Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Planned Giving

Planned gifts enable the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute to have a lasting impact on animals, conservation, and education in our local community and around the world. Your gift will help us save species and solve the conservation problems of this generation and the next.

You can designate the Zoo as the beneficiary of your life insurance, IRA, or your will to provide support to the Zoo after your lifetime. These gifts can both meet your estate-planning goals and support the National Zoo.

Retain assets during your lifetime.

  • Bequests allow you to retain the lifetime use and ownership of your assets, reduce estate tax, and make a significant gift to the National Zoo.
  • Life Estate Reserved enables you to donate your property to our organization, but retain the use of the property during your life.

Provide income to you or someone else.

  • Charitable gift annuities provide secure fixed income for life. The annuity rate is based on the age of the beneficiaries when it is funded.
  • Charitable remainder trusts can be established to provide fixed income over time. It can enable you to enjoy regular income for life or a term of years.

Transfer assets to family at reduced cost

  • Charitable lead trusts enable you to transfer your cash or property to fund a lead trust that makes a gift to us for a number of years.

Make a large gift at less cost to you.

  • Life insurance gifts name our organization as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy.

Circle of Life Society

To recognize individuals who provide support for the Zoo and SCBI with a planned gift, we have created the Circle of Life Society.

Enrollment in this honorary society is simply a matter of advising the Smithsonian of the creation of a legacy gift, and entitles you to:

  • Inclusion in the Smithsonian-wide Legacy Society
  • Recognition in the Visitor's Center Lobby
  • Opportunities to attend exclusive events, tours, and other Smithsonian Institution gatherings.

For more information, please email us or call 202.633.0703.