Leave a Legacy. Become a Public Interest Protector.

For nearly 50 years, VPIRG has been a bold leader in the fight to protect Vermont’s people, environment, and locally based economy. Along the way we’ve had some impressive wins on key public interest issues like GMO labeling, retiring Vermont Yankee, and banning harmful single-use plastics. We’re proud of our rich history here in Vermont, and the incredible progress we’ve made over the decades. But we know the work is nowhere near done.

Today, VPIRG faces some of the greatest challenges in its organizational history. The climate crisis is spiraling out of control, PFAS pollution continues to threaten Vermonters’ health, and the very pillars of our democracy are being eroded. And attacks from corporate insiders, corrupt politicians, and big money special interests are only becoming more virulent.

We have a proven record of meeting challenges like these head on — and winning. But it isn’t easy (or cheap!) and we know we can’t do it alone. As a people-powered organization, we count on the support of everyday Vermonters to fuel our urgent public interest work.

As VPIRG approaches its 50th anniversary, we’re committed to ensuring that our next half century is even more impactful and transformative.

There is no better way to guarantee the continued success of this critical work even in the face of unprecedented obstacles than by becoming a Public Interest Protector.

Here are 3 simple ways to leave a gift that will ensure your values live on beyond your lifetime…

  1. Leave a bequest that costs you nothing now
    Making VPIREF — VPIRG’s 501c(3) charitable education and outreach arm — a beneficiary in your will or living trust is easy; you can decide to do it at any age by adding to an existing will or drafting a new one. You can take care of family and friends first and donate a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your estate. You can find sample bequest language in the FAQ section below.
  2. Donate retirement assets
    Leaving retirement assets to support VPIRG’s continued work is easy and you don’t need a will. Simply contact your retirement plan administrator for a change of beneficiary form, and designate VPIRG or VPIREF for a percentage of the assets which remain in the plan at your death.
  3. Make a gift that pays you income for life
    With a charitable gift annuity, you can help secure your retirement while supporting our essential public interest work — and receiving a variety of tax benefits. We are happy to connect you with our partners at The Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) to learn more about charitable gift annuities.

However you choose to give, becoming a Public Interest Protector will help guarantee the health and wellbeing of Vermont’s people, environment, and locally based economy for generations to come.

Always discuss changes to your estate with your lawyer or estate planner – nothing written here should take the place of legal advice from a qualified professional you trust.

Next Steps:

Click here to download a printable PDF copy of our Confidential Gift Intention Form.

For more information, contact Emma Huvos at legacy@vpirg.org or call (802) 223-5221 ext. 10.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have sample bequest language I can use?

While your attorney should assist you in crafting specific bequest language, we suggest using the language below as a starting template:

“I give, bequeath, and devise to the Vermont Public Interest Research and Education Fund (Tax ID number 51-0163801), a Vermont nonprofit organization that is recognized as exempt from tax under Section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code , as amended, with its principal offices at 141 Main Street, Suite 6 in Montpelier, Vermont, [all or ____ %)] of my residuary estate OR [the sum of $ ______] to be used for its general purposes.”

Do I have to choose a gift amount now?
No. A popular choice is stating a gift as a percentage, which will automatically adjust no matter what the future may bring.
How can I provide for my family and at the same time support the critical public interest work I care so much about?

Many people put aside a percentage — which could be 10% or 20% — for their favorite causes, while still leaving a large majority of their assets to family and friends. Or you could choose to make a charitable gift of whatever balance remains in a retirement account, which also saves on taxes.

How can I put my spouse or partner first-in-line?

You can ensure that your gift is made only after you know the assets won’t be needed by your spouse or partner. Talk with your lawyer or estate planner about the best options for your personal situation.