ExplorersTake Action

Meet the Donors

  • 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.

    Minnick, a professional artist, decided to establish a charitable gift annuity to support National Geographic in 2007. “I feel good knowing that National Geographic is doing so much to protect endangered wildlife,” says Pat. With her gift, Pat has had a direct impact on the Society’s ability to continue the work that she values so much. For more information about a charitable gift annuity or other ways to include National Geographic in your estate plans, please contact the Office of Estate Planning.

  • Photo: Grace Cleere

    Grace Cleere

    In 2005, when National Geographic Society established The Grosvenor Fund for Geography Education, Grace Cleere decided to make a gift to National Geographic of a retained life estate, the first one in the Society's history, using her vacation home. "I support the Society's urgent attention to geography, and the deep and permanent change it will make, one student at a time,” says Grace.

    For Grace, it is simply inconceivable that anyone would not be interested in the rest of the world. Nearly 20 years ago, while working for the U.S. Navy, she worked with National Geographic to create Project Marco Polo, a month-long overseas sea-and-land learning program for middle school students. She worked with the Navy to fill empty berths on oceanographic vessels with students and teachers from around the country and with National Geographic Education to devise real-life lesson plans on oceanography and geography.

    Grace says travel is key to education—after all, Mark Twain once called it "fatal to prejudice and bigotry." She feels, "If we don't know and understand our neighbors, we are bound to find ourselves at odds with them. If we don't know and understand our world, we are bound to mistreat it. And if we are not curious about all living things on our planet, we are bound to lose them through thoughtlessness and indifference." A donor making a gift of a retained life estate enjoys the use of their home for life and may qualify for a federal income tax deduction. Ultimately, the property will go to National Geographic to fund education. For more information about a retained life estate or other ways to include National Geographic in your estate plans, please contact the Office of Estate Planning.

  • John McCallister

    John McCallister

    “I included National Geographic in my will because I want the Society to be around for future generations,” says John McCallister, an avid traveler and horticulturist, who was introduced to National Geographic when his aunt sent him a gift subscription to the magazine.

    “I like everything about National Geographic, what it stands for, and what it accomplishes,” John says. Now retired, he spends his time taking continuing education classes, landscaping his garden, and frequenting art museums, theater performances, and concerts. John made a bequest gift as a way to support the things he holds dear. For more information about how to include National Geographic in your estate plans, or to let us know that you have already done so, please contact the Office of Estate Planning.

  • Photo: JC and Ann Zajic

    JC and Ann Zajic

    A charitable trust gift to National Geographic was a “win-win” for JC and Ann Zajic, giving them income for life while supporting the work of an organization they believe in. “We would encourage others who have charitable trusts or are planning on setting one up to think of including National Geographic. Your gift, like ours, will be well used and make a real difference.”

    JC and Ann have had National Geographic magazine in their home since 1950. “We rely on National Geographic as a source of timely, current, and balanced reporting,” says JC. “When we reviewed our long-term charitable plans, we created a stand-alone Charitable Remainder Unitrust in which National Geographic is the major benefactor. It is our way to ensure that future generations will be able to explore our amazing world and universe.” For more information about a charitable trust gift or other ways to include National Geographic in your estate plans, please contact the Office of Estate Planning.

  • Photo of a leopard

    Adele Gottschalk

    The late Adele Gottschalk was a renowned general surgeon dedicated to human health. However, outside of the operating room, she was passionate about the preservation of wild animal species, particularly primates. Her interest in conservation led her to name National Geographic as a beneficiary to her individual retirement account.

    National Geographic learned of her outstanding generosity and commitment to the Society in 2001, when she passed away unexpectedly. Today her generous gift supports field research projects to study and protect animals in the wild through the Society’s Research, Conservation, and Exploration group. For more information about how to include National Geographic in your estate plans, or to let us know that you have already done so, please contact the Office of Estate Planning.



Photo credits: Pat Minnick (John-Joseph van Haelewyn), Grace Cleere (Adam Buchanan), John McCallister (John-Joseph van Haelewyn), JC and Ann Zajic (John-Joseph van Haelewyn), leopard (Jodi Cobb)

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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

    New Bomas Save Big Cats

    Big Cats Initiative grantee Laly Lichtenfeld works with local communities in Tanzania's Tarangire ecosystem to replace traditional bomas (corrals) with "living walls" made from wire fence and rapidly growing native trees. Since installing 40 living walls that protect more than 100 separate livestock enclosures, communities have seen a dramatic decline in attacks on livestock. To date, no livestock predation has happened in villages where new living walls have been installed, with a 67 percent reduction in the number of lions killed in these communities as a result. (Photograph by Jodi Cobb)