Contribute to Illinois Conservation Efforts

There are many ways to support the work of the Illinois Conservation Foundation. If you have questions about these or other options for becoming a financial contributor to conservation via the Foundation, please contact Foundation CEO Crystal Curfman at 217-557-0500, or All inquiries are kept confidential.

Hunting and Fishing Licenses

Each time you purchase a hunting or fishing license from the Department of Natural Resources there’s an option to donate $5 to The Illinois Conservation Foundation.

Leave a Legacy

Naming the Illinois Conservation Foundation in your estate plans is a great way to leave a lasting, living legacy for conservation and youth outdoor education. You can designate an amount or a percentage of your estate. It has no impact on your current lifestyle and your plans can be updated at any time.

Most of our planned giving supporters make unrestricted gifts that allow us to use their funds for our most pressing needs. We are happy, however, to discuss any specific wishes you may have for your gift.

To make an unrestricted bequest, consider using the following language in your estate plan:

“I bequeath $_________ or _____ percent of my residuary estate to the Illinois Conservation Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, organized and existing under the laws of the State of Illinois (Federal tax identification number), for its ongoing conservation and educational purposes.” [If you’d like to restrict your bequest for a specific purpose, please contact the Foundation to discuss.]

Individuals making gifts via their estate plans are vital to our long-term effectiveness and are honored as members of the Foundation’s Conservation Legacy Society. If you plan to include the Illinois Conservation Foundation in your estate plans or already have done so, please let us know! Your information will be kept confidential unless you wish to be listed as a member of the Conservation Legacy Society.

The Foundation always encourages donors to consult with their financial and tax advisors before making a planned gift.

Make a Gift of Stock

You can protect nature and save on taxes with a gift of stocks, bonds or mutual funds.

Make a Gift from Your IRA

As of December 2015, the IRA charitable rollover was signed into permanent law, allowing taxpayers age 70-1/2 and older to transfer up to $100,000 annually from their IRA accounts directly to the charities of their choice without first having to recognize the distribution as income.

Start a Fund

If you’re passionate about youth outdoor education and hunting heritage or preserving our natural habit , consider creating a fund within the Illinois Conservation Foundation. We can work with multiple organizations and individuals to help them maximize the conservation impact of the funds they establish with us.

Donor-Advised Funds

A Donor-Advised Fund gives you a convenient, versatile way to make charitable contributions when and how you want. You can make an initial donation — and claim the maximum tax benefits allowed by law – then take your time to decide which nonprofit organizations or activities you want to support. It’s a great choice if you want to spread your giving over time and among a variety of causes.

Field-of-Interest Endowments

A Field-of-Interest Endowment is a permanent fund you create to fund specific conservation areas of focus – Illinois outdoor youth education, reforestation, habitat restoration, control of invasive species, etc. Your endowment ensures your particular conservation interests are supported without limiting the funding to any one organization.

Make a Gift of Real Estate or Other Tangible Property

Have a vacation house or condo you no longer use, or wonder what to do with your boat and your grandmother’s antiques and jewelry? Let us turn those assets into a gift for nature. We can sell your real estate or tangible property and use the proceeds to fund our programs. You can also use tangible assets to create a trust, donor-advised fund or field-of-interest endowment.

Name Us in Your Life Insurance Policy

You can also use life insurance assets to make a significant gift with little or no outright expense. The simplest method is to name the Illinois Conservation Foundation as a full, partial or contingent beneficiary of your policy. You retain full control of your policy and any value it accrues. To make this gift, contact your insurance company or agency to complete a new beneficiary designation form. You may also name our Foundation as the owner of a life insurance policy during your lifetime. You are eligible to receive an immediate income tax charitable deduction for a portion of the policy’s face value. Please contact us to discuss this type of gift in greater detail.

Some donors who have transferred significant assets to a charity use life insurance as a “wealth-replacement” strategy to support loved ones. If a donor gives the Illinois Conservation Foundation a $100,000 gift, for example, he or she may replace that value in their estate with a life insurance policy of equal value that names loved ones as beneficiaries.

Create a Charitable Remainder Trust or Lead Trust

A CRT is a tax-exempt irrevocable trust designed to reduce the taxable income of individuals. Once set up, either through a charity or via one’s financial advisors, remainder trusts disperse income to the donor or other named beneficiaries of the trust for a specified period of time, after which the remainder of the trust is donated to the designated charity. A Charitable Lead Trust operates in the converse way. Once the lead trust is created, the designated charity(ies) receives the income from the trust for a specified period of time, after which the remainder of the trust passes to the named beneficiaries.

Please don’t hesitate to call us to explore these and other giving options. Protecting Illinois’s outstanding wildlife and natural lands and waters requires long-term commitment, which your bequest, trust, annuity or fund helps provide. If you are interested in creating a trust funded with cash, stocks or the sale of tangible assets like real estate, contact Foundation CEO Crystal Curfman at 217-557-0500. All inquiries are kept confidential.