Assuring VLT's Future: Planned Giving

Introduction: VLT - What An Inspiration!

The small group of island residents who established Vinalhaven Land Trust (VLT) in 1986 were clairvoyant.  They understood, in rapidly changing times, the urgency of preserving the beauty and character of natural places on and around Vinalhaven – and access to them – for the long-term benefit of year-round residents and visitors alike. They recognized the palpable connection we feel between the island’s physical landscape and the quality of island life – past, present and future. Today, with more than 65 properties protected, nine publicly accessible preserves, a formalized land stewardship initiative, dedicated environmental education programming for all ages, and strong working relationships with the Town of Vinalhaven, landowners, other conservation organizations and local non-profits, Vinalhaven Land Trust has become an important and well-respected community asset.

VLT is proud to be a gift-supported organization. Beginning in 1986, gifts for programs and operations, property acquisition and maintenance, and endowment have been essential to fulfilling VLT’s mission. Membership dues and annual gifts account for approximately 70% of operating revenue, and distributions from endowment (largely generated from funds contributed in the 2013 capital campaign) provide for another 27%. This funding model represents a well-understood covenant between VLT and its members and friends: that the substance, standard, and impact of VLT’s work will be worthy of this generosity. 

The Board of Directors is charged to look to the future and assure that the resources needed to sustain and advance VLT’s programs and activities will be available in perpetuity. Now in its second generation, VLT’s responsibilities are considerable and are growing in complexity. This brochure summarizes ways in which you can partner with VLT to support its evolving mission by making planned commitments of capital assets.  

Thank you for your past generosity and for your consideration of future gifts to conserve the beauty, character, and sustainability of Vinalhaven, for this and future generations.


Planned Giving at VLT


“Planned Gifts” offer alternative ways for you to contribute to VLT’s long-term strength and sustainability. They incorporate a variety of gift techniques and asset choices so that you can make a gift that best suits your personal/family circumstances. A number of arrangements allow you to make a gift commitment now but defer the transfer of the funds to VLT to a future date. Planned gift donors often are eligible to receive important tax benefits.


 You can make a provision now in your estate plan (in your will or trust) that will benefit VLT in the future. You can designate a specific amount, a percentage of your assets, or a contingent or remainder arrangement that will take effect only after other obligations are satisfied. 

Making Your Gift

Unrestricted bequests provide VLT with the greatest flexibility and are strongly encouraged. 

Following is some sample language to that end:

“I give and bequeath to Vinalhaven Land Trust, a charitable non-profit organization located in Vinalhaven, Maine, or its successor organization, the sum of _________ dollars, [or _________ percent, or all of rest, residue, and remainder of my estate] to be applied for the general uses and purposes of the organization as its governing board shall deem necessary and advisable.” 

Please contact VLT to alert us to your interest/intentions in making a bequest. We would like to answer your questions and discuss the application/use of your gift. Your communication will be kept in strict confidence. 

Gifts From Retirement Assets

You can name VLT as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401 (k), or other qualified retirement plan. You can continue to take regular withdrawals during your lifetime, with a transfer of the balance or a portion thereof to VLT upon your death. In the case of an IRA, if you are 70½, you can make outright gifts to VLT up to $100,000 per annum to support operations or one of our capital fund-raising priorities.

Making your Gift - Please contact VLT to alert us of your interest/intentions in making a gift from your retirement funds. VLT will be glad to answer any questions and discuss the application/use of your gift

Gifts of Insurance

You may own a life insurance policy that you no longer need to protect your family’s wellbeing. If so, this may be an ideal asset for you to contribute. 

Making Your Gift - Please call VLT if you are interested in making a life insurance gift. While paid-up policies are preferred, VLT may consider accepting policies with ongoing premium obligations. VLT will require you to name VLT as an irrevocable beneficiary and owner of the policy.

Gifts of Life Insurance

Via a charitable remainder trust, you can make a gift of assets to VLT and receive annual income from that gift for a term of years or for your and/or your spouse’s or partner’s lifetime. Upon the end of the gift term or the death of the last beneficiary, VLT receives the trust assets. You can name VLT as the sole beneficiary of your trust or add VLT to become a co-beneficiary of an existing trust. 

At the current time, VLT does not offer a charitable gift annuity (CGA) program. 

Making Your Gift - Please contact VLT if you are interested in making a life income 


You can contact VLT by phone or email as below. Thank you for your consideration of support.

 Linnell Mather, Executive Director

 Vinalhaven Land Trust

 P.O. Box 268

 Vinalhaven, ME 04863