Birmingham Zoo
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Planned Giving

Planned Giving

Create a future for wildlife. You can make a lasting impression through thoughtful estate planning and leave a lasting legacy. Planned gifts come in all sizes and provide needed funds to maintain existing operations, expand international species survival research or help with care of our animals. Please consider the Birmingham Zoo, Inc. in your will or estate plan, and please tell us when you do.


Contact Us 

If you have questions concerning Planned Giving and donations, or if you would like to learn more about the many opportunities that we offer to further support the Zoo, please contact Karen Carroll at or 205-516-4218. 


Ensuring a Bright Future

Planned giving opportunities include:

  • Bequests
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
  • Charitable Lead Trusts
  • Life Insurance Gifts
  • IRA designation
  • Stock gifts


Beeson Wildlife Legacy

The Beeson Wildlife Legacy recognizes those who have made lasting gifts to the Birmingham Zoo through their bequest or other planned gift. The name honors Mrs. Lucille S. Beeson, a lawyer and philanthropist known for her incredible generosity, and for whom the Beeson Way walkway around Henley Park was named. She thoughtfully donated the Zoo’s first planned gift, demonstrating her abiding love for all animals.


We gratefully recognize these members of the Beeson Wildlife Legacy:
Linda Barnard
Lucille S. Beeson Charitable Trust
Cynthia and George Butler
The Cash Family
Dr. John Durr Elmore
William R. Foster, DVM, and Jean Cecil
Nancy C. Goedecke

Jerry D. Kimbrough
Cissy Jackson
Estate of Ingeborg M. Johnson
Estate of John R. Miller
Estate of Frank Joseph Nuckols
William T. Ratliff, Jr.*
Barbara Ingalls Shook Foundation
The Tavakoli Family
Estate of Ruth Watkins

Lynn O. Wilmoth*
Phyllis and Larry Wojciechowski


A bequest is a written direction contained in a will, which disposes of some or all of the property controlled by the will. Through a will, it is possible to give cash, securities, life insurance proceeds and real and personal property. It is also possible to create a trust through a will. Bequests may be used to establish memorials in honor of the donor, family members or others. Click here for the Recommended Form for Bequests.

Charitable Remainder Trust 

A charitable remainder trust allows a donor to irrevocably transfer assets into a trust. The trust pays income to the donor or other beneficiaries during their lifetimes, and the remainder goes to a qualified nonprofit.

Charitable remainder trusts may be established during a donor’s lifetime or at death. The donor usually names a bank or trust company to serve as trustee of the trust.

Charitable Lead Trust

A charitable lead trust is a philanthropic and estate planning tool. A donor can transfer assets, such as cash, stocks and artwork, to a trust for a set term of years. Each year, payments are made from the trust to the donor’s designated charity/charities.

It is called a lead trust because the charity/charities is/are entitled to the lead (or first) interest in the trust asset, and the non-charitable beneficiary receives the remainder (or second-in-line) interest.

Life Insurance

Gifts of life insurance provide a way to make a sizable gift at relatively low cost. Certain gifts of life insurance, such as a gift of a paid-up policy, may be considered as a current gift, rather than deferred. A gift of life insurance is made either by delivering and assigning ownership of the policy to the nonprofit organization, or by naming the organization as the beneficiary. By making an outright gift of a paid-up life insurance policy and naming the organization as the irrevocable owner and beneficiary, a donor may claim an immediate tax deduction equal to the replacement value of the policy, A donor may also contribute life insurance policies that are partially paid and claim an immediate tax deduction equal to the cash surrender value of the policy. A donor may even purchase and support a new policy naming the organization as the irrevocable owner and beneficiary. In this case, and immediate tax deduction may be claimed for the premium payments made.

IRA or Stock Gifts



This information does not constitute legal or tax advice. Please seek the services of a professional for assistance in specific cases.

Birmingham Zoo, Inc. Donor Policy 

The Birmingham Zoo, Inc. recognizes the importance of protecting the privacy of the individuals and organizations maintained in our database. Personal Information gathered by our organization is kept in confidence. Safeguards are in place to ensure that donor records are not disclosed or shared with outside parties. The Birmingham Zoo only collects identifying information for specific purposes relating to initiatives and campaigns. We uphold high standards in maintaining data accuracy and ensuring the appropriate use of information.

Contact Us 

Thank you for your gift in helping the Birmingham Zoo to continue to further its mission! If you have questions concerning Planned Giving and donations, or if you would like to learn more about the many opportunities that we offer to further support the Zoo, please contact our Development Office at or 205.516.4218