There are many ways to contribute to the future of the American Ornithological Society through bequests and other planned gifts. 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

    Do you want to help shape the future of AOS? Consider running for a spot on the AOS Council! Here's what current Elective Councilor Lauryn Benedict has to say about her experience so far. Nominations are due November 29, and you can find more details at the link in our profile!Climate change means spring is arriving earlier in the Arctic, but not all Arctic-breeding geese are affected the same way — some (such as the Barnacle Goose pictured here) successfully produce more offspring in years with earlier springs, but some produce fewer. New research published in The Auk suggests that this is because timing of spring has different effects on two different stages of the breeding cycle: the pre-laying, laying, and nesting phase, and the hatchling, fledgling, and juvenile phase. When snow melts earlier, more geese initiate a nest, their clutch size is larger, and the chance that the eggs will hatch increases. However, the second stage (hatchling, fledgling, and juvenile) is negatively affected by earlier springs, because food quality is already declining by the time the eggs hatch, creating a trophic mismatch. Photo by Michiel Boom. #ornithology #science #nature #wildlife #birds #geese #conservation #ecology #climatechange #arcticDo you want to help shape the future of AOS? Consider running for a spot on the AOS Council! Here's what current President-Elect Tom Sherry has to say about his experience so far. Nominations are due November 29!Thanks for letting me take over the AOS Instagram for a week! I hope I’ve given a good glimpse into my research and experiences. For all of the undergraduate ornithologists out there, I encourage you to strive for new horizons in your research! I plan on beginning a Master’s or PhD program in the fall of 2020 to continue my studies in ornithology. My future research interests include studying the genomic, behavioral, spatial, and morphological effects of hybridization and the formation of hybrid zones. #ornithology #science #wildlife #biology #birds #dogsofinstagram #womeninstem
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[Thanks, Angelica! If YOU are an AOS member and would like to be featured here for a week, please get in touch.]As a lover of the outdoors, I find myself looking for new experiences wherever I can. In the summer of 2018, I took part in a study-abroad intensive led by Dr. McRae and Dr. Kyle Summers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. I engaged in daily and nightly hikes through Pipeline Road and Barro Colorado Island and conversed with the resident scientists about their current studies and long-term research goals on Barro Colorado Island. My experiences in the rainforest encouraged me to pursue work in wildlife biology and conservation. #science #conservation #biology #wildlife #ecology #panama #womeninstem #ornithology
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[Our thanks to AOS member Angelica Reed (@angelicanreed), who's taking over this account for the week!]I began conducting field research in 2017. Since then, I’ve developed valuable skills and knowledge needed for working safely and effectively in the field, both with others and on my own. I’ve found that I’m never quite finished learning from the people and birds that I work with! Both photos belong to Dr. Susan B. McRae. #ornithology #birds #science #wildlife #bluebirds #womeninstem
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[Our thanks to AOS member Angelica Reed (@angelicanreed), who's taking over this account for the week!]As an undergraduate research assistant, I conduct routine nest checks of bluebird boxes. I enjoy watching the parents build nests through my binoculars! My thesis work investigates factors that affect nest size variation in a specific population of Eastern Bluebirds. I’ve found that the weights of the nests they build are positively correlated to mean daily maximum temperatures within boxes during the incubation period. I gave a poster presentation of my senior thesis work at the 2019 conference in Anchorage last summer! #AOSMember #ornithology #science #birds #wildlife #bluebirds #womeninstem
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[Our thanks to AOS member Angelica Reed (@angelicanreed), who's taking over this account for the week!]
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