California’s plants and native habitats are unique.  You can preserve our iconic landscapes and special species by making a lasting gift that reflects your values.

Leaving a legacy gift to CNPS is easy and you don’t have to be wealthy to do it. A gift through your will, trust, life insurance policy, or retirement account shows how much you care for the future of our state’s native flora and special places.

Legacy Circle members receive special invitations and updates on efforts to protect and celebrate native plants.  Let us know about your plans to we can welcome you to the Legacy Circle today!

Contact Christine Pieper, CNPS Development Director at or 916.738.7622 with questions or to inform us about your plans.

Ways to Give


A bequest—a gift through your will or trust—allows you to care for the future of your loved ones while leaving a legacy that reflects your values.  It’s a great way to make a significant and meaningful commitment today while preserving your assets for current needs.

If you don’t have a will or trust, you can create one today.  With our new online tool you can now write your legal will or trust, at no personal cost, while creating a legacy gift to support California’s native plants.

Most bequest donors choose to make one of these types of gifts:

  • Specific bequests – You describe exactly what you want to leave to a family member or charity. If you want to leave a specific amount, or specific percentage of your estate, this is the type of bequest to use.
  • Residuary bequest – This is a gift of all the “rest, residue, and remainder” of your estate after all other bequests, debts, and taxes have been paid.
  • Contingency bequest – This type of bequest allows you to leave a portion of your estate to a particular charity if your named beneficiary predeceases you.

Share this sample bequest language with your legal advisor if you are creating your own will or trust.  If you would like to make a bequest gift not described here, please contact us to discuss your plans.

Contact Christine Pieper, CNPS Development Director at or 916.738.7622.

Retirement plans

California Native Plant Society can be a primary or secondary beneficiary of your IRA or retirement plan.  This gift does not require a will or trust and can result in a significant tax savings for your estate.  Simply request a beneficiary designation form from your financial institution and name CNPS as the beneficiary.

Life insurance

Do you have a life insurance policy that’s no longer needed?  Consider naming a charity as the beneficiary.  This type of gift does not require a will and can result in a tax savings for your estate. Simply request a beneficiary designation form from your insurer and name CNPS as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy.

Gifts of stock

If you have appreciated stocks or bonds, you can do even more to protect the plants and habitats of our amazing state. California-based donors can save significantly on federal and state taxes with a stock donation. The stock transfer form contains transfer instructions for your broker.

IRA distributions

If you are subject to Required Minimum Distributions from your tax-deferred retirement account (usually for those 70.5 and older), you can save taxes by donating it to California Native Plant Society. Known as a Qualified Charitable Distribution, this payment must be made directly from your financial institution to a charitable cause. So, if you don’t need your RMD, make a QCD to CNPS.

Donor Advised Funds

You already saved on taxes by creating a Donor Advised Fund. Now, save the native plants you love by making a gift from your DAF to CNPS.

Clients of Fidelity Charitable, Schwab Charitable, and BNY Mellon can easily make a designation through the DAF Direct window on this page.