Planned Giving

Charles R. Evenson Society

As a dedicated protector of our region’s natural resources, Charles Evenson was passionately invested in the establishment and growth of the West Michigan Environmental Action Council beginning in 1968. He went on to contribute to the establishment of an endowment, which secured WMEAC’s capacity to impact positive change for generations. In fact, his own grandson became one of WMEAC’s early Executive Directors.

Mr. Evenson supported WMEAC because of the organization’s unique capacity to organize and mobilize diverse and non-partisan partners from public and private entities into one community partnership for environmental protection.

Today WMEAC continues to set the pace for environmental action in West Michigan and Mr. Evenson’ s gift is still protecting our natural resources. You can help continue this legacy by becoming a member of the Charles Evenson Society with your own planned gift to WMEAC. Join Mr. Evenson in securing West Michigan’s unique culture of collaborative environmental leadership and protection.

For more information about planned giving or to get started with your gift, please send us an email at:

Types of Gifts

Gifts of Cash, Bequests or Securities

Currently a cash gift entitles donors to income a tax charitable deduction in the year of the gift. Gifts of cash may be fully deductible—up to a maximum of 50% of your adjusted gross income. You can name WMEAC as a beneficiary in your will by making an outright gift or specifying a percentage of your estate. You may also make WMEAC a remain- der beneficiary to receive funds after funds have been paid to individual beneficiaries. ¨ If you own securities, it can often be more tax-wise to contribute them rather than cash because a gift of appreciated stock can offer a twofold tax advantage.

Life Income Gifts

These programs allow you to support WMEAC’s programs and either have income for your life or the use of your property during your lifetime.

Charitable Lead Trust

A charitable lead trust enables you to transfer assets to a trust that pays its income to WMEAC for a set period of time. The end of the term, the principal and all capital appreciation returns to you or others you name.

Charitable Remainder Trust

A charitable Remainder Trust is an irrevocable trust in which the donor or designees receive income from the trust for life or for a period of up to 20 years—or a combination of the two, after which the trust terminates and the assets of the trust are distributed to the charitable beneficiaries. Upon termination of the trust, that portion received by WMEAC will be applied to the purpose stated by the donor in the trust agreement.

Gifts of Real Estate and Tangible Personal Property

Real estate can be the source of your gift to WMEAC. You can deed your home, vacation home, farm or condominium to WMEAC and retain the right to live on the property and/or receive income from the property as long as you live. You receive an income tax deduction when the property is deeded to WMEAC and normally avoid any capital gains taxes when making the transfer. Your inheritance and estate taxes may be reduced at the time of your death.

Gifts of Life Insurance and Retirement Accounts

A life insurance policy is another way to make a substantial gift to WMEAC. You can:

  • Make WMEAC the owner and beneficiary of an existing policy which you no longer need. The current value of the policy is tax deductible, as are future premium payments.
  • Purchase a new policy with WMEAC as the original policy owner and beneficiary. Also, the remainder value of many retirement accounts can be passed tax free to a non-profit organization such as WMEAC.

* Be sure to review with your attorney or financial advisor to learn if these are appropriate gifts for you. WMEAC reserves the right to decline gifts which are not in keeping with the terms of its gift acceptance policy.

(This document does not constitute tax advice. We recommend that you consult with your attorney or tax advisor for the various tax benefits and restrictions that may apply to your specific situation.  We are available to you and your advisors to answer questions or help arrange a gift to WMEAC.)