Big Thompson River in Rocky Mountain Park, Colorado
Fly-fishers Big Thompson River in Rocky Mountain Park, Colorado © Nick Hall

Protect Nature's Future

Would you like to help keep our planet healthy for future generations? With thoughtful planning, you can fulfill your personal goals, increase your loved ones' financial security, and make your mark on the world.

How It Works

A charitable remainder unitrust is a great way to protect the lands and waters you love while receiving income for life or for a fixed number of years. You receive an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of your contribution and may save on capital gains taxes if you donate an appreciated asset.

Here's the process:

  1. You establish a trust with TNC using $50,000 or more in cash or securities or $100,000 or more in real estate. 
  2. If named trustee, TNC will direct our legal counsel to draft a trust document. When we serve as trustee, we work with investment partners to appropriately manage the trust.
  3. You or your beneficiaries receive payments for life (beneficiaries must be age 50 or older) or for a term of up to 20 years. Payments will vary based on the performance of the investments held in the trust and are based on a rate agreed upon when the trust is created. (The statutory minimum of 5 percent is our most commonly used rate.)
  4. If you donate appreciated securities to the trust, those assets can be sold and the full amount reinvested without incurring capital gains tax at the time of the transfer.
  5. You may add to your trust at any time with additional gifts of cash, marketable securities or real estate.
  6. When the unitrust terminates—either at the death of the last beneficiary or at the end of the trust term—the remaining balance will transfer to TNC.

How You Benefit

  • Provides payment for life, lives or a fixed number of years.
  • Offers flexible funding options.
  • Diversifies your portfolio.
  • No capital gains tax is due at the time of transfer on any gifts of appreciated assets.
  • May entitle you to a partial charitable income tax deduction the year you make your gift, with additional carryover in subsequent years.
  • Gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you are improving the world and conserving our precious natural resources.

More Information

The standard unitrust is designed to pay you income as a fixed percentage of a gradually increasing principal. Payments from a standard unitrust begin as soon as the trust is created and funded.

Alternatively, you can establish a "FLIP" unitrust. This type of gift allows you to plan for a future event by increasing your future income, allows you to hold appreciated assets and avoid the capital gains cost of a sale and allows you to defer your trust payments so they can grow over time and provide a hedge against inflation.


For more information, contact one of our gift planning experts, or explore other ways to give.