Planned Giving

Let your love for animals inspire you as you contribute to the future of the Santa Cruz SPCA. By designating a gift through your will or estate plan, you can save the lives of animals, prevent their suffering, and enrich our community with rewarding human-animal connections for generations to come. Thank you for your visionary support.

Let Your Love Be a Legacy

There are so many ways you can share your love of animals. However, very few opportunities offer the same comfort and sense of pride as contributing to the long-term security of a favorite charity like the Santa Cruz SPCA.

Making a gift to the Santa Cruz SPCA through your will, trust, or other financial plan is a powerful way to remember our shelter, and the animals we serve, after you are gone or while you are still here! Your planned gift may take the form of cash, securities, real estate, or other property. In California, there is no restriction on the amount you may give through your will. Bequests to our shelter are deductible from your taxable estate for Federal Estate Tax purposes — and the savings from a gift can be substantial!

Here are a few ways you can support the Santa Cruz SPCA through gift planning:


A bequest in your will or trust, designating the Santa Cruz SPCA as a beneficiary of your generosity, is the simplest and most flexible way to support our work for years to come.

There are two types of bequests to consider:

1. Make an unrestricted bequest, and the amount of your gift will be applied to our shelter’s mission overall.

2. If a particular program or aspect of our mission is especially important to you, make a restricted bequest for a specific purpose or program. 

Whichever way you choose to make a bequest, please remember that the Santa Cruz SPCA is not a static institution and the animal welfare issues that are most urgent today may change over time. Unrestricted bequests are particularly important because they allow us to use funds where and when the need is greatest. These gifts are essential to maintaining the overall strength of the Santa Cruz SPCA.

To ensure that your legacy is allocated properly, the provisions of your bequest should be drawn as broadly as possible.

Suggested Language:  I give, devise and bequeath to the Santa Cruz SPCA, (the sum of $) (X percent of my estate) (the following property) (the remainder of my estate). The property comprising this gift may be used to further the charitable purpose of the Santa Cruz SPCA, a California nonprofit corporation (Tax ID 94-6171565), located at 2601 Chanticleer Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95065.

*Please note that the Santa Cruz SPCA is separate from Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter.

Retirement Plans

A gift of your retirement assets, such as your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), pension or other tax-deferred plan, is an excellent way to support the SCSPCA. If you are like most people, you probably will not use all of your retirement assets during your lifetime. Why not allocate the remainder to philanthropic giving, and help animals?

Typically, retirement plan balances are subject to both income and estate taxes. Because the SCSPCA is a nonprofit organization, we won't pay income tax on the distribution nor will the gift be subject to estate tax. Your retirement assets may be transferred to us by completing a beneficiary designation form provided by your plan custodian. If you designate the Santa Cruz SPCA as a beneficiary, the animals will benefit from the full value of your gift because your IRA assets will not be taxed at your death. Your estate can also benefit from an estate tax charitable deduction for the gift.

Life Insurance Policies

The Santa Cruz SPCA accepts gifts of life insurance either as the beneficiary of a policy or as the sole owner and sole beneficiary. Either way, we can use these gifts to save the lives of homeless pets and nurture a humane community.

You can name the SCSPCA as a primary life insurance beneficiary or as a contingent beneficiary should your other beneficiaries not survive you. After your lifetime, the benefits from your policy pass to us, free of federal estate tax. To make this gift, simply contact your insurance carrier and request a beneficiary form. Here are some benefits to you:

Simple to give: Involves little effort or paperwork
Financial advantage: Continued ownership of your policy
Flexibility: You can change your mind and your beneficiaries at any time
Future tax savings: Removes the asset from your potential gross taxable estate
Legacy of kindness: Your gift will help the SCSPCA continue its lifesaving work.

Making an outright gift of a paid-up insurance policy: Another option is to donate your paid-up life insurance policy to the SCSPCA. If the policy has a cash value, we would have the option of either holding the policy until the maturity date or surrendering the policy to receive the policy's current cash value. 

Charitable Remainder Trusts

A Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) is a defined term plan in which you, the donor, contribute assets of various types to the trust which then provides income to you for a fixed period of time. If you choose to partner with the Santa Cruz SPCA, the assets are transferred to us upon the conclusion of the defined period of time for which the trust was established. The two basic types of charitable remainder trusts are Unitrust (CRUT) and Annuity Trust (CRAT).

The Unitrust (CRUT) pays out a variable annual income that is based on a fixed percentage of the total trust’s assets. These assets are revalued every year based on any appreciation or depreciation that the trust experiences. You are allowed to make additional contributions to this type of trust at any time which can be an added benefit. You are entitled to an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of your contribution to the unitrust. You are not required to pay any capital gains tax on any donated appreciated assets. The principal of the trust is transferred to the SCSPCA upon the termination of the trust.

The Annuity Trust (CRAT) pays out a fixed annual income that is set when the trust is established. You are not allowed to make any additional contributions to this type of trust once created. You are entitled to an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of your contribution to the annuity trust. The principal of the trust is transferred to the SCSPCA upon the termination of the trust.

​There are many benefits to charitable remainder trusts with the main one being that you will have the knowledge and enjoyment of making an important gift which will benefit animals later and you currently. Remember to please consult with your professional advisors to determine which method might be the best one for you to employ.

Outright Gifts (Stocks, Property, etc.)

Outright Gifts allow donors to see their contributions at work during their lifetime. All outright gifts can result in income tax savings, but donors may realize multiple benefits by carefully structuring such gifts of cash, personal property, real estate, securities, closely held stock, and founders stock.

