The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum
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Making a Monthly Gift is Easy

"For me, monthly giving through EFT is easy and painless. I don't have to think about it and the gift continues until I decide to end it. Easy, painless and uninterrupted."
 Jacqueline S.
 Friends Member

"My monthly payroll deduction gift gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I'm giving back to the U-M community, including the the Arb and Gardens."
 David R.
 UM Staff &
 Friends Member

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Give a gift
Gifts to Matthaei-Nichols help provide for places of hope that encourage environmental action while offering restorative landscapes.

planned giving


Liz and Gary Elling

Leave a lasting legacy to a well-loved place through planned giving. Planned giving offers the opportunity to make a larger gift than is possible within one's lifetime. This type of giving offers special tax savings. Click here to learn more about planned giving to the University of Michigan or contact Gayle Steiner at gayles@umich.edu, 734-647-7847.

  • Planting Seeds for the Future

In her work with non-profits, Liz Elling has helped many people establish planned gifts and notes one very important advantage; charitable giving from IRAs and other retirement assets are taxed heavily if passed on to an heir, but will be transferred to a non-profit tax free! Liz "walks her talk", she and husband Gary Elling have included the Arb & Gardens in their will. Working with University of Michigan development professionals and with their attorney they designated a percentage of their estate to help education programs at MBGNA.

Liz and Gary met while they were U-M students and after graduating stayed in Ann Arbor to raise their children. Later Liz returned to the School of Natural Resources and Environment for her masters degree and while there met and went to work for Professor Harrison Morton, then Associate Dean of the school and Director of Nichols Arboretum. In the early 90s Liz became the Arb's first development officer and with Harry Morton, was instrumental in forming the Friends group and in bringing greater U-M student education and stewardship involvement to the Arb. By the late 90s, Liz moved on to Matthaei Botanical Gardens to serve as Director of Education. Liz hopes that the bequest she and Gary have established will be an inspiration for others to do the same. Even for the Arboretum and Gardens "money doesn't grow on trees" she notes with a laugh.


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