legacy giving—remembering the Bainbridge Island Land Trust in a will—is the perfect way to enjoy the Island’s verdant landscapes and spectacular shorelines and share that gift with others – forever. Learn more about simple language you can include in your will here.

A number of our neighbors are including the Land Trust in their wills, either for a specific amount or, increasingly, for a percentage of assets designated for charity. If you have done this, please let us know: we would like to honor you by including your story in our newsletters, on our website and at events. Your gift, whether publicly or anonymously shared, will motivate others.

Planned Gifts Take Many Forms
Many choose to live on Bainbridge Island because the land inspires them. Those of you who have lived here for generations may feel connected to place through a specific hiking trail, view, shoreline, or forest.

As you think about the past and ponder your vision for the future, you may be considering how to make a significant difference in conserving what makes Bainbridge Island so special—its land and natural setting.

While planned gifts take many forms, they are the result of careful thought and reflection. Such gifts might include bequests made in a will, naming the Bainbridge Island Land Trust as a life insurance beneficiary, or using tax-wise giving options such as a required minimum distribution (see box below), or charitable gift annuities or remainder trusts. Proceeds from planned gifts enable the Land Trust to continue preserving properties for the benefit of current and future Islanders, and may also support the ongoing stewardship and care-taking of lands we’ve already helped to protect.

What planned gift options are available to me?
Bequests are one of the easiest ways to make a gift to the Bainbridge Island Land Trust. A bequest is a provision in a will or living trust that directs money or other property to individuals or organizations at the end of life. An advantage of a bequest is that it allows you to change your mind at any time. Property left to the Bainbridge Island Land Trust is deductible from your taxable estate and may result in substantial tax savings. Bequests can also be used to help you achieve a particular preservation or stewardship goal, or to place a conservation easement on your land after your death. Learn more about types of bequests and sample language for your will.

As you consider including the Bainbridge Island Land Trust in your will, please talk to an attorney who has experience in wills and estates. The Bainbridge Island Land Trust can supply a list of local attorneys for you to interview.

Other possibilities include:
Remainder Interest in Land
Charitable Gift Annuities
Charitable Remainder Trust
Charitable Lead Trust
Required Minimum Distribution (see box below)

Want More Information?
If you would like to discuss ways to preserve the natural lands of Bainbridge Island by remembering the Land Trust in your future plans, please contact the Land Trust’s executive director, Jane Stone, at 206-842-1216.

The Bainbridge Island Land Trust will be holding a series of get-togethers for those who are interested in the possibility of making a legacy gift of some type, but want to learn more. The first of these low-key get-togethers will be held in June 2017 and will feature a nationally-known expert on legacy giving who is a volunteer advisor with the Land Trust. If you would like to be notified about these gatherings, please call Debbie at 206-842-1216.

Good News: It’s permanent!
In 2016, for the first time, there is a great new way for those over 70 ½ to give to the Land Trust and save money on your taxes.

Donate some or all of your “required minimum distribution” (RMD) from your IRA, 401k, or other qualified retirement account to the Land Trust and save money on your taxes. For example, if you must make a required minimum distribution of $10,000 in 2017 and decide to contribute half that amount to the Land Trust, your required minimum distribution (on which you must pay income tax) is lowered to $5,000 for the year.

Your donation will lower your taxable income and save the taxes you would have been required to pay on the full RMD. However, you may be able to save even more in taxes by donating your RMD since it lowers your adjusted gross income by the amount of the RMD donation. This cannot be done simply by taking the full RMD as income and donating the equivalent amount.

How does this work?
By lowering your adjusted gross income you may be able to save those taxes that go down when our adjusted gross income is lowered. For example, you can only deduct medical expenses that are above 7 ½ percent of our adjusted gross income. By lowering our adjusted gross income through the contribution of our RMD, it lowers the 7 ½ percent threshold for deductible medical expenses, thereby lowering your taxes. For those who receive Social Security retirement income, 85 percent of that income is taxed if your adjusted gross income is too high. By lowering your adjusted gross income through a contribution of all or part of your RMD to the Land Trust, you may be able to reduce taxes on our Social Security benefits. Finally, if your adjusted gross income is above a certain level the government reduces the amount of money that you can exempt from income because of dependents and age, as well as the amount of the itemized deductions (such as mortgage interest) that you can claim to reduce your taxes. Again, by contributing all or part of your RMD to the Land Trust, you can reduce your adjusted gross income, which may allow a larger portion of your exemptions and deductions to reduce your income taxes.


Islander Charles Hawk generously made the Bainbridge Island Land Trust a charitable beneficiary of his estate. In his honor, the Land Trust’s Board of Directors decided to recognize his gift by creating a revolving “Island Legacy” fund. This fund will enable the Land Trust to act swiftly and decisively to help acquire and/or restore important conservation properties on Bainbridge Island. By creating a revolving fund, which is replenished as property fundraising occurs, the legacy of Charles Hawk will continue to help preserve the natural landscape of Bainbridge Island for the benefit of all.


Many landowners who work with the Land Trust have deep roots on the Island and have a strong desire to help preserve their family heritage lands. Often, these families work with the Land Trust to place conservation easements on their land or sell their property at a significant discount from its market value. This offers a secondary benefit to the seller, who can claim the discount as a charitable contribution on their taxes.

We need your help. Please consider making a donation today.

Contributions will help us expand, protect and preserve ecologically sensitive habitat. For everyone. Forever.

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