Ways to Make a Gift Now

There are many ways in which you can help protect the farms that feed your family.  Make a donation today, or read on for information on alternative ways to support the California Farmland Trust. There are many ways in which you can leave a legacy gift to protect the farms that will feed your family, forever. No matter which you choose, the land will be your legacy.

Follow the flow chart on the right to find the best tax-advantaged way for you to make a gift, today.  Click on the flow chart to see a bigger version.  Then, scroll down to learn more about each of the ways to give a gift to protect the farms that feed your family.

To learn more about planned giving, select one of the orange boxes below.

Become a monthly donor

Your monthly donation can help protect farmland and feed more families. Your support is put right to work, protecting more farmland and ensuring more families have a safe and abundant food supply. You’ll have the satisfaction knowing you’ve helped protect family farms, promote agriculture education and support farmers who steward our natural resources day in and day out. Your consistent support helps us confidently continue to ensure more farmland is protected and not paved over or developed.

“It’s important agriculture and family farms stay viable – more farmland needs to be protected. We used to give annually, but we can help CFT do more collectively by giving monthly.” – Pam Magneson, Magneson Dairy, Easement Holders in Merced County.

“I’m moved by Kimball Musk’s quote ‘Strong communities are built around local, real food. Food we trust to nourish our bodies, the farmer and planet.’ Everything needs to eat, so it’s important to me to support CFT as they work towards building resilient communities.” – Florin Barnhart, Monthly Donor

To join our monthly donors and provide consistent support to protect farmland, click here and check the box for “Monthly Recurring Gift”.

Direct gifts of stocks

If you own any stocks, consider directly gifting them to CFT.  It’s easy, and if the stocks have increased in value since you acquired them, you won’t have to pay capital gains taxes on the proceeds.  Here’s more information from three brokerages, if you use a different brokerage you can simply call them to initiate a direct gift of stocks.  The information in the links below generally applies to any brokerage.

Donating Stock to Charity (Fidelity)

Charitable Donations: The Basics of Giving (Charles Schwab)

Donating Appreciated Securities in Kind (Vanguard) 

Donor Advised Funds

A Donor Advised Fund is a special type of brokerage account, similar to a 529 plan or IRA. Establishing a Donor Advised Fund allows you to deposit and write off a lump sum now, then make distributions to charities on your own schedule.  If you already have a Donor Advised Fund, you can use it to make a gift to CFT.  Click here to read about one donor’s experience with a Donor Advised Fund.  If you don’t have a Donor Advised Fund, here’s some further information on them for your consideration.  In many cases, you can also establish a Donor Advised Fund with your local community foundation.

Donor Advised Funds (Charles Schwab) 

What is a Donor Advised Fund? (Fidelity)

Individual Philanthropic Accounts (Vanguard)

Hear Jean Okuye’s Story


Consider for a moment what would happen if people like Jean didn’t fight to protect farmland. What would California look like?

The valley would be destined to look a lot like Los Angeles. Nothing but buildings and freeways as far as the eye can see. Forget the orchards full of bees and flowers. Forget the open fields full of vegetables and pumpkin patches.  There would hardly be a scraggly tree eking out a meager existence. The air would be terrible. The heat would be unbearable.

How ugly. That’s not a sight you want to see. That’s not a life you want to live or leave for the next generation. As Jean says, “as long as I’m here above the ground, not under it, I’m going to be fighting.”  Please stand with Jean and CFT. Please join the fight to protect the farms that feed your family from concrete by making a gift today.

You can watch and listen to Jean’s full story in our
Concrete California Documentary here:
Concrete California


If you are over the age of 72 ½, you can make a Qualified Charitable Distribution from your Traditional IRA. A Qualified Charitable Distribution is a gift that goes directly from the IRA custodian to the nonprofit; it is not distributed to the individual first.  A Qualified Charitable Distribution can help you meet your Required Minimum Distribution, without having to pay taxes on the amount donated – even if you don’t itemize your taxes!  Click here to read the story of one donor’s experience with Qualified Charitable Distributions.  Follow the links below to learn more.

Qualified Charitable Distributions (Fidelity)

Thinking of Using Your RMD for Charitable Giving? (Vanguard)

If you are under the age of 72 ½, you can consider naming CFT as a beneficiary of your IRA.

Life Insurance

There are many ways in which you can support CFT using your life insurance.  You can name CFT as a beneficiary, gift an existing or new policy to CFT, or make annual gifts via the policy.  Learn more at the links below.

Donating Your Life Insurance to Charity: How It Works (Northwestern Mutual) 

Life Insurance for Charity (Mass Mutual)

Planned Giving 

Becoming a member of the Farmland Legacy Society is a way for you to give back to the land that has provided for your family.  By making a planned gift to CFT, you join the Farmland Legacy Society and help to ensure the prosperity and viability of the land for generations to come.

Planned gifts can take many forms, many of which occur during your lifetime.  We are happy to work with you and find the right planned gift that can meet your needs now, and enable your desire to leave a legacy later.

Get a Brochure

I’d like to receive a detailed brochure with information on how I can make a planned gift. 

Let Us Know

I have already prepared a planned gift to CFT and would like to join the Legacy Society.

More Ideas

For more ideas on planned giving, read this article by attorney Margaret Heiser Fulton.