Legacy Giving

Your Legacy for Bainbridge Island
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 places.

Planned 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. We have partnered with FreeWill to offer you free use of their secure, online will-writing tool, so that you can create your legal will and establish your conservation legacy for free today.

If you would prefer to work with an attorney on your existing estate plan, you can also save on legal costs by using FreeWill to document your wishes first. The Bainbridge Island Land Trust can supply a list of local attorneys for you to connect with.

Learn more about types of bequests and sample language for your will.

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 conserve the natural lands of Bainbridge Island by remembering the Land Trust in your future plans, please contact the Land Trust Executive Director at [email protected]

The Bainbridge Island Land Trust will be holding future get-togethers for those who are interested in planned giving and want to learn more. If you would like to be notified about these gatherings, please contact our office at [email protected]


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.

Good News: Major New Tax Advantages of Donating from Your IRA
The new tax reform act, passed at the end of 2017, makes it more attractive than ever for those over 70 ½ to donate to the Land Trust through their Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).  Every dollar of your RMD that is given directly to a charitable institution such as the Land Trust is the equivalent of being fully deductible on your Federal income taxes. This is because a direct RMD contribution lowers your taxable income by the amount of the contribution, freeing you from having to pay any taxes on that amount.

Unfortunately, the very same tax reform act also impacts some tax advantages of charitable contributions given in a more traditional way. By nearly doubling the standard deduction to $24,000 for married couples filing jointly, only total deductions that exceed that amount can be deducted from income in calculating Federal taxes.  For those couples over age 65, this standard deduction goes up to $26,600. Adding to the equation state and local property and sales taxes are now only deductible to a total of $10,000 per year.  For many Bainbridge Islanders whose homes have gained value in recent years, limiting the deduction for real estate taxes makes it more difficult for them to exceed the $24,000 to $26,600 standard deduction.

By donating some or all of your “required minimum distribution” (RMD) from your IRA, 401k, or other qualified retirement account to the Land Trust, you don’t have to exceed the standard deduction to make your contribution fully tax deductible. For example, if you must take a required minimum distribution of $10,000 in 2018 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. Be sure to tell the administrator of the retirement account on which you must take an annual RMD to send your contribution directly to the Land Trust so it becomes fully deductible. If the money is distributed first to you and then you decide to contribute it, it is only deductible if it exceeds the new, higher, standard deduction. So, you are much better off by contributing directly from your required minimum distribution.

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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