Our Donor Stories

Good Things Do Come in Small Packages

John T. Bannon, member of the Simba Steering Committee and attorney with Quarles & Brady LLP, reminds us why it’s important to keep long-forgotten estate documents up to date.
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Mary and Richard Johnson: Expanding their Circle of Support

Mary and Richard JohnsonWhen your lives revolve around the Milwaukee County Zoo, making a legacy gift to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) seems the natural thing to do.
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Providing for the Future of the Zoo

Barry SattellBarry Sattell has been giving to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) and the Milwaukee County Zoo for three decades. As a member of the Simba Circle, the ZSM's planned giving society, he knows his financial resources will continue to support the ZSM even after he's gone.
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Linda Grunau: Continuing a Tradition

Linda Grunau"I remember packing the kids into the car, heading to the Zoo on a warm June night, bringing a picnic lunch and pulling the kids around in a little wagon at the Zoological Society picnic." That was more than 40 years ago.
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Sabrina Bryant: Will Power

Sabrina BryantAlthough all adults should prepare a will, people in their 30s and 40s who are young and healthy tend not to think about end-of-life issues.
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Ray and Kelly Wilson: A Legacy of Support

Raymond WilsonRaymond Wilson, of New Berlin, has lots of fond Zoo memories. There were the four times he camped out with his family during the Zoological Society's Snooze at the Zoo.
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Robin and Dennis Zdroik: A Wise Investment

Robin and Dennis ZdroikWhen asked why Robin and Dennis Zdroik, of Greenfield, designated the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) in their estate planning, the answer was simple: “We like to see our money spent wisely,” says Robin. “We know the Zoological Society handles donations appropriately.”
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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee 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

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee [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 the Zoological Society 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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 the Zoological Society as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 the Zoological Society 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 the Zoological Society where you agree to make a gift to the Zoological Society 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

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eBrochure Request Form

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