There are many ways to contribute to the future of the American Ornithological Society through bequests and other planned giving. Such gifts ensure that AOS has resources to support future generations of ornithologists and sustain our efforts to advance the scientific study and conservation of birds. This is a wonderful way to make a lasting impact on the ornithological community.

Planning Your Gift

Many factors should be considered when considering this type of gift, and individual circumstances will vary; as with all tax and estate planning, please consult your financial and estate advisors. We welcome your inquiries and are pleased to answer questions and offer suggestions confidentially, based on your personal circumstances. Whether you’re considering including AOS in your estate plans or have already done so, please get in touch!


banded red knots

“When I was a graduate student, there was no better experience in presenting my research than at a bird-focused conference. AOS carries the legacy and responsibility for supporting student research and presentations, and it only made sense for me to support this long-term goal with my own decisions.”

– Mark Hauber, Legacy Circle member


Types of Planned Gifts

Charitable Bequest

Naming the American Ornithological Society to receive all or a portion of your estate through your will or trust reduces estate taxes while creating a charitable legacy for ornithology.

Charitable Gift Annuity

With this option, you transfer cash or property to AOS, and you and/or someone you designate receives lifetime income from the amount you transfer. AOS keeps the remainder upon your passing, potentially reducing and deferring capital gains tax and reducing probate costs and estate taxes.

Charitable Trusts

A charitable lead trust or several types of charitable remainder trusts create valuable options in estate planning by providing tax savings, a significant gift and income for either a charity or family members, and a future gift to AOS.

Life Insurance Policies

Naming AOS as a beneficiary of your insurance policy enables you to create a charitable legacy without invading cash and other assets designated for your heirs.

Retirement Account Assets

Double taxation on retirement plan withdrawals decreases their value for your heirs. Consider providing other assets to heirs and naming AOS as the beneficiary of your retirement accounts. You can save taxes and preserve your hard-earned assets to directly benefit the ornithological community.


grouse

“Ornithology won’t flourish unless young people are encouraged to pursue avian studies. I had an incentive to give to AOS because of a granddaughter who won an award for best student paper but needed money to travel to give another presentation. What are grandmothers for?”

– Penny Ficken, Legacy Circle member


Legacy Circle

Our Legacy Circle recognizes donors who inform AOS about their plans to support the society through their will, estate, or remainder interest in a charitable trust, retirement plan, or insurance policy. The following individuals have joined this visionary group:

  • Carla Cicero
  • Penny Ficken
  • Mark E. Hauber
  • James Kushlan
  • James R. and Florence A. McGuire
  • Elizabeth Anne Schreiber

If you have included AOS in your estate plans, please let us know. We would like to recognize you as a member of the Legacy Circle, but should you prefer that your bequest or planned gift remain confidential, we will abide by your wishes.

From the field

Congratulations to all of the recipients of this year's AOS awards! Our annual awards honor members for their research and volunteer work. The work of the 2020 awardees spans a diversity of ornithological disciplines from genetics to landscape ecology in a range of habitats around the world, as well as invaluable service to AOS and ornithology. This year’s slate of awardees represents just a small sample of the broad diversity of our members and the contributions they are making to the scientific study and conservation of birds. Learn more about all of them at the link in our profile! #ornithology #science #biologyThe charismatic Euphonia and Chlorophonia finches are small, colorful birds that inhabit forests and woodlands from Mexico to Brazil as well as much of the Caribbean, and how exactly they fit into the songbird family tree has been debated for 20 years. The researchers behind a paper recently published in The Auk used tissue specimens and study skins from every species in this group to generate 40 *billion* base pairs of sequence data, including nearly 5,000 loci from the nuclear genome and near-complete mitochondrial genomes for every species. This amazing dataset shows has helped resolve their relationships once and for all. It also suggests that this group likely dispersed from South America into the Caribbean and North America multiple times between 2 and 4 million years ago, lending support to a younger geological timeframe for the formation of the Isthmus of Panama than argued by some other recent studies. Photos by Daniel J. Field (University of Cambridge) and Tyler Imfeld. #ornithology #science #birds #wildlife #neotropicalbirds #taxonomy #biology #finchesOne final #NationalVolunteerWeek post! Meet Rebecca Kimball, longtime AOS volunteer and Treasurer of the society since 2015, one of the leaders helping shape AOS's future. We hope you've enjoyed celebrating Volunteer Week with us!Today for #NationalVolunteerWeek we're featuring Brian Peer, who's given his time to chair the AOS Research Awards Committee for the past eight years, leading the group that evaluates applications for Student Research Awards. Thank you, Brian!AOS is celebrating #NationalVolunteerWeek! Today, meet Kyle Horton, who volunteered his time to judge student presentations at last summer's AOS meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.Today for #NationalVolunteerWeek, meet Lori Hargrove! Lori works at the San Diego Natural History Museum and is a regular reviewer for AOS journal The Condor. Scholarly journals can't function without reviewers like Lori, who volunteer their time to read and assess the papers that are submitted.We're celebrating #NationalVolunteerWeek! AOS couldn't function without the many members who volunteer their time to assist with our meetings, publications, awards, and other programs, and we'll be introducing you to one of those volunteers every day this week. Today, meet Juita Martinez, a PhD student who helped staff the registration desk at last year's annual AOS meeting in Anchorage, Alaska!
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