Gifts that Reduce Your Taxes

When you make a legacy gift to Human Rights Watch from your retirement plan, insurance plan, or other assets, you not only protect human rights, but also reduce your taxable income.

Legacy gifts like these make the safeguarding of human rights a part of one’s legacy for years to come and provide specific tax advantages.

Retirement Plan Gift

Retirement funds are important investments, and many people choose to name charitable organizations as final beneficiaries to reduce taxes and to further a cause they believe in.

To name Human Rights Watch as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, contact your bank or insurance company to determine whether a change of beneficiary form needs to be completed.

Life Insurance Plan Gift

A gift of life insurance is an affordable way to make a significant gift to Human Rights Watch while also enjoying tax savings during your lifetime. Benefits include:

  • A significant gift from disposable income at a fraction of the value.
  • Tax saving can be immediately realized.
  • Your donation could reduce final taxes of your estate.
  • Insurance gifts pass outside the estate.

Savings Bonds

If you have bonds that have stopped earning interest and you plan to redeem them, you will owe income tax on the appreciation. Leaving them to loved ones means they will owe income tax when they cash the bonds, and potentially estate taxes. In the end, your heirs will receive only a fraction of the value of the bonds in which you so carefully invested. Since Human Rights Watch is tax-exempt, naming us the beneficiary of these bonds will ensure that 100 percent of your gift will go toward our work of bringing human rights abuses to a halt and demanding justice for victims.

CDs, Bank Accounts, and Brokerage Accounts

One of the easiest ways to protect human rights and uphold human dignity is to name Human Rights Watch as the beneficiary of a certificate of deposit, a checking or savings bank account, or a brokerage account. When you give these kinds of assets as a legacy gift, you may receive an immediate income tax charitable deduction.

Gift Annuities

A gift annuity is a flexible way to create your legacy of justice for vulnerable people around the world. This gift not only provides a fixed income but also creates an immediate charitable income tax deduction for a portion of the amount used to fund your annuity. In addition, a part of each payment you receive is tax-free for a period of time.


As with all gift planning, you should consult with your tax advisor and lawyer to determine what planned gift strategy is best for your current tax situation. Consulting estate-planning professionals will help ensure that your wishes to make a lasting impact will be fulfilled.

If you have any questions, please email Brian Peterson, Director, Legacy and Gift Planning, at or at 212-216-1841.