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Photograph by Michael Nichols


A charitable lead trust allows you to achieve your philanthropic goals while reducing the tax costs for your heirs in the future. Income generated by the trust supports the important work of National Geographic for a designated period of years, after which the assets pass to your heirs.

How a Lead Trust Works

You make a contribution of assets, such as securities or real estate, toward a trust, which then makes annual payments to support National Geographic’s mission for a set period of years. When the trust terminates, the principal goes to your heirs.

A charitable lead trust can be funded during your lifetime or through your will. The lead trust is an exceptional way to transfer assets to your children or other heirs at minimal tax cost.

Use our Planned Giving Calculator for a personal illustration of how life-income gifts can work for you.


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The information on our Web site is not intended as financial or legal advice. Please consult your own qualified advisers as you consider philanthropic gifts.


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    Pat Minnick

    Through a charitable gift annuity with National Geographic, Pat Minnick receives a guaranteed life income and supports the Society’s efforts to inspire people to care about the planet. “The environmental problems we face are vast, but by joining with National Geographic and their history of remarkable accomplishments, I know we can pass on a more beautiful world,” says Pat. Read More

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Explorers Newsletter

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    Explorers A-Z

    At the heart of our explorers program is the quest for knowledge through exploration and the people who make it possible.

National Geographic News

  • Photo: Lion

    Better Bomas Save Big Cats

    When lions and other big cats kill livestock, herders retaliate by killing cats. Sturdy livestock enclosures called bomas keep livestock safe from attack by big cats, just as they keep big cats safe from people who depend on livestock for income. National Geographic grantees helped construct more than 260 new bomas in Kenya and Tanzania in 2014. Learn how you can support their work.