Channel Island Scrub Jay (ALL INTERNAL RIGHTS, LIMITED EXTERNAL RIGHTS) May 2016. An island scrub-jay (Aphelocoma insularis) takes native seeds that researchers have placed on an oak tree branch. Island scrub-jays are considered ecosystem engineers and play a large role in shaping the environment. Jays cache large seeds to store them for later, and in so doing help disperse oak and pine trees into new areas. If jays were reintroduced to Santa Rosa Island, they could help restore oak and pine habitat that is currently very limited and degraded. Photo credit: © Morgan Heim/Day's End Productions © Morgan Heim/Day's Edge Productions

Meet our Donors

Gifts That Provide Income

Darlene and Sam Chirman's deferred charitable gift annuity pays them income while supporting conservation.

Darlene and Sam Chirman in California
The Chirmans Darlene and Sam Chirman in California © Courtesy of Darlene and Sam Chirman

Darlene and Sam Chirman

If you want to receive steady income while also supporting the natural world, you may be interested in making a deferred gift annuity with The Nature Conservancy. When you establish an annuity with a donation of assets like cash, appreciated securities or real estate, you receive income for yourself or up to two beneficiaries for life, starting at a date in the future to secure a higher payment rate. You may also be eligible for significant tax savings now.


Sam and I have been members of The Nature Conservancy for more than 32 years because we believe more needs to be done to protect wild places. We enjoy giving our time, passions, and talents to organizations that preserve and restore the natural world—and we appreciate the Conservancy’s approach to serving local communities while conserving landscapes, especially overseas. Our most recent gift, a deferred gift annuity, made sense for us financially. It provides a combination of financial security and tax benefits for us, and support for an organization we believe in and that has prospered through the years. It’s the best of both worlds.

My experiences with the Conservancy date back to my days in college. We both volunteered in habitat restoration with the Conservancy in northern California and that field experience helped me decide to pursue a graduate degree at the University of California Davis in restoration ecology, looking at plant and soil interactions. Today I am president of the Santa Barbara Audubon Society and I also run a private company that organizes volunteers for restoration projects at environmental organizations.

Quote: Darlene Chirman

We are pleased that our gift annuity is providing us additional financial security while protecting the lands and waters on which we all depend.


Sam and I share a love of volunteer work—we have a good time while doing good in the world. We lived in American Samoa from 1985-88 while Sam was a physician with the LBJ Tropical Medical Center, the first western medical center on the island, started by President Johnson. We were involved in creating American Samoa’s first National Park to help protect native bats that are essential pollinators of the endangered fruit-bearing vegetation on the island.

We also volunteer through Global Volunteers and enjoy how that organization creates opportunities that allow us to work side-by-side with locals. As volunteer research assistants in Belize, a local man helped us navigate deep into the jungle for a survey of birds that feed at night. Without his intimate knowledge of the jungle, it would not have been possible to collect the critical species data.

Closer to home we are also active volunteers. In addition to my work with the Santa Barbara Audubon Society and Sam’s medical practice at a local nonprofit clinic, we continue to volunteer on restoration projects including at the Conservancy’s Santa Cruz Island. Through Audubon, I helped to support the legal action concerning invasive species eradication on Santa Cruz Island.

Together Sam and I especially enjoy the Conservancy’s publications for the high quality articles and delightful photography. It is one of the many ways we stay connected to an organization and mission we care about so deeply. It is gratifying to be involved with the Conservancy in so many ways. We are pleased that our gift annuity is providing us additional financial security while protecting the lands and waters on which we all depend

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