Your Support is Needed!
Fenner Nature Center is operated and managed by Fenner Conservancy, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Depending on how you choose to financially support Fenner, your donation may be used for general operating expenses that help keep the doors open, for scholarship support to local schools, or for investments to help secure the future sustainability of Fenner Nature Center. Donations to Fenner Conservancy may be tax-deductible (please consult your tax adviser for more information and advice). Below are some ways that you can help support Fenner.
Annual Giving and General Donations
Make a donation today! Make as many as you want, as often as you want, for as much as you want! This is one of the most efficient ways to support Fenner Nature Center. If you would like to give more than $1,000 please refer to the "major gifts" section.
Your Fenner Conservancy membership provides some financial support to the organization. By becoming a member, your contribution supports:
- Environmental education programs for thousands of people on an annual basis;
- Logistical support of stewardship and garden activities such as purchasing tools and plants for our native plant garden, our butterfly garden, and our herb garden, as well as for those projects that involve the removal of invasive species and trail maintenance at Fenner;
- Protection of our 134-acre urban green space that encompasses a variety of habitat types, including forest, prairie, ponds, and wetlands.
Benefits of being a member include:
- First, and foremost, knowing that you are supporting a vital part of our community;
- Free admission or discounted admission on select programs;
- Our quarterly newsletter, "Seasons," will be mailed to you (to reduce your environmental footprint, we can also email it to you);
- Discounts on gift shop purchases, which is great around the holidays;
- Invitations to occasional member-only events.
Click here to join the rest of us!
Major financial gifts make it much easier to meet our mission. Our Fund Development and Sustainability Committee works hard to ensure that our programs, services, and facilities are available and accessible to all. We challenge individuals to not only personally contribute to Fenner, but also to collectively engage others in the higher philanthropic purpose of allowing students to participate in healthy and meaningful outdoor activities, building stronger families through the enjoyment of nature, and working together to encourage community stewardship of our environment.
Fenner Conservancy actively seeks to identify and involve individuals who wish to explore charitable giving opportunities which significantly allow our Nature Center and programs to be innovative in serving the community. Connecting interested people with priority funding opportunities aligns individual's charitable interests with the operating, capital and endowment goals and plans of our Nature Center.
For more information on how you can make a meaningful gift that positively impacts children, families, and our environment, please contact Jason Meyer at 517-755-9799.
Individuals may leave a bequest to Fenner Nature Center. A bequest is a gift made through a donor's will and is completely free from federal estate tax. We hope you will consider Fenner Nature Center in your estate planning. Memorial gifts and bequests are an important way you can make a long-lasting contribution to the preservation and maintenance of this important place. If you wish to make a provision in your will, the following general form is suggested:
"I give Fenner Conservancy, a Michigan not-for-profit corporation, located at 2020 E. Mt. Hope Ave. in Lansing, Michigan and receiving mail at 2020 E. Mt. Hope Ave., Lansing, MI 48910, the sum of $______ or ____ percent of the residue of my estate (or specifically described property) for general purposes."
If you have already named Fenner Conservancy in your plans, we would like to acknowledge your meaningful gift. Please contact Jason Meyer, Executive Director, at 517-755-9799.
Give a Gift of Stock
Many people have stocks which have greatly increased in value since their purchase. By using these stocks for some of your charitable giving, you can conserve cash for other uses and maximize the value of your charitable gifts. You can deduct the fair market value of qualified non-cash property and you pay no capital gains tax on gifts of long-term appreciated property (held for at least a year and a day.) This can dramatically reduce the cost of making a charitable gift or increase the amount you can afford to give.
Please consult your financial adviser today and call Jason Meyer, Executive Director, at 517-755-9799.
Gifts of Retirement Plans
You may have accumulated funds in your company pension plan, Individual Retirement Account, or other private fund which are beyond your needs or potentially subject to the federal excise tax on over-funded retirement plans. It may be convenient and tax wise in such a case to make a current or future charitable gift from those accounts. Please consult your tax adviser or retirement plan administrator to determine if this type of charitable gift meets your planning needs.
Consult your financial advisor today and call Jason Meyer, Executive Director, at 517-755-9799.
Fenner Conservancy will soon be developing an endowment fund for the Nature Center. The Nature Center uses multiple revenue sources to fund its daily work in fulfillment of its mission. However, we must also look to the many tomorrows that lay before us. Donations to this endowment will be managed by the Capital Region Community Foundation, and will provide a percentage of the average value to the Nature Center annually. This revenue will not only support Fenner's daily efforts for the environment and education, but also guarantees that this income source will be available each year.
Generally, bequests, memorial donations, and other designated gifts will be placed in the endowment. As the principal grows, so too does the interest generated and paid to Fenner Nature Center. Donations remain a living legacy, and will ensure that the Nature Center will exist in perpetuity for hundreds of thousands of people to enjoy.
Please contact Executive Director Jason Meyer at 517-755-9799 to find out more about ways in which you can contribute to this endowment.
If your employer offers a matching gift program, obtain the appropriate form and enclose the completed form with your check. Fenner Nature Center will verify your gift and return the form to your employer who will send the matching gift to us.
Program and Event Sponsorship
Fenner Nature Center hosts several events and programs throughout the year that draw hundreds to thousands of people from the mid-Michigan area. By becoming a sponsor of one or more of these individual events, businesses can show their support for kids, families, education, and the environment. Sponsors receive recognition of their gifts at various levels.
For more information on event or program sponsorship opportunities, please click here.
General Corporate Sponsorship
Fenner Nature Center strives to offer exceptional environmental education, conservation, and stewardship experiences that reinforce its mission year-round. As a non-profit, program fees and membership cover some, but not all, of the costs of these experiences. Increasing operational expenses, such as materials, promotional costs and transportation, are placing new opportunities for Fenner Nature Center just out of reach. That’s why support from the corporate sector is so important.
Corporate sponsorships can help Fenner Nature Center enhance its popular programming, but they can also help participating businesses gain exposure to thousands of mid-Michigan residents while strengthening an association with an organization that’s viewed by many as one of the best of its kind in the area.
Norris Ingells Nature Education for Youth Fund
The purpose of this Fund is to enhance the environmental awareness of children through nature-based learning experiences. We believe that as ecological issues continue to arise, it is increasingly important for all children to learn about the interconnectedness of the environment, their relationships within it, and their effects on its future. By fostering the opportunity for youth - especially those who may be otherwise prevented by personal or school district financial status - to discover the natural world through exploration and instruction, and thus catalyze a lifelong interest in science and nature, we trust we can instill the values of sustainability and ecological awareness in the next generation.
Money contributed to this Fund is restricted for use as scholarships for local schools and other community groups, scholarships for low-income participants, and other responsible uses that allow Fenner Nature Center to reach out and engage more children in environmental education in both traditional and innovative ways.