How do you experience the Minnesota Zoo? What’s your favorite trail or program?
For many, it is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends seeing and learning about the over 5,000 amazing, diverse animals we house. A visit to the Minnesota Zoo puts us in touch with nature and allows us to step into another world for a short time.
For Edie Ernst it is all that and more. Edie started coming to the Zoo in 1994 and continues to be a member and regular visitor. Like most of us, she fell in love with many of the animals and wanted to learn more. To feed her curiosity, she has participated in numerous Zoo programs like Back-Stage Pass, adult classes, overnights, lectures and even traveled to Africa with the Zoo.
Edie also enjoys the peaceful moments at the Zoo. Each time she visits, she takes her time and strolls through the exhibits, frequently sitting quietly to observe and learn from each animal—her favorites being the otters and bears.
A few years ago, Edie made a donation to sponsor a bench by the bison exhibit that is dedicated in memory of her parents. It is now a favorite stop on her regular Zoo visits.
We love the moment of awestruck wonder when a child comes face to face with a grizzly bear for the first time or giggles as a penguin darts through the water, but we sometimes forget how amazing that experience can be for adults as well. Edie enjoys this same feeling each time she visits. She says, “I have a connection to the animals and I love spending time with them.”
That is why Edie has chosen to give back to the Zoo. She makes annual gifts and has included the Minnesota Zoo Foundation as a beneficiary of her estate. She wants to be sure that these amazing animals continue to thrive here and in the wild for years to come. Her gift supports the Zoo’s mission to connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife.
“This is my Zoo and I’m happy that I can do my part for the animals. I hope others will do the same.”
For more information about how to include the Minnesota Zoo Foundation in your estate plan, please contact Amalie Frankel at the Minnesota Zoo Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507.250.4264.
A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the Minnesota Zoo an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.
an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan
"I give, devise, and bequeath to the Minnesota Zoo Foundation, a non-profit Minnesota corporation, located at 13000 Zoo Boulevard, Apple Valley, Minnesota 55124, the sum of $____ (or, ___ percent of my estate, or, ___ percent of the residue of my estate) to be used for such purposes as the Board of Trustees determines at the time this bequest becomes effective."
able to be changed or cancelled
A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.
cannot be changed or cancelled
tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient
the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation
the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase
the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on
The person receiving the gift annuity payments.
the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid
a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will
the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will
A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the Zoo or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.
An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.
Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.
Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.
Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.
A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.
You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.
You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Zoo as a lump sum.
You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Zoo as a lump sum.
A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.
A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the Zoo where you agree to make a gift to the Zoo and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.