Dozens of conservation professionals from the US and Canada invested countless hours and their invaluable expertise to establish, grow, refine and strengthen American Friends.  They shared their knowledge and created the unique resources and services American Friends offers today because they knew how cross-border conservation could increase the pace of land protection in Canada’s most threatened areas. Most of Canada’s prominent environmental philanthropies invested in American Friends’ founding and formative years for the same reason.

Today, American Friends’ primary partners (Canadian land conservation organizations and landowners from the US), along with government agencies, lawyers, accountants and estate planners from Canada and the US, all benefit from the money, time and energy poured into creating and sustaining this innovative, effective bi-national entity.

American Friends does not compete with Canadian conservation organizations for scarce funding resources. Instead, it expands the funding universe by facilitating gifts of money and land from US taxpayers. Its collaborative programs, such as the Cross-border Conservation Training Program (CCTP) which was a partnership with the Ontario Land Trust Alliance,  generate funding from foundations for our partners’ activities that advance cross-border efforts.

All American Friends’ successful land protection transactions, technical assistance, support for its partners, education, mentoring and outreach are underwritten by charitable gifts and modest fees-for-services.  As a nonprofit, American Friends offers unique insight and knowledge that is not available from any other single source, at a surprisingly low cost. Donors benefit from both American Friends’ singular and specialized experience, and the substantial financial incentives associated with their land and easement gifts.

The publication Save Some Green includes fictional case studies that demonstrate the potentially significant benefits of the bi-national tax advantages associated with land or easement gifts to American Friends. Although not every US taxpayer has sufficient income to fully utilize the US income tax deductions generated by such a gift, the benefits can be carried forward for five years on land gifts and up to fifteen years for conservation easement gifts. Our experience indicates that the US and Canadian tax benefits make these gifts financially feasible for many landowners, especially if the Canadian property being protected has appreciated substantially.

Gifts of land generally are simpler and require less time and expense to complete as compared to conservation easements. Therefore, American Friends’ fees for land donations are lower.

Land donations – Fees total $10,000

Easement donations – Fees total $15,000

The fees cover all of American Friends’ expert project management, legal fees in the US and Canada, and gift administration. The land or easement donor is responsible for her own legal fees and accounting costs in the US and Canada. As required by the Internal Revenue Service, the donor must contract and pay for the appraisal.  American Friends’ involvement normally reduces those expenses because we can share our experience from similar transactions.

Transaction fees are payable to American Friends in four installments, as the transaction progresses through the three phases of the donation. Refer to the Land Donation Process Summary for more information. The donor, the partnering Canadian land conservation organization or another party may pay the fees associated with a transaction.

Please contact Sandra Tassel, 360-515-7171, info@conservecanada.org for detailed information about the land and easement donation process and costs.