Your Ocean. Your Philanthropy. Your Legacy.

Climate change. Overfishing. Habitat destruction. When we think about these and the many other challenges the ocean is currently facing, it's easy to question how to make an impact. The answer is that together we can make a positive difference. For 30 years, REEF has worked to protect biodiversity and ocean life, through citizen science, education, and partnerships with the scientific community.

Don’t Wait to Leave Your Legacy

Our goal is to help our donors make an impact on ocean conservation through philanthropy – immediately or through estate plans.

Your long-term commitment to REEF provides us the ability to plan, implement, and respond to the changing needs of our marine environment. With your legacy gift, REEF can capitalize on our growing success and momentum, ensuring that our important marine conservation work continues for generations to come. We invite you to support REEF by including the organization in your Planned Giving, and join our Legacy Society.

Have you included REEF in your planned giving?

Please let us know if you have included REEF in your planned giving by filling out this Letter of Intent and emailing, mailing, or faxing a copy to us (; REEF, PO Box 370246, Key Largo, FL 33037; 305-852-0301). All planned gifts are recognized in our Legacy Society unless specifically designated otherwise.

A Gift That Will Keep on Giving

Rosette Davila Anna and Ned DeLoach Dennis Bensen
Dennis Bensen
"As a supporter of REEF programs, both in the water and out, I want to make a difference. I have been diving since 1993, and have become increasingly alarmed with the deterioration of our oceans. In 2015 I joined a REEF Invasive Lionfish Research Trip to The Bahamas, which opened my eyes to how beneficial REEF’s citizen science programs can be. I am determined to do whatever it takes to help REEF in their efforts, because I have seen firsthand the positive results of the work REEF does." "As Ned and I set out to plan our estate, we wanted to be sure to not only provide for our children’s future needs, we desired to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organization we helped form. We cannot begin to describe the many personal relationships we have cultivated, the adventures we have experienced, and the accomplishments we’ve witnessed, as we helped REEF grow and prosper. So, when it came down to creating our legacy, it was only natural that we chose to include REEF in our estate plan." "As a long-time member, I wanted to make sure that REEF is able to continue its important work for the future of our oceans long after I am gone. Being a REEF surveyor has given such purpose to my diving. I know that I am making a difference and having fun doing it. One of my proudest achievements was earning the Golden Hamlet Award for conducting 1000 surveys. I have a treasured Ohana of surveying friends. I am honored to know that my legacy will live on through REEF."


Planned Giving Opportunities That Ensure REEF’s Mission Continues

REEF’s Planned Giving Program provides you with a broad range of opportunities to provide lasting support of our mission through charitable contributions that are incorporated into your financial, tax or estate plan.

  • The benefits of planned giving can include:
  • Immediate tax relief through an income tax charitable deduction
  • Annual income for life or for a period of years
  • Reduction or elimination of capital gains taxes on transfer of long-term appreciated assets
  • Reduction of estate taxes
  • Transfer assets to heirs at reduced tax rates

Some gifts allow you to receive income for the rest of your life, and most gifts provide a variety of tax benefits such as tax-free income, avoidance of capital gains tax, increased charitable contributions deduction and potential estate-tax savings. The choice you make will depend on the goals for yourself, your family and your overall estate and financial plans.

We encourage you to speak with your own financial advisor about the best choice for you and your family.

You have many options for supporting REEF through planned giving:

Wills & Bequests
A will enables you to:
  1. direct the distribution of your assets;
  2. provide for your heirs in the way you choose rather than as state and federal laws dictate;
  3. possibly reduce or eliminate certain estate taxes and court costs; and
  4. designate a portion of your assets as a gift to your favorite charity.

Testamentary gifts to REEF or other charities can take many forms, either through a new will, or through a ‘codicil’ – an amendment to your existing will.

Cash Bequest

REEF receives a specified dollar amount.

Specific Bequest or Devise of Property

REEF receives specified assets, such as securities.

Residuary Bequest or Devise

REEF receives all or a percentage of the remainder of your estate after specific legacies, debts, taxes, and estate expenses have been paid.

Contingent Bequest or Devise

REEF receives a gift according to the language of the bequest. There are a wide variety of conditions that you could place on such a bequest. For example, if you outlive other named beneficiaries, then part or all of your estate would benefit REEF.


