Little Traverse Conservancy

Planned Giving

Leaving YOUR Legacy

A Meaningful Gift— A Mindful Investment

Perhaps you choose to live in northern Michigan or spend time here because the land inspires you. Maybe you feel connected to the land through family memories, a hiking trail, a pristine stretch of river, or your favorite stretch of shoreline.

As you think about the past and ponder your vision for the future, you may be considering how you can make a significant difference in conserving what makes northern Michigan so unique — its unparalleled lakes, rolling hardwoods, scenic highways, and blue-ribbon trout streams.

While planned gifts take many forms, they result from careful planning and an intention to make a lasting gift. These could include bequests made in a will, naming the Little Traverse Conservancy as a life insurance beneficiary, or using tax-wise giving options such as charitable gift annuities or remainder trusts.

Conservancy supporters who have made planned gifts have had an extraordinary impact on our work. Proceeds from planned gifts fund our endowment, ensuring our continued long term success and stability. Planned gifts help ensure that the Little Traverse Conservancy is stable and equipped to steward our many nature preserves, monitor our perpetual conservation easements, and continue to preserve significant natural and scenic lands in northern Michigan.

Please contact us to find out what option might work best for you.

Little Traverse Conservancy, Inc.
A qualified 501 (c) 3 Michigan non-profit organization.
Tax ID # 23-7267810

Frequently Asked Questions

When considering how to protect your land, here are some of the common questions that arise among landowners.

  • Allows you to see the benefits of your gift.
  • Enables you to personally be involved with the Conservancy, ensuring your gift is used as you see fit.
  • In the case of a charitable gift annuity, you receive an immediate tax benefit, potentially avoid capital gains, and have a reliable annual income from the annuity.
  • Giving through your estate after your death provides clarity for surviving family members about your charitable intent.
  • Giving through your estate after your death supports the long-term sustainability of the Conservancy.
  • Giving through your estate after your death may reduce estate taxes.
  • A life income gift allows you to gift assets – including cash, securities, or real estate – in exchange for a stream of income, with the remainder of the funds supporting the Conservancy.
  • Examples of life income gifts are charitable gift annuities, pooled income funds, and charitable remainder trusts.
  • Individuals age 70½ and older may give up to $50,000 from their IRA to a charitable remainder unitrust, charitable remainder annuity trust, or charitable gift annuity. Distributions to create life income gifts count toward an individual’s required minimum distribution (RMD).
  • Diversification of your assets without incurring capital gains taxes.
  • Lifetime income.
  • Immediate income tax benefits.
  • Reduction of the estate tax.
  • Meaningful support of the Conservancy.


  • Working with your estate planning attorney or financial advisor, you can simply add an amendment, called a codicil, to your will or living trust.
  • Your bequest intentions are entirely under your control during your lifetime.
  • If you’ve already included the Conservancy in your estate plans, thank you very much— and please let Emily Hughes, Chief Development Officer, know. Sharing your goals with the Conservancy helps us assess our long-term financial picture better and ensure our records reflect your intentions. or (231) 344-1009

I believe that using the annuity as a form of gifting was a three-way “win.” First, the yield is excellent and gets better as you age. In my case, the yield was superior to the stocks I was holding. The second “win” is for your spouse: the annuity payments continue to them even after your death. The final “win” is that you are giving funds to a terrific organization that is devoted to protecting the countryside you love – and ensuring that this countryside will be there to be loved and enjoyed by your children and grandchildren.” – Earl Larson

Earl Larson was one of the founding members of the Little Traverse Conservancy, and he has many fond memories of his role helping the organization form and gets rolling forward nearly 44 years ago. In 1999 Earl and his wife Barbara retired from their work in Harbor Springs and moved to the tiny town of DeTour Village in the eastern Upper Peninsula.

He and Barbara then focused on their philanthropic goals, including a scholarship fund to Lake Superior State University and a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust to the Little Traverse Conservancy— the first such planned gift ever received by the Conservancy.

Bequests are very flexible, and like the Larson’s Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust, come in several types and scenarios. Many Planned Giving options can deliver significant benefits to the Little Traverse Conservancy and provide tax benefits to the donor.

You can make a planned gift during your lifetime or through your will and estate plan. Advanced and thoughtful planning offers you an opportunity to support the Little Traverse Conservancy, knowing your gift will further the organization’s mission for years to come.


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