Supporting the Future
Endowment Giving

Ensure a Lasting Legacy

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Leave your Legacy through the Indianapolis Prize

What is worth saving?

African lions? Lemurs? Bald eagles? Aldo Leopold wrote “To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” His logic was that when any part of a complex machine is missing, its loss may cause the overall mechanism to fail. We’ve seen the disappearance of species cause entire ecosystems to crash. But the Indianapolis Prize helps consistently-successful wildlife conservationists keep those cogs and wheels in place and turning. And the Indianapolis Prize has now itself become an essential part of the machinery of conservation. The Indianapolis Prize is a lever that enables conservation champions to make lasting changes for our planet. It is a bridge connecting the people and resources of the developed world with the needs and opportunities of wild things and wild places. And it is us! The Indianapolis Prize will be as relevant in 200 years as it is today. Its Winners and DeHaan Finalists will be the legends who are studied and honored by future generations.

And if there is a wondrous natural world in that future, it will be because the Indianapolis Prize has played an important role. Please make an endowment gift to ensure that the Indianapolis Prize stands forever. Please help ensure that we are honored and remembered as a generation who acted, rather than one that just stood by and watched. What is worth saving? The Indianapolis Prize is. To learn about endowment programs and recognition opportunities for your family or organization, please find further information below or contact us. Thank you.

Use Your IRA to Save Species!

If you are 70 ½ years of age or older, you may choose to direct up to $100,000 per year to help protect endangered species through a Qualified Charitable Distribution from your IRA. In order to qualify, distributions must be sent directly to the Indianapolis Prize Endowment, c/o Indianapolis Zoo, 1200 W Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46222.

For more information, please contact Planned and Major Gifts Officer, Ed Sandifer, at (317) 630-2709 or

Let's Get Started

A gift of any amount may be directed to the Indianapolis Prize Endowment Fund. Examples of outright and planned gifts that may be used include:

Outright Gifts 

  • Cash
  • Publicly traded securities
  • Closely held securities
  • Real estate
  • Other property

Planned Gifts

  • Bequests
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement plan designations (IRAs; 401(k)s)
  • Gift Annuities
  • Charitable trusts

Endowment gifts are commonly established through an array of planned gifts arrangements that benefit the Indianapolis Prize Endowment Fund and the donor. The most commonly used planned gifts include bequests through a will or trust, or designating the Indianapolis Prize Endowment Fund as beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan.

The Details
  • Bequest Language

    The following language may be used to provide for the Indianapolis Prize Endowment Fund through a bequest in your will: I hereby give and bequeath to THE INDIANAPOLIS ZOO, Indianapolis, Indiana, the sum of __________Dollars ($________), or _____ percent (____%) of my property and estate, to be directed to the Indianapolis Prize Endowment Fund, a fund within the Indianapolis Zoo’s general endowment fund.

  • Beneficiary Language

    To designate the Indianapolis Prize Endowment Fund as a beneficiary of an insurance policy or retirement plan, please direct as follows: Indianapolis Prize Endowment Fund, a fund within the Indianapolis Zoo’s general endowment fund.

  • For More Information

    If you would like to learn more how you may establish your legacy by supporting the Indianapolis Zoo and animal conservation, or if you would like to let us know that you have already provided for the Indianapolis Prize Endowment Fund, please contact Karen Burns, Executive Director of the Indianapolis Prize, at 317-630-2711 or

Michael I. Crowther Indianapolis Prize Endowment Fund

Thank you to the following individuals for supporting the legacy of Michael I. Crowther,
founder of the Indianapolis Prize and former President and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc.

Steve & Mary Jo Alonso
Dan & Kate Appel
Katie Betley
Ted & Peggy Boehm
Steven S. Cagle
Alan & Linda Cohen Family Foundation
Erin Crowther
Michael Crowther Family
Debbie & Gene D’Adamo
Linda Daley & Paula Susemichel
Ann Dettwiler
David & Julie DeWitt
Mr. Eric. L. Gillispie & Dr. Patrica A. Treadwell
Marianne Glick & Mike Woods
Ann H. Hunt
David L. Johnson & Anne Nobles
Daniel Jordan
Tom & Verletta King
Kristi Lee
Mike & Pam Luenz
Steve & Jane Marmon
Eric L. Martin
Ginger Merkel
Denny & Donna Oklak
DV Pace
Myrta J. Pulliam
William Rosenbaum & Mimi Brittingham
The Nick & Jo Anne Rutigliano Family
Ms. Jane Salin
Kurt & Lesley Sarlls
Greg & Claudia Schenkel
Mr. & Mrs. Jerry D. Semler & Family
Dr. Robert & Mrs. Karen Shoemaker
Elaine & Steve Stitle
Dale & Sheila Thielbar
Rich & Linda Thrapp
Douglas L. Tillman
Susan Williams
Beth & Ace Yakey
Sally & Mark Zelonis