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 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.

Saving Species
Sustaining Our World for the Next Generation

The Indianapolis Prize Endowment Fund serves to protect the future of the world’s leading award for animal conservation and the heroic work of men and women dedicated to protecting threatened and endangered species. When people think of an Arctic animal, it’s likely the iconic polar bear. And polar bears have no greater champion than Dr. Steven Amstrup, widely regarded as the most influential scientist working on conservation for the species. For more than four decades, the chief scientist at Polar Bears International has devoted efforts to understand and protect the world’s largest non-aquatic predator. In 2012, Amstrup received the Indianapolis Prize for his fundamental work that became the basis for the listing of polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act — the first animal included based on climate change effects. On multiple occasions Amstrup has said winning the award provided him with a new platform to share his story and the vital scientific findings that help inspire the public to create change for the future. The stories from other Winners and Finalists are much the same. Iain Douglas-Hamilton provided the Samburu warriors he worked alongside with money to illustrate their importance among their peers, Pat Wright knew healthcare for the Malagasy community was paramount to conservation continuing in the area, and Carl Jones’ focused on providing for the next generation of conservationists and their discoveries. The Indianapolis Prize isn’t just honoring men and women in the field, it’s a major tool for these heroes to continue making a difference, offering the support to elevate their ability to achieve victories.

Sustaining Our World for the Next Generation

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