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Legacy Giving

Kathryn Johnson: "The Dust of Africa Never Leaves Your Shoes"

Learning how to make baskets in Africa

Learning from master basket maker, Rebecca, in the Okavango Delta.

Kate Johnson's interest in Africa developed in the 1990s. While at first Africa had seemed too big, and travel too difficult to arrange, when a forest-ranger friend from Ireland planned a "crazily inexpensive" tour for a small group, she decided to take the plunge.

Following her first two trips with a friend, Kate's husband, Scott, decided it was finally time to see Africa and discover his wife's passion for the continent firsthand. He joined her on her third trip and it changed his life.

While the wildlife viewing was spectacular, it was the people that made the biggest impression. "It really is true that you go to Africa for the animals, but remember the people," she says. "Once you've met them, it's very hard to stay away. The dust of Africa never leaves your shoes."

Kathryn Johnson

Kate Johnson

Kate has been a member of the African Wildlife Foundation for 30 years, and she and Scott have made AWF a beneficiary of their wills. She is impressed with AWF's emphasis on being an African voice for conservation and providing Africans with the education, empowerment and tools needed to do the job.

When asked why she has included a gift for AWF in her estate, Kate replies thoughtfully, "It seems critical that the beauty of the natural world be preserved for future generations. Our family and friends are all aware of and applaud our plans. They too are thinking about which organizations made them who they are today and are planning to give back."

Declare your commitment to Africa's wildlife and wild lands by joining AWF's Kilimanjaro Society. Simply name AWF as a beneficiary of your will, trust, IRA or life insurance, and future generations of Africa's most beloved and irreplaceable species will become your living legacy! If we can provide any assistance during your planning process, please contact Jessica Lindenfelser at 202-939-3322 or

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the African Wildlife Foundation a specific item, 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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to the African Wildlife Foundation [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

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 AWF 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 AWF 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 AWF 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 AWF where you agree to make a gift to AWF 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.