American Friends of Canadian Conservation accomplishes its land and water preservation mission through innovative partnerships and its ability to access valuable bi-national financial incentives. Qualified Canadian conservation entities identify properties what are high priorities for protection and owned by US taxpayers.
Conservation-oriented landowners from the US donate their important natural lands, or a conservation easement, to American Friends in order to accomplish their preservation, estate planning and financial goals. This is known as cross-border conservation, and is how American Friends protects Canada’s natural heritage. Our Canadian partners steward those properties after they have been protected and can request transfers of ownership from American Friends so that title is repatriated to Canadian entities.
American Friends’ preferred tax status in both the US and Canada makes these donations financially attractive for generous US taxpayers. It is a US publicly supported 501(c)(3) charitable organization so all types of charitable gifts are tax deductible in the US. In addition, gifts of land and conservation easements are effectively not subject to Canadian capital gains tax because American Friends is a prescribed donee. For an in-depth explanation of the tax benefits that incentivize cross-border conservation refer to Save Some Green: a handbook for US taxpayers who own land in Canada.
American Friends has two programs to accomplish its mission, utilize its innovative bi-national tax status and assist its partners, including landowners.
Conservation Lands Program – Gifts of Fee Title or Conservation Easements
Working as a US land trust that has adopted the Standards and Practices of both the Land Trust Alliance of the U.S. and Canada, American Friends accepts donations of qualified conservation lands and partial interests (conservation easements/covenants) in ecologically important land in Canada from US taxpayers. American Friends’ transactions always involve a Canadian partner organization.
General Support Program – Gifts to Benefit Canadian Organizations
US taxpayers who care deeply about the future of Canada’s coasts, forests, rivers, lakes, fish, birds and other wildlife can support conservation with a tax-deductible gift. American Friends’ General Support Program accepts charitable gifts of money, securities and potentially real estate from US taxpayers and uses the funds to make grants to Canadian conservation organizations. Use our recommendation form to request that American Friends use your contribution to make a grant to a specific Canadian entity. In this way, American Friends operates much like a donor-advised fund.
American Friends only provides funding to Canadian conservation organizations qualified as “Grantees.” In just the past six and a half years, generous gifts from U.S. taxpayers have allowed American Friends to grant nearly $3.5M USD to its Grantees to underwrite critical investments in conservation land acquisition, perpetual stewardship, habitat restoration, landowner education, research and essential operating funds. Tell your favorite Canadian organization to become a Grantee!
Donating to American Friends Strengthens Canada’s Conservation Movement
By offering US donors who support Canadian conservation the opportunity to make their gifts of land or interests in land, cash and securities tax deductible against US income, American Friends is helping Canadian conservation organizations increase the pace and sustainability of land protection in some of Canada’s most threatened and ecologically important landscapes.
American Friends’ services are paid for through charitable donations from individuals, corporations and foundations, together with a variety of fees associated with its work, including application fees and annual renewal fees paid by Grantees. Transaction fees connected to land and easement projects are an essential source of American Friends’ revenue and may be paid either by the participating conservation organization or the donor.