A cash donation is always greatly appreciated. If you wish to make a straightforward gift of cash, your gift is tax deductible in the year in which it is made. You can deduct an amount up to to 50% of your adjusted gross income. Amounts over 50% can be carried over for use during the next five years.

Personal Property
Any type of asset can be accepted by the SCSPCA as a charitable contribution, including personal property such as art, jewelry, and antiques. However, donors can deduct the fair market value of the gift only if it is related to the SCSPCA's function as an animal care institution. For gifts that the SCSPCA must sell to support its animal care mission, donors can deduct only the cost basis. Call us to discuss the appraisal and classification of a donation of personal property. (The restriction regarding direct relationship to the SCSPCA animal mission does not apply to bequests, only to lifetime gifts.) Your estate can deduct the fair market value of any bequest of personal property.

Gifts of appreciated securities can provide substantial income tax savings. If you have held securities for more than a year, you are allowed to deduct the market value of the securities without paying tax on the appreciation, for an amount up to 30% of your adjusted gross income in the year you donate. Amounts over 30% can be used over the next five years. Transfer the stock to the SCSPCA to make full use of potential tax savings.

If you wish to donate stock that has fallen in value, you should sell the stock at a loss and donate the proceeds. The loss can be used to offset gains, and you can receive the normal charitable deduction for donating the proceeds.

Real Estate
A gift of real estate is often an excellent way to support the SCSPCA. During the year that your transfer title to us, you can take a charitable income tax deduction for up to 30% of your adjusted gross income. Amounts over 30% can be carried over for use during the next five years. To take advantage of potential tax deductions, it is important that you transfer title to appreciated real estate that you have held more than a year to the SCSPCA rather than selling and donating the proceeds. You can then use the fair market value to establish your charitable deduction without being subject to capital gains tax on a sale.

Real estate gifts can offer many benefits to donors, but they can be complicated. We ask that you discuss your situation with us in advance of making your gift. The SCSPCA financial advisors or your own financial advisor can evaluate your potential give to decide if the gift can be accepted, with marketability an important factor, and can insure that you structure the gift to your advantage.

Closely Held Stock
Closely held stock typically is held by the owner of a corporation who has not received dividends on the stock. The owner can sometimes release retained earnings from the business through a charitable gift, without being taxed at both the corporate and personal level. This somewhat complicated transaction requires careful planning and attention to IRS statutes. Call us or contact your financial advisor to discus your individual situation.

Founder Stock
A company donating founder stock can claim a tax deduction at the beginning of its business venture, when such deductions can be especially helpful. If the business is successful, non-profits can often sell founder stock to realize substantial gains. The donating company receives the tax deduction regardless of whether the business goes forward.

Workplace and Matching Gifts

Did you know that many employers sponsor matching gift programs that match charitable contributions made by their employees? Some companies even match gifts made by retirees and spouses. By enrolling in your company’s matching gift program, your gift could be doubled and go that much further in helping support the Santa Cruz SPCA.

Don't know if your company offers a matching gift program?
Find out here!

Here are two ways to initiate your matching gift:

Submit a matching gift verification request through your company’s online portal.
Obtain a matching gift verification form from your human resources department.

Please email or mail your completed form and a copy of your donation receipt to:

Mail to:
Santa Cruz SPCA
Attn: Matching Gifts
2601 Chanticleer Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95065

Santa Cruz SPCA's Federal Tax ID Number is: 94-6171565.

To discuss your ideas and options for leaving a legacy for the animals, please contact:

Alison “Ali” Talley, Executive Director
Santa Cruz SPCA
Phone: (831) 465-5000 ext. 16
Send the ED an Email

For more than 75 years, the Santa Cruz SPCA has been here to save animal lives and prevent the suffering of all animals in need. We accomplish our mission through the generous commitments of our supporters. Like other charities, we are ocassionally mentioned in an estate plan or given a large gift. We greatly appreciate and depend on these gifts to help carry out our mission. Respect for your privacy and preferences is our priority.

With that in mind, we have accepted the gracious offer of Deborah A. Malkin, a Santa Cruz attorney who is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning Law and an avid supporter of our work. She has offered that, for every California resident whose estate plan leaves the Santa Cruz SPCA a minimum of $10,000, she will prepare the estate plan (including a will or trust) at no charge. Ms. Malkin does not represent the Santa Cruz SPCA and will not divulge any information about you or your estate plan to us. Again, while we’re here to assist you in any way we can, it is not right for us — or any charity — to influence these private and personal decisions.

If you are interested in this program, please contact Deborah A. Malkin, Attorney at Law, 2425 Porter Street, Suite 15, Soquel, CA 95073, (831) 462-9100.

To discuss your ideas and options for leaving a legacy for the animals, please contact:

Alison “Ali” Talley, Executive Director
Santa Cruz SPCA
Phone: (831) 465-5000 ext. 16
Send the ED an Email

We are also glad to work with your estate planning and financial advisors. 

Shelter Location

2601 Chanticleer Ave.

Santa Cruz, CA 95065

(P) 831-465-5000 (F) 831-479-8530


Hours of Operation

Mon & Tues - CLOSED

Animal Browsing Wed to Sun 11am - 5pm

*PET FOOD PANTRY - Fridays 1:00pm - 3:00pm

The Santa Cruz SPCA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of animals. We receive no government funding, and depend solely on financial support from our friends. Our organization is not affiliated with any other SPCA or Humane Society.

Tax ID: 94-6171565

© 2017 Santa Cruz SPCA