Giving to AWI
There are many ways to support AWI’s work to protect animals. We are grateful for cash and non-cash donations alike. To donate by credit card, please click here; donations by check may be made payable to Animal Welfare Institute and sent to the mailing address listed at the bottom of this page.
Please note: All donations to the Animal Welfare Institute, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, are tax-deductible. AWI’s tax-exempt number is 13-5655952.
One of the most effective ways to contribute to the future of animals and their habitats is through planned giving, also known as "granting a legacy" or "making a bequest." If you are considering recognizing AWI in your will, please note the various gift options that are open to you.
- a residual bequest - after making provision for your family and friends, the balance of your belongings (your "estate") is donated to AWI;
- a percentage of your estate - where a specific percentage of your estate (or the residual estate) is left to AWI;
- a pecuniary bequest - where a specific sum of money is donated;
- a specific gift bequest - referring to any non-cash items such as shares or stock, real estate, jewelry, artwork, or other valuable, which can be given to AWI;
- a separate life insurance/assurance policy naming AWI as the beneficiary;
- a life income plan - where you set up a trust for your dependents, providing them with a regular income, while the principal of the trust (the original amount invested) is paid to AWI after a specific time period - this can also be known as a "charitable remainder trust."
When making a bequest, we encourage you to consult with a financial or legal advisor to make sure that you are taking advantage of any savings in inheritance tax and that your will is valid. Charitable gifts made through your will are 100% deductible for estate tax purposes and a charitable bequest may place your estate in a lower tax bracket. Some suggested language for making a simple will with a contribution to AWI is provided below.
I give, devise and bequeath to the Animal Welfare Institute, located in Washington, D.C., the sum of $_______________________ and/or _______________________ (specifically described property).
If you are over the age of 59½ and can make withdrawals from your traditional IRA or other tax-favored retirement plan without triggering an "early withdrawal" penalty, you may wish to make withdrawals and use them as your charitable gifts to AWI. Those over the age of 70½ who are required to take mandatory withdrawals from retirement accounts in excess of amounts needed to fund current living expenses may also wish to make their gifts in this way.
You will be required to report the income on your tax return, but when you itemize your deductions you are allowed a corresponding federal income tax charitable deduction for your cash gifts up to 50% of your adjusted gross income. If you are able to deduct the full amount of the gift/withdrawal, this can amount to a "wash" for tax purposes and ensure these funds will, in effect, never be subject to gift income, or estate taxes. You may also enjoy comparable state tax savings.
We encourage you to seek assistance from your accountant or other advisor when determining the optimum amount to give from your retirement plan accounts under federal and state tax laws.
You may also want to consider AWI as part of your plans for the future distribution of any balances remaining in your retirement plans at the end of your lifetime. Because they are included as part of one’s estate at death, the assets in tax-favored retirement plans such as an IRA and a 401(k) can be subject to any applicable federal (and possibly state) estate taxes. Additionally, when heirs receive the balance of retirement plans after payment of any state or federal estate taxes that may be due, income tax will also be due. Thus the combination of income and estate taxes that could eventually be levied on retirement accounts may, in some cases, amount to a large portion of an account’s value. By directing that such assets be used to fund charitable gifts to AWI from your estate, you can ensure that more assets are received by loved ones rather than if retirement assets were left to them and charitable gifts were made from other funds.
If you have non-cash property, such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds, that has grown in value (appreciated) and has been held long-term (more than one year), you can generally enjoy greater tax savings from giving such property than from giving an equivalent amount of cash. The reason is that a gift of appreciated property lets you bypass capital gains tax that could be due if you sold the asset. You are also entitled to a charitable deduction based on the property’s current value, including the "paper profits" you have earned since you have owned it.
Click here for AWI’s stock transfer instructions.
If you have stock or other property that has decreased in value, you will normally save more in taxes by selling them and giving away the proceeds. You may then be able to claim a capital loss on your tax return. You can also deduct the cash proceeds you give away as a charitable gift. The result can be to enjoy tax deductions that amount to more than the current value of the asset.
Please contact us if we can be of further assistance:
Cathy Liss, President
Susan Millward, Executive Director
900 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003