Planned Giving


Making a planned gift creates a lasting investment in Big Bend National Park.  Planned gift opportunities come in a variety of forms, some of which are listed below.  In addition to supporting the park, your gift can provide substantial tax advantages particularly on gifts of appreciated assets.  When making your plans it is critical to list Big Bend Conservancy as the beneficiary of your gift to ensure that your donation goes where you intended.

Unrestricted gifts give Big Bend Conservancy the greatest flexibility to use funds where they are most needed.  Big Bend Conservancy will honor a donor’s stated intent for the use of a gift if that intent falls within the parameters of the Conservancy's agreement with the National Park Service and its Annual Work Plan. Bequest provisions designated for a specific program or activity may require the approval of the National Park Service - please contact for details.

Charitable Bequests

By designating Big Bend Conservancy as a beneficiary in their wills, donors can affect a lasting legacy for the park and receive acknowledgment for it today through membership in the Legacy Society.

Charitable bequests may be made in the form of currency, securities, or other property, and may be a specific dollar amount or a percentage of a donor’s entire estate. The following provides some suggested wording for remembering Big Bend Conservancy in your will.

Specific Bequest
“I hereby give $____ (or a percentage of my estate) to Big Bend Conservancy, a Texas Non-Profit Corporation.”

Residuary Bequest
“I hereby give all (or a percentage) of the remainder of my estate to Big Bend Conservancy, a Texas Non-Profit Corporation.”

Contingent Bequest
“In the event (primary beneficiary) does not survive me, I give said amount to Big Bend Conservancy, a Texas Non-Profit Corporation.”

By providing a bequest to Big Bend Conservancy in your will or a codicil to your will, and upon notifying us in writing that such provisions have been made, you will become eligible for invitation to the Legacy Society and participation in member events. 

Life Income Gifts

Gift Annuities
Many people have stocks and real estate that have appreciated in value over the years, but because of the prospect of incurring capital gains taxes, are not available to produce more income for them today. If this reflects your situation, what can you do?

Establish a Gift Annuity agreement with the Big Bend Conservancy, and receive guaranteed fixed quarterly payments for life to you and/or another beneficiary. For advice about how a Gift Annuity would work in your situation, it is suggested you consult an attorney or estate planning expert.

Charitable Trusts
Another way to benefit the park is to create a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust (CRAT). Subject to what you may learn from your attorney or estate consultant, you can receive a fixed amount for the rest of your life (and that of an additional beneficiary), or for a term of years not in excess of 20 years. Your payout rate is based on standard actuarial tables. The advantage of such an agreement is that you can deduct the value of the remainder interest at the time the property is transferred to the trust. A second advantage is that you can avoid paying capital gains tax on a gift of appreciated property. Upon the death of the last plan beneficiary, the assets remaining in the trust will be transferred to Big Bend Conservancy.

Another type of charitable trust is a Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT). Under a CRUT, you can receive a fixed percentage of the trust assets rather than a fixed dollar amount. That is, the payments to the income beneficiary(ies) will fluctuate with the value of the trust assets. While the advantages of a unitrust are similar to those of an annuity trust, the unitrust also provides a hedge against inflation. It offers the advantage of flexibility in that additional contributions are permitted-allowing, among other possibilities, a future will pourover. Again, at the death of the last beneficiary, the Conservancy will receive what remains of the trust property.


Donors are strongly urged to obtain the assistance and advice of competent and independent professional advisors, including, but not limited to, tax, financial, and legal advisors in matters pertaining to their donations, including potential tax and estate planning consequences.

For clarity’s sake, Big Bend Conservancy cannot serve as both the donor’s advisor, legal or otherwise, and the recipient of the donor’s donation. Further, Big Bend Conservancy cannot provide legal or tax advice to donors. Donors and potential donors should not rely on any legal or tax information, conclusions, or commentary provided by Big Bend Conservancy.

Additionally note that Big Bend Conservancy, as the official fundraising partner of Big Bend National Park and the Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River, regularly engages with the National Park Service about prospective donations intended to support park priorities.

For questions please contact