Examples of Testamentary Language

Unrestricted Bequest
I give and bequeath to Reef Environmental Education Foundation, a non-profit organization (Tax ID #65-0270064), with a principal business address of 98300 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037, for its general purposes, the sum of ______ Dollars ($______ ) – OR – ______% of my residuary estate.

An unrestricted bequest allows your support to be used in the area of greatest need.

Restricted Bequest
I give and bequeath to Reef Environmental Education Foundation, a non-profit organization (Tax ID # 65-0270064), with a principal business address of 98300 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037, the sum of ______ dollars ($______ ) – OR – ______% of my residuary estate to support ______________ (e.g, education, lionfish, or volunteer fish survey project).

If you have a more specific purpose in mind, please contact us so we can work with you to ensure that your wishes are met.

Tax Benefits
Your bequest to REEF may qualify your estate for a charitable deduction equal to the entire amount of the bequest. Consult your tax or financial adviser for further information.

Charitable Remainder Trust
One or more named beneficiaries receive income for life or for a specified term of years, after which time the assets pass to REEF. Through this arrangement, you can provide income to family members or friends, realize significant tax savings, and ensure important benefits to REEF after the trust’s termination.

Charitable Lead Trust
Income from the trust is paid to REEF for a period of years, after which time the assets pass to your heirs, usually your grandchildren, at a reduced estate tax cost. By substantially reducing estate and other transfer taxes, this arrangement allows you to preserve a larger portion of your estate for your beneficiaries.

Retirement Plans
IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, Keoghs, and other retirement plan assets make up an increasingly large part of many estates. When left to your heirs, these assets can be subject to income, estate, and other transfer taxes. Naming REEF as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of all or a percentage of your plan assets may reduce or eliminate both income and estate taxes. Note that designating a specific dollar amount, rather than a specified percentage, may result in the inclusion of these funds in your gross estate for tax purposes.

To designate REEF as the beneficiary of some or all of your retirement plan funds, please use the following language on the retirement plan forms:

Retirement Plans
I give and bequeath to Reef Environmental Education Foundation, a non-profit organization (Tax ID # 65-0270064), with a principal business address of 98300 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037, the sum of ______ dollars ($______ ) – OR – ______% of my residuary estate for its general purposes – OR – to support _________________ (e.g. education, lionfish, or volunteer fish survey project).

Retirement plan assets can also be placed in a testamentary charitable remainder trust to provide income to your heirs for life or a specified term of years with the remainder interest passing to REEF.

Sample Codicil

Please have your will or codicil drafted by an attorney who is familiar with the estate laws of the state where you live. We are not engaged in legal or tax advisory service. The purpose of this SAMPLE CODICIL is to provide general gift, estate, and financial planning information. Watch for tax revisions. State laws govern wills, trusts, and charitable gifts made in a contractual agreement. ADVICE FROM LEGAL COUNSEL SHOULD BE SOUGHT WHEN CONSIDERING THESE TYPES OF GIFTS. View Sample Codicil

This information is intended to provide general gift planning information. Our organization is not qualified to provide specific legal, tax or investment advice, and this information should not be looked to or relied upon as a source for such advice. Consult with your own legal and financial advisors before making any gift.

For further information or to talk with someone about giving to REEF, please call 305-852-0030 or email

Matched Gifts: Many corporations offer a matching gift program. Click here to find out more.

Other Ways to Celebrate:

Donate to REEFHonor SomeoneGifts of StockPartner with REEFCorporate PartnersShop to SupportSponsor an EventPlanned Giving

REEF’s focus is to develop strong programming to engage and inspire the public through citizen science, education, and partnering with the scientific community to achieve a healthier ocean. This commitment to our mission has been recognized by Great Nonprofits and GuideStar. REEF has an exceptional ‘Give with Confidence’ rating on Charity Navigator, joining the less than 1% of charities with a perfect score for fulfilling our mission in a fiscally-responsible way while adhering to good governance and other best practices.  This means your donation goes directly to making a difference for our ocean.

Charity Navigator Three-Star Rating Reef Environmental Education Foundation, Inc. Nonprofit Overview and Reviews on GreatNonprofits


REEF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the US. Our tax ID number is 65-0270064.
Donations are 100% tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Gifts described on this page support all REEF programs and are not designated for any specific work.