Build the Future. Leave a Legacy.

Planned gifts are often viewed as an option for wealthy philanthropists looking for tax benefits. The truth is, planned giving, also called gift planning, deferred gifts, or legacy giving, is for anyone. Increasingly, people with average means choose planned gifts to the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation to ensure our mission to promote stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests through public engagement in volunteerism, education, and recreation to the benefit of all continues well into the future.

One Bird, Two Habitats. Building a legacy across continents.

When we say “planned giving,” we refer to gifts to PPFF that are made through your estate. Many options are available. Some provide income back to you during your retirement; others are released at the reading of your will.

These gifts do not need to be complicated. In fact, you can often indicate your intentions by including only a short paragraph or letter of instruction to the will. It’s simple to set up, but the benefits are far reaching. Planned giving provides a way for you, regardless of your age or income level, to support PPFF in a much more significant way than you may have ever realized was possible, while also reducing or eliminating certain taxes for you and your loved ones.

Including PPFF into your estate plans may be one of the most important decisions you ever make because it can impact the future of Pennsylvanians for generations. Click here to download our free resource: “Why Is an Estate Plan Important.

When you designate a planned gift to PPFF, please let us know. Knowing your intent helps us plan for the future, and it entitles you to membership in our PPFF Conservation Legacy Society.  We would be honored to welcome you as a friend to an exclusive group of like-minded visionaries.

Below we provide a general overview of different types of planned gifts. Your preferred method will depend on multiple factors personal to you, your goals, and your financial circumstance.

If you have any questions, consult your professional advisor or contact Marci Mowery, our President. She can be reached by telephone at 717.236.7644 or via email.

PLEASE NOTE: This information is not intended as legal or tax advice.


Just as the name suggests, these gifts allow you to name PPFF as the “beneficiary” of a gift in your will or trust. This is the most common type of planned gift, and it refers to any donation from your will or trust. (A “bequest” in legalese.) You are able to “bequeath” a gift to PPFF through your will or trust simply by naming us as a beneficiary just as you would a loved one.

Gifts can be specified as:

  • a specific dollar amount of money.
  • a specified number of shares of stocks, bonds or mutual funds.
  • a percentage of the value of your estate.
  • specific items of value, such as a piece of property, a parcel of land, a vehicle, artwork, and more. (If you choose this type of gift, please let us know before you finalize your plans to make it easier for the executor of your will and for PPFF.)
  • the “residue” in your estate; that is, PPFF receives what is “left over.”
  • a “contingency beneficiary.” For example, if you name an amount to a loved one who then passed before you do, that amount goes to PPFF.

We’ve prepared sample language to include in your will should you name PPFF as a beneficiary.  Click to download sample language to discuss with your attorney.

Loving the Outdoors. A legacy from one generation to the next.


These types of planned gifts provide a way for you to designate PPFF as the beneficiary of your retirement accounts or insurance policies. Defined through the institution who manages the asset rather than through language in your will, these designations are made through a simple update that indicates what percentage of your account you want to go to your loved ones and what percentage you would like to go PPFF.

Retirement Account: You can designate PPFF on all, or on a portion of, a retirement account, such as a 401(k), 403(b), or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Contact the trustee through the company or bank that administers the funds.

When you make a designation to PPFF from your retirement account, you retain possession of the total amount of the asset for as long as you need. The remainder is designated to PPFF.

Consult your accountant, tax adviser or attorney about the comparative advantages of leaving your retirement account funds to PPFF, a nonprofit, versus a loved one. You may find an individual, such as your children or loved one, will be taxed at a higher rate.

IRA Charitable Rollover: Once you turn 70½, you have to start withdrawing money out of your IRA. This is known as your Required Minimum Distribution. Federal law allows you to make a direct charitable transfer from your IRA to a qualified charity like PPFF. The law allows individuals who are 70½ or older to donate gifts from their IRA accounts in any amount up to $100,000 each tax year. Your gift is not considered income, making it tax free. This applies to IRAs only, not 401(k) or 403(b) accounts.

Insurance Policy: You can designate PPFF as a partial or full beneficiary of an insurance policy you no longer need or use. Often, you receive a benefit as well: PPFF receives the cash value of the policy, and you are able to claim the gift amount as a charitable gift tax deduction.

PLEASE NOTE: In some states, laws require that spouses (or even ex-spouses) sign off on the designation of insurance to third parties. Your insurance company, HR office (in the case of employer-based insurance) or an attorney should be able to guide you.

Contact Marci Mowery, our President by telephone at 717.236.7644 or via email for more information about planned giving designations or to let us know you’ve included PPFF as a beneficiary in your accounts.


