Planned Giving Opportunities
The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists is dedicated to the scientific study of fishes, amphibians and reptiles. The primary emphases of the Society are to increase knowledge about these organisms; to disseminate that knowledge through publications, conferences, symposia, and other means; and to encourage and support young scientists who will make future advances in these fields. The programs of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists are part of a global effort to understand and conserve the Earthís natural diversity and to contribute to the wise stewardship of natural resources for the long-term benefit of humankind.
In 1913 John Treadwell Nichols, perceiving the need for a publication devoted to scientific papers on fishes, amphibians and reptiles, established the journal COPEIA, named in honor of one of the most distinguished American scientists of the 19th Century, Edward Drinker Cope. The first issue of COPEIA was four pages in length and contained five short articles. It and the next 124 issues were financed by Nichols from personal funds.
Slightly over two years later, Nichols, Henry W. Fowler and Dwight Franklin, at a meeting in New York City, created the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH) to increase communication among ichthyologists and herpetologists and to oversee editing of COPEIA. Inspired by Nicholsí vision, the infant Society gradually increased in size and influence. By 1923 ASIH had a membership approaching 50, while COPEIA, then issued as 10 or 12 individual numbers per year, ran to a total of 120 pages. In 1924 ASIH assumed the responsibility for editing and publishing COPEIA, making it the official organ of the Society.
From these modest beginnings, ASIH has become a leading organization dedicated to the scientific study of fishes, amphibians and reptiles, and their conservation and role in the environment. Similarly, COPEIA is internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious scientific journals of its kind. Today, ASIH has a membership of 2,400. COPEIA is issued quarterly and contains about 1,200 pages per year. In addition, COPEIA is found in over 1,000 institutional libraries worldwide.
Giving to ASIH
An Invitation to Give
The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists invites everyone -- scientists, students, amateurs, nature lovers, interested citizens, charitable foundations and corporations -- to contribute to a better understanding of fishes, amphibians and reptiles through a financial donation to ASIH. Your support will help the Society meet the many challenges it faces in expanding the knowledge base and applying it to meet societal needs. As intense human impacts increasingly threaten many species with extinction, ASIH will address the key issues of how best to protect these species and maintain them and others of scientific, economic, cultural or aesthetic value against further onslaughts.
Opportunities for Giving
A donor may wish to contribute an unrestricted gift to the General Endowment Fund in support of Society functions or to make a restricted gift to enhance one of the existing awards or programs of the Society. In cases involving restricted gifts for the establishment of a new award or program the donor should consult with the officers of the Society well in advance of making the donation, and acceptance of the gift will be contingent upon the approval of the Board of Governors at an annual meeting of the Society. One also may wish to consider a gift designated for one of the Societyís Goals for Century 21 (see below), which already have approval of the Board of Governors. In this case, a donor should contact an officer of the Society before making a gift. Your interest in the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists is greatly appreciated. The officers of the Society would be pleased to discuss any potential gift with you in greater detail.
Goals For Century 21
Since its inception, ASIH has established an enviable reputation as a scientific society through its publications, meetings, encouragement of international colleagues and young scientists, and responsiveness to issues related to the preservation of biological diversity. During the next decade ASIH plans to build on these successes more fully to interpret, understand and conserve the diversity of life on our planet for the consequent benefit of humanity. In order to do so, ASIH has launched an ambitious campaign to increase the Society's General Endowment Fund to support activities in the following areas:
Symposia - provide funding for symposia that include international scholars working on the frontiers of research in ichthyology and herpetology and on the conservation of fishes, amphibians and reptiles.
- increase the number of special publications based upon symposia presented at the annual meetings of ASIH
- initiate a major monograph series to publish single works too large for COPEIA
- increase funds available for research by student members
- establish a research fund to provide support for the study of populations in imminent danger of catastrophic declines or demise
International Cooperation and Scientific Exchange
- provide support for small grants to cover membership fees for scholars and graduate students in developing countries so they may receive COPEIA and other ASIH publications
- establish a fund to provide that COPEIA and other ASIH publications be deposited in at least one institutional or government agency library in each nation worldwide
Student Support - increase funding for support of travel to the annual meeting by students giving papers or posters.
