Your membership helps support our ongoing public education, ecological monitoring, and proactive involvement in the management of Georgia’s National Forests. These 867,510 acres protect critical clean water supplies, rare animal habitat and offer unparalleled recreation opportunities for all Georgians.
➜ Member Benefits:
Members are eligible to receive a free Georgia’s Mountain Treasures Book! Members also receive Forest News, our quarterly newsletter; Action Alerts regarding time-sensitive environmental issues; Early bird Outing Notifications to find out about exciting hikes, outings, and events
Ways to Donate
Georgia ForestWatch accepts checks, credit card donations, stock, and life insurance. You may give securely on-line OR mail checks to Georgia ForestWatch, 81 Crown Mountain Place, Bldg. C, Suite 200, Dahlonega, GA 30533. Call us if you have any questions: 706-867-0051. All donations are fully tax deductible and help us with all aspects of protecting your forests. These general funds are applied where most urgently needed.
Forest Legacy Partners: Your gift is designed to ensure your values live on after you, some planned giving options may have immediate benefits in the now, such as: reducing your income tax liability; increasing your current income or that of a designated beneficiary; avoiding capital gains tax; and/or passing assets on to family members while paying less tax
Memorial/Honorary donations allow you to pay tribute to someone special and help create a lasting forest legacy. Please submit your donation to 81 Crown Mountain Pl, Bldg C, Suite 200, Dahlonega, GA 30533. Be sure to indicate whether your donation is “In Honor” or “In Memory” and the contact information of the individual if you would like acknowledgement sent to them. Please feel free to send any other information you would like to share. Click here for our online form.
Workplace Giving: You can also make your contribution through workplace giving if your company has an EarthShare program. If it doesn’t have an EarthShare program, contact us to find out how to make that happen!
Retirement Funds: Retirement funds are taxed as income to your heirs and may be subject to estate tax. If you would like to name Georgia ForestWatch as the beneficiary of some or all of your 401k, Keogh, or other IRA, these funds would pass to ForestWatch tax-free, with no estate tax for your heirs. Your attorney or your employer’s human resource department can provide the necessary form to designate Georgia ForestWatch as a beneficiary.
If you are 70½ years old and have a traditional, tax-deferred IRA, the government requires that you take “Required Minimum Distributions” (RMDs) every year. The RMDs are payouts from your IRA that increase each year beyond your 70½ th birthday. If you would like to save on taxes and give the money to Georgia ForestWatch, click here to learn more.
Stock Gifts: If you would like to donate stocks, bonds, or other securities, please contact our office manager at 706-867-0051. Transferring stock is an excellent way for you to make a donation to ForestWatch because neither you nor ForestWatch pays a capital gains tax on the appreciated value. We sell the stock immediately and you receive notification of the sale price so that you may record the full market value as a charitable deduction.
Life Insurance: You may want to make Georgia ForestWatch the beneficiary of some or all of your life insurance policy if you have grown children and other loved one who are provided for in other ways in your estate plan. Contact your attorney or your life insurance agent to obtain the necessary forms to make Georgia ForestWatch, Inc., a beneficiary (Federal Tax ID 58-2188475).
Bequests: The simplest type of planned gift is a bequest in your will. Bequests may reduce estate taxes and allow you to make a larger gift than you are able to make during your lifetime. Bequests may be:
- A percentage of your total estate;
- A specific amount of cash, stock or real estate;
- A percentage of the remainder of your estate after other distributions are made; or
- A percentage or amount contingent on other conditions being met, such as having a loved one predecease you.
If you already have a will, your lawyer may simply add a codicil stating: “I give and bequeath to Georgia ForestWatch, Inc, 81 Crown Mountain Place, Building C Suite 200, Dahlonega, GA 30533, Federal Tax ID 58-2188475.”
May 27, 2020
Dear ForestWatch Friend,
I suspect you may have had the same experience I did. Your passion for nature and the importance of the mission drew you to Georgia ForestWatch, but you stayed for the wonderful people and community. On ForestWatch outings in the national forest, we not only explore the wonders of nature and learn about the issues facing our forest ecosystems, but also build our own ecosystem. You have made Georgia ForestWatch not only an organization, but also a community.
I know our community continues to care, though circumstances keep us apart. Right now, you may be caring for loved ones, health care workers, or yourself. Thank you for the support you are providing, and please know that we are still with you in spirit even as we can’t be with you physically. ForestWatch staff and volunteers continue to provide care where we are most effective, for our forests and streams.
You can rest assured though that your past generosity has made Georgia ForestWatch into a strong organization able to weather some adversity. Your support has boosted membership to a high of 825, forged ties with strong allies, garnered the respect of the Forest Service (FS), and produced the updated Georgia’s Mountain Treasures book, a stellar foundation for advocating for our most important wild areas. In 2019, ForestWatch’s contributions were formally recognized by the Georgia Water Coalition and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
You can help keep ForestWatch strong with your donation. We know that the pandemic is placing many demands on compassionate people like you right now.
If you are in a position to give, though, your support can help ensure that there is no dip in forest protection.
One benefit of the strong organization you’ve helped to build is a dedicated and talented base of volunteers spread across the forest. Even as people are staying close to home, we can keep an eye on the forest. We are continuing to monitor trail conditions, check on hotspots for illegal motor vehicle activity, and survey tracts of Forest Service land that have been authorized for sale.
Your support also gives ForestWatch legitimacy, so even as the FS was scrambling to respond to the demands of the pandemic, they made time to meet with us about land sales and the Foothills Landscape Project, the largest project in the history of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Your consistent support also allowed ForestWatch to provide important local examples to FS staff in Washington DC who are reviewing proposed rule changes for the National Environmental Policy Act, changes that could gut requirements for public involvement and environmental review of projects.
Even as the FS nationally tries to keep the public at arm’s length, your voice is being heard by the FS in Georgia. During a series of public Foothills meetings in December, FS leaders refused to take questions from the audience at large. Your concern led to a public forum attended by 150 people where the FS presenter took audience questions, and where ForestWatch presented key issues uncovered in our analysis of project documents. You helped us spread the word about how the project could be improved, and over 2,000 people documented their concerns in letters to the FS. The next decisions on Foothills will not be for months, but in spite of national FS pressure for less public disclosure and involvement, the FS in Georgia has reconsidered initial plans and opted for a more robust public process on multiple recent projects.
The Forest needs all of us to help in whatever way we can, so if you are someone who can give financially, please help us build on this momentum with your donation today. Please make a tax-deductible donation to Georgia ForestWatch using the insert or online at gafw.org/donate. You can also help protect Georgia’s national forests with a recurring monthly donation (gafw.org/donate), an IRA distribution, or through our legacy giving program (gafw.org/planned-giving). Thank you for considering financially supporting Georgia ForestWatch.
No one knows how long the current health crisis will last, but we do know that when it’s over, the forests, mountains, and streams of north Georgia will still need your help. We also know that nature will still be there giving us solace, helping us heal, and bringing us together. Please stay well and thank you for all you do for Georgia’s amazing national forests.
Jess Riddle, Executive Director
P.S. People are now turning to our national forests for refuge and visiting more than ever. The clear streams, unmarred vistas, and shaded trails they find are the legacy of the generosity of you and earlier cherishers of the forest. Your financial support now will help ensure the next generation has an even more vibrant refuge.