Ways to Give

Photo credit: Lynn Huffman

Photo credit: Katherine Berst

Photo credit: Katherine Berst

Protect the water you love.

Protecting and enhancing the quality of Grand Traverse Bay and all its waterways is critical to our region’s future. The Watershed Center is the only organization solely dedicated to this mission. We rely on grants to fund our on-the-ground projects and donations to sustain all other mission-driven efforts. Your gift to The Watershed Center supports science-based decision making, vigilant monitoring of the health of our aquatic systems, and informed policy development to protect and restore the water you love.


To designate The Watershed Center as a recipient of your generosity through third parties such as your IRA account holder of PayPal Giving Fund, you may need to identify us by our legal name Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Initiative, Inc.

Bay Guardians

Bay Guardians are individuals who commit to protecting local rivers, lakes, and beaches by pledging monthly, quarterly, or annual gifts. Their pledged support provides us with reliable year-round and year-after-year support that helps us better predict the financial resources we have available to protect the water we all love. You can join our dedicated group of Bay Guardians by selecting your preferred recurring giving option when you make your gift online or by mail. Bay Guardians can also give through payroll contributions (ask your employer) or scheduled disbursements from an IRA or DAF. However you choose to give as a bay Guardian, please let us know of your intentions so we can recognize your generosity accordingly.

Matching Gifts

Did you know you can double – sometimes even triple – your gift using your employer’s matching gift program? Ask your employer for details on their potential program. If you are a Rotarian, the Rotary Endowment at the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation will match up to $250 of your personal gift.

Stocks & Securities

You can gift appreciated stocks, bonds, IRAs, or mutual funds you have held for more than one year. You will pay no capital gains tax on the transaction and are able to claim a federal income tax charitable deduction for the full, appreciated value of the securities. It is important you notify us in advance of any gift for proper acknowledgement and receipt. Please contact Michelle at mhandke@gtbay.org or 231.282.9729 with the information on the gift transfer form.

Gift Transfer Form

Sponsorship Opportunities

Business and organizational support is an important source of funding for some of The Watershed Center’s most recognizable projects and programs. Each year, we seek businesses and organizations that share our passion for healthy water and who can help us put that passion into action through their financial support. In addition to knowing you are helping protect Grand Traverse Bay and its surrounding waterways, we also strive to provide our sponsors with benefits that support your business goals. Contact Michelle at mhandke@gtbay.org or 231.282.9729 to explore what upcoming sponsorship opportunities would be a good fit for you. Please click below to learn more about two of our on-going sponsorship opportunities:

Adopt-A-Stream | Swim for Grand Traverse Bay

Memorials & Tributes

To honor the memory of a loved one or pay tribute to someone who values clean water, please include a note along with your gift indicating whom you wish to memorialize or honor. If a mailing address is provided for the honoree, or a family member in the case of a memorial, we will send a letter to notify them of the memorial/honorarium gift. Please reach out to Michelle at mhandke@gtbay.org or  231.282.9729 if you wish to discuss how the gift will be acknowledged.

legacy giving

Adding a gift to The Watershed Center in your will, living trust, life insurance, or retirement plan is a thoughtful way to protect Grand Traverse Bay and its surrounding waterways for generations to come. Please let us know if you have included The Watershed Center as a future beneficiary of your generosity by reaching out to Michelle at mhandke@gtbay.org or 231.282.9729.

Beneficiary Designation Form

Business Collaborations

Being a good corporate citizen comes easily to many businesses in the Grand Traverse Bay watershed. From encouraging employees to volunteer their time and talent to donating a portion of their sales, we are fortunate to be the beneficiary of the engagement of the following businesses:

Please complete and include this form when mailing your gift.

If you have any questions, please contact our Director of Philanthropy Michelle Handke by phone at 231.282.9729 x4 or email at mhandke@gtbay.org.

We protect the
water you love.