Award in Conservation - establish a fund to honor individuals making outstanding contributions to conserving the diversity of fishes, amphibians and reptiles.
Planning Your Gift
This brochure presents basic information you should consider in making a donation to ASIH. The purpose of the brochure is to inform you of options for giving to ASIH, as allowed under the tax laws of the United States. Although tax advantages and general strategies for giving are addressed herein, we are not telling you that any particular strategy will work, in your particular situation, as described. You should consult a financial advisor for complete information about the details and potential tax consequences of each type of gift.
Cash gifts to ASIH are deductible from taxable income on itemized federal tax returns. If the amount of your gift exceeds the deductible limit allowed by law for any one year, you may be able to carry the excess forward over an additional five years. Donors should consult a tax advisor for details and application of the laws governing their individual circumstances. Members of the Society are reminded that they may make unrestricted cash gifts to the General Endowment Fund at any time by sending a check with instructions for its application to the Treasurer, or donations may be made with the annual dues payment, as indicated on the dues statement members receive each year.
A gift of appreciated securities allows the donor to deduct the full market value of the shares at the time of donation, thus avoiding capital gains tax on the appreciation of shares since their purchase. In those cases where a gift exceeds the deductible limit allowed in any one year, a five-year carryover is allowed.
The sale of real estate that has greatly appreciated in value would result in a sizeable capital gains tax liability. This may be especially true for real estate that is not a personís principal residence, and therefore is not covered by exclusion limits allowed for the sale of a residence. By donating the property to the Society, the donor avoids the capital gains tax and also may take a deduction for the full market value of the property, as determined by professional appraisal. Through a Living Trust a donor may obtain a current-year tax deduction for the gift of a personal residence or other property to the Society, while reserving rights to occupy and to use the property during the lifetimes of the donor and spouse.
Other Personal Property
The Society can accept artwork, books, and similar valuables as donations. Donors should know that ASIH is unable to store, use or exhibit such items of personal property; therefore, they would be converted into cash used either for a fund of the Society specified by the donor or for unrestricted purposes of the Society through a contribution to the General Endowment Fund. Alternatively, donors may wish to provide for liquidation of such assets, conditioned upon the proceeds being donated to the Society. The tax laws governing such a giftís deductibility at recognized value are complicated. Therefore, potential donors should discuss their individual circumstances with a tax advisor before making such a donation.
A donor may name the Society as the irrevocable beneficiary of a life insurance policy. The donor must designate ASIH as both owner and beneficiary of the policy for the donation to be tax deductible, in which case the donor may take a tax deduction equal to the cash surrender value of the policy at time of the donation. In addition, the donor may also be able to deduct the amount of premiums paid to continue keeping the policy in force after the donation.
Charitable Remainder Trusts
Through a Charitable Remainder Trust, a donor may make a substantial donation to the Society during the donorís lifetime while retaining the income earned from the gift, which may be directed to another beneficiary. The donor is allowed a tax deduction for part of the gift when the trust is established and will avoid paying tax on any appreciated real estate or securities used to establish the gift in the form of a trust.
Charitable Income Trusts
A Charitable Income Trust allows a donor to give to the Society income from principal for a specified period of time, after which the assets revert back to the donor or the donorís heirs. Typically the assets are transferred to a trustee (usually a financial institution), which makes payments to the Society during the term of the trust.
Your will may provide for many of the means of giving described in this brochure. If you would prefer not to make specific bequests to the Society, you may wish to consider naming ASIH as a ìremainder beneficiary,î which would allow the Society to receive a designated dollar amount or a percentage of your estate after the specific bequests to all other beneficiaries have been distributed. Note that changing an existing will to include such a gift does not necessarily require it to be totally rewritten.
Many private corporations and their subsidiaries in the United States will donate matching funds for charitable contributions by employees, and in some cases they will even match donations of retired employees for a limited period of time after retirement. You may wish to check with your company to determine whether they will match gifts to the Society when you make an individual donation, thereby increasing the value of your contribution.