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Planned Giving

Gary and Marcia Richter

Passionate Volunteers and Philanthropists

Gary and Marcia RichterGary Richter has been a Minnesota Zoo volunteer for the past 11 years and doesn't plan to stop anytime soon. He began volunteering shortly after his retirement from research and product development at Novartis Nutrition. His background in biology provided a great connection to his volunteer work. Over the years he has shared his passion for animals and nature with thousands of guests of all ages. In addition to his regular duties as a Zoo volunteer, Gary has helped prepare diets for Zoomobile animals, observed animal behavior for keepers, served on the Zoo volunteer board and represented the Zoo at national docent/volunteer conferences.

Gary's wife, Marcia, is also a Zoo enthusiast and has a strong interest in connecting children to the natural world. "I feel it's so important to encourage children to experience nature. We instilled that in our children and we see it being passed on to our grandchildren as well," she says.

Gary and Marcia enjoy giving back to the organizations they feel passionately about by investing their time and by making donations when they can.

As their children grew up and started having families of their own, Gary and Marcia have periodically reevaluated their financial situation. They recently decided that a life insurance policy of Gary's no longer needed to be in their future plans. It was an easy decision to gift the policy to the Minnesota Zoo Foundation. After a few conversations with Brenda Teats, a gift officer in the Zoo Foundation, Gary determined the gift could be used at the Zoo to further support the work he is passionate about.

The life insurance policy became an opportunity to make a larger gift to the Zoo than might have otherwise been possible. And this gift qualifies Gary and Marcia as members of the Circle of Life Society, which recognizes and honors those who have given a gift through their estate. We are honored to welcome the Richters to this growing body of dedicated supporters!

Gifting a life insurance policy or naming the Minnesota Zoo Foundation as a beneficiary of your policy is a simple way to make the gift of a lifetime to support the work of the Zoo to connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife.

For more information about how you can make the gift of a lifetime, please contact us at [email protected] or 952-431-9440.

Meet other members of the Circle of Life Society.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

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

Bequest Language

"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 Minnesota Zoo Foundation 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 Minnesota Zoo Foundation 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 Minnesota Zoo Foundation 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 Minnesota Zoo Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the Minnesota Zoo Foundation 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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.