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QCD? IRA? RMD? Charitable IRA rollover donations

December 16th, 2018 by Anna, Philanthropy Director
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If these acronyms don’t look like a jumble of alphabet soup, then this post is for you! We have recently had several members call with questions about making donations directly from an IRA to support the Mono Lake Committee. Here is a little more information if this is something that interests you.

The charitable IRA rollover, or qualified charitable distribution (QCD), is a special provision allowing particular donors of age 70½ or older to exclude from taxable income—and count toward their required minimum distribution (RMD)—certain transfers of Individual Retirement Account (IRA) assets that are made directly to public charities, including the Mono Lake Committee.

Since it was first made available in the tax year 2006, many donors have used this option to support charities of their choice with tax-wise gifts ranging from $100 to $100,000.

If you would like more information about making a gift to the Mono Lake Committee from your IRA, please email me or give me a call at (760) 647-6595 x112.

The Mono Lake Committee’s 2018 Annual Report

December 12th, 2018 by Arya, Communications Director
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The Mono Lake Committee’s 2018 Annual Report is now available!

2018 Mono Lake Committee Annual Report cover

The 2018 Mono Lake Committee Annual Report is now available! Cover photo courtesy of Richard Erb.

The report is full of photos of the Mono Lake Committee in action in our focus areas of protection, restoration, education, and scientific research. It also has the Committee’s … more »

Today only, get a free Mono Lake calendar with a $50 purchase

December 11th, 2018 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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Today only when you shop our online store for unique holiday gifts, get a free 2019 Mono Lake calendar with any purchase over $50—no promo code is necessary.

Your free calendar won’t appear on your online receipt, but don’t worry, it will be added to your order here at the office. As always, 100% of the proceeds from your order will benefit the Mono Lake Committee, and go towards protection, restoration, and education programs at Mono Lake.

Not finding what you’re looking for in our store? Your Amazon purchases can still benefit the Mono Lake Committee. Make sure to follow this link to direct 5% of your purchase towards protecting and restoring the Mono Basin (that’s right—5%!).

Christmas Bird Counts are on the horizon!

December 9th, 2018 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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Each winter, tens of thousands of people get together all over the Western Hemisphere and count birds in what is possibly the largest community-science project in the world. The Christmas Bird Count, or CBC, has been going on for 118 years—the 2018–2019 season is the 119th CBC!

Rough-legged Hawks are typically only in Mono County during the winter months, and they blend right in with the patchy snow. Photo by Nora Livingston.

Last year, people tallied over 56 million individual birds during the count window. These counts help show trends in bird populations … more »

Mono Lake Committee staff gift guide

December 7th, 2018 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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Still looking for the last few holiday gifts on your list? Our helpful staff have put together this handy guide to our favorite things available in our online store. As always, 100% of any purchase made through our website supports our work to protect and restore Mono Lake!

Maureen’s daughters Sadie and Norah love the kids’ vintage Mono Lake hoodie!

Kids’ vintage Mono Lake hoodie
My daughter Sadie loves wearing her favorite lake on this comfy sweatshirt, especially when … more »

Notes from the Mono Lake Committee’s 40th anniversary guestbook

December 5th, 2018 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator
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This year, to commemorate the Mono Lake Committee’s 40 years of protection, restoration, and education work in the Mono Basin, we created a guestbook for visitors to sign in the Information Center & Bookstore. Visitors from around the world signed their names and shared their favorite Mono Lake moments. In fact, visitors from 21 countries, 24 US states, and 139 different cities signed the guestbook this summer.

Be sure to sign the guestbook and share your favorite Mono Lake moment the next time you’re in Lee Vining.

Reading through each entry, it’s clear how much Mono Lake has made an impact on all who have visited. One visitor wrote about … more »

Learn more about the Bodie Hills, just north of Mono Lake

December 3rd, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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The Bodie Hills form the northern boundary of the Mono Lake watershed—they’re full of wildlife like pronghorn and Greater Sage-Grouse, old mining sites including the ghost town of Bodie, and wide open spaces. The Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership is working to get this incredible place protected—take five minutes to enjoy aerial views and learn more in this video:

Mono Lake winter field seminar registration now open for non-members

December 1st, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Registration is now open to non-members for the three winter field seminars taking place in January and February. With a beautiful new layer of snow in the Mono Basin, this is shaping up to be a good winter so far.

A winter sunrise at South Tufa, captured last January during the winter photography seminar. Photo courtesy of Cindy Lee Hoover.

Space is still available in all three seminars, but reserve your spot soon if you’d like to join us. A field seminar also makes a wonderful gift—if the holidays sneak up on you and you need a last-minute gift, consider a seminar—no shipping required!

The winter seminars include … more »

Augie Hess, 1914–2018: What a wonderful life

November 30th, 2018 by Ellen, Membership Coordinator
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Augie Hess, 1914–2018. Photo courtesy of the Mono Basin Historical Society.

Augie Hess passed away on October 20, just five days shy of what would have been his 104th birthday. Even as a centenarian Augie lived an active lifestyle that was the envy of people many years younger. He traveled with his family, played golf as often as he could, and went to see his beloved San Francisco Giants play at AT&T Park at the age of 102.

Augie & the Mono Lake Committee

Augie’s life intersected with the Mono Lake Committee on more than one occasion. Committee staff interviewed longtime local residents as part of a project to document conditions in the Mono Basin prior to the start of DWP water diversions in 1941. Augie sat down for an interview in 1991. He described meadows with grass fed by springs, ponds with thousands of ducks and geese, fish in all the streams. He recalled that Rush Creek always had water … more »

Giving Tuesday at Mono Lake

November 27th, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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We are astounded.

Just as every drop of water helps Mono Lake rise, donations of any size help keep the Mono Lake Committee’s work going strong.

In an incredible outpouring of support, you helped us reach our Giving Tuesday fundraising goal. Together with our challenge-match we’ve already raised $13,000 for Mono Lake.

If you haven’t had a chance to give today, it’s not too late to add your drop!

Sunrise at Mono Lake this morning. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Thank you—for stepping up, pitching in, joining us for sunrise, sharing your love of Mono Lake, and for supporting protection, restoration, education, and science at Mono Lake with your donation too.

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© 2018 mono lake committee
The Mono Lake Committee is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.