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Legacy Giving

Africa: My Love Story

Winand By Anna Winand

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to travel across Kenya on an AWF member safari. The trip brought us to many breathtaking landscapes, where we enjoyed spectacular wildlife viewing both at national parks and at local conservancies that AWF helps to support. It was wonderful to see firsthand how our annual contributions have translated to livelihoods for local communities and to critical habitats for wildlife.

Our trip coincided with Valentine's Day, so on that evening, a group of us sat around a fire and shared our own personal love stories. Mine was about Africa...

My story begins in New York City, where I was a student at Columbia University. One day, I happened upon a listing for a class on African literature taught by Dr. Wilfred Cartey and decided to sign up.

The year was 1967. The writer's organization PEN was to hold a conference in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, the first such conference in Africa. Freddy, as almost all of the students called Dr. Cartey, was invited to give a paper at the conference.

A few days after wishing him bon voyage I received a telephone call. "How would you like to go to Europe, then to the PEN Conference and then to Ghana to work on a book on African literature—in a week's time?"

It turned out that because this trip had to be made over land and sea, as Freddy could not fly due to an illness, he needed a travel companion. His original companion had to bow out at the last minute, and now I had been offered this opportunity. I was excited, but calm. It felt completely natural; my time in Africa was finally at hand.

I immediately replied, "Yes!" And so it was that I spent six months in Africa working on a book with Freddy on African literature, "Whispers From a Continent," published by Random House.

Sense of rootedness
It was when I was working at Legon University, Accra, that my love affair with Africa began. The sights, the sounds, the endless landscape and sky, the people, the drama, the heady hopeful time of independence—all conspired to give me a sense of rootedness, of connection, I could barely conjure up in my own hometown, New York City.

They say if you want to know the people of Africa, you must go to West Africa. And if you want to see the wildlife, you must travel to East Africa. After many years I knew that opportunity had come when I read about African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and its trip to Kenya. Finally, I would have a chance to experience the other Africa I had dreamed about.

2015 was a hard winter in the American Northeast. When I received a letter from AWF that they had one—and only one—spot left for this trip, and would I want to join them, it was a very easy yes.

Once on safari, I found that there is nothing that makes me feel more alive than being in the company, if only at a distance, of the lions, elephants and other wonderful creatures of the African savanna.

Being able to recognize in my estate plan all the fine work AWF is doing to keep this world alive is a privilege. It is for me a way to give back to the continent and the people who have sparked and nourished my sense of adventure and given me the chance to dream of a world that recognizes the value of all its beauty, man and animal alike.

If you would like to become a member of the African Wildlife Foundation's legacy society, please contact Jessica Moes at 202-939-3322 or to learn about your options.

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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.

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