Life income gifts to PPFF are often called the “gifts that pay you back.” These methods return a portion of your gift back to you on a [monthly, quarterly, yearly] basis, and PPFF retains the balance of the gift at the passing of you or your spouse. These gifts are irrevocable, and some portion of a life income gift is tax deductible, depending on the type you choose. Life Income Agreements include (but are not limited to):

  • Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) (Immediate or Deferred) A CGA is the simplest life income agreement to set up because it is a direct contract between you and PPFF. For a minimum gift of [amount], you and your spouse (or any two beneficiaries you name) get a consistent stream of income for life or for a predetermined amount of time. A CGA can be deferred, which means you can make your gift today and select a later date to begin receiving income, an ideal situation for younger donors. Rules govern both the minimum age and donation amount. You are restricted from adding additional funds to your CGA, but you always have the ability to create an additional CGA.
  • Charitable Remainder Unitrusts (CRUT) and Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust (CRAT). Charitable Remainder Unitrusts (CRUT) and Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust (CRAT) are similar to a Charitable Gift Annuity in that they provide lifetime income. However, CRUT payments vary based on the value of the trust while CRATs and CGAs maintain fixed payments. Another difference: a CGA gifts PPFF directly.  CRUTs and CRATs place money in an independent trust to hold and manage the money.

Although these trusts have maintenance expenses, they allow for flexibility. For example, you can increase the donation to the trust at any time. You can also include a non-income asset to the trust, such as artwork or rare coins, and then liquidate the asset when you’re ready to begin receiving income.

  • Pooled Income Fund. Think of a Pooled Income Fund as a charitable mutual fund. You make gifts to the pool as you would buy shares of a mutual fund. Your income depends on the amount you contribute and the performance of the fund.

Life Income Agreements work well when you want to impact the future of PPFF and …

  • you want to give a gift now.
  • you’ve reached 70 ½, and you want to convert retirement plan assets into a life income.
  • you want to help your grandchildren with college expenses.
  • you want to add a steady source of retirement income.
  • you want to remove funds from your estate.
  • you want to receive an income from an asset that you are willing to bequest as a gift.
  • you want a higher return than a low-paying investment.
  • you like the idea of some of your income being tax free.
  • … much more …

No life income agreement can do all of these, but the right one can effectively provide benefits to you now while meeting your charitable and income objectives.

Contact Marci Mowery, our President, by telephone at 717.236.7644 or via email for more information about life income agreements.

Building a Legacy Can Mean Building a Trail


Imagine being able to fund your favorite program at PPFF now, knowing you’ve assured its long-term sustainability through your estate. Listed below are methods that can deliver a tax advantage to you and an immediate or deferred gift to PPFF. We invite you to talk to us about the benefits of these options.

Donor Advised Funds are funds you place under the management of a community foundation or financial organization. Community foundations are popular alternatives to private foundations, and may have some of the same advantages with fewer expenses. You retain the authority to advise the fund to make a contribution to PPFF at any given time. (If you have an account with a brokerage company or mutual fund organization, you might be eligible to create a donor advised fund.)

Appreciated Stock passed to PPFF can have a significant impact on our mission while creating a substantial tax benefit for you. Consult your accountant to learn if a planned gift to PPFF of appreciated stock can help you avoid capital gains tax or provide a charitable gift deduction on your taxes. If so, please contact Marci Mowery, our President, by telephone at 717.236.7644 or via email to obtain our brokerage account information.

Real Estate: If you have real estate with burdensome taxes, maintenance and liability, turn your trouble into a gift to PPFF. You can experience substantial savings and avoid capital taxes by transferring property as a gift to PPFF rather than selling the property. This could be even more advantageous to you than selling the property outright and using the proceeds to fund a planned gift. We invite you to call us to discuss your options before you sell.

PLEASE NOTE: Because PPFF takes its responsibilities to you, its mission and the public very seriously, any real estate will undergo a thorough and professional review and inspection before acceptance.

Bargain Sale: In a bargain sale, your real estate is appraised for its current value but sold to PPFF at a lower price. This can be any amount you and PPFF agree on. You receive the benefit of a tax deduction on the amount between the sale price and the appraised value.

Personal Property: Charitable gifts could be collecting dust in your closet, attic, or garage, but this giving method turns your storage items into a valuable asset that supports the work of PPFF. Consult our Development Director to learn how you can maximize the tax advantages of gifting tangible personal property, such as coin collections, jewelry, china or art.

Charitable Lead Trust: Think of a charitable lead trust as renting a sum of money to PPFF. Here’s how it works: Either during your lifetime or at your passing, you designate a substantial gift to a trust for the benefit of PPFF. PPFF receives interest or gains from the trust over the life of its term, usually for 10 to 20 years. At the end of the term, the remainder passes to your heirs, often tax free. This is an overview of a more complicated process.

Contact Marci Mowery, our President, by telephone at 717.236.7644 or via email for more information about these legacy gifts options.


Planned giving empowers you to leave a legacy while you build a strong future for PPFF. The gifts listed do not represent a comprehensive description of all your options. Use this as a starting point in the discussion with your family, financial advisor, accountant, or attorney to determine how to best meet your goals. We are also available to consult on ways you can make the greatest impact at PPFF.

Contact Marci Mowery, our President, by telephone at 717.236.7644 or via email  for more information about planned giving. Please let us know of your decision to include PPFF in your estate plan so we can welcome you to our PPFF Conservation Legacy Society where you will join other visionaries committed to the mission of PPFF.


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