Legacy Giving

Legacy Giving

What will be your legacy?

You can shape the High Desert’s future through a legacy or “planned” gift to the High Desert Museum. A gift from your estate, large or small, can have a great impact on the Museum. From caring for wildlife, to funding children’s programs or creating an exhibit, your gift will make a difference!

Benefits for you and your family

In addition, a charitable gift may save your family money by decreasing estate taxes. And it’s easy to do. A simple directive in your will or trust will support the Museum in continuing to offer its unique educational programs and compelling exhibitions. Other types of legacy giving can help create an income stream to you from an appreciated asset or lower your income taxes.

Endowments – a lasting legacy

One of the most powerful reasons people launch endowments is to create lasting legacies. These ongoing funds provide perpetual support for the Museum, and also remind family and friends of your values and commitments. Endowment gifts can be made to support Museum operations, or for its programs, exhibits or wildlife.

Donors who commit to a legacy gift are honored with a membership in the Museum’s Robert W. Chandler Society. Keep scrolling to read all about Bob Chandler!

Take action today for an impact tomorrow

Help ensure that the natural and cultural resources of the High Desert will endure and be enjoyed by others. Your gift, and the lives it touches, can be your legacy.

To take the first step, talk with Director of Philanthropy Kathy Baczko at (541) 382-4754 ext. 248 or email her at kathyb@highdesertmuseum.org. She will be glad to assist you in the process or answer any questions. View the Bequest Intention Form here.

The High Desert Museum is a qualified 501(3)c non-profit. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Robert W. Chandler Society


Robert “Bob” Chandler was a man of conscience, a man who cared deeply about his community. His intelligence, integrity and high standards were legendary. As the owner and editor of The Bulletin, the region’s largest and most comprehensive newspaper, Bob dedicated himself for 40 years to bringing excellence to Bend and all of Central Oregon. He also contributed to the area in many other ways through a strong belief in philanthropy and volunteerism.

It was because of Bob’s reputation as a philanthropist and a leading voice in the community that The High Desert Museum’s founder, Donald M. Kerr, approached him to be one of the initial donors to making the Museum a reality. At first Bob dismissed Don’s request, calling Don a dreamer and predicting that he would never succeed with this concept. But soon Bob became enchanted with Don’s vision and he made an initial financial investment in the fledgling institution.

Bob’s early generosity was truly instrumental in the founding of our institution. He went on to lead the Museum in many ways including continued financial support as well as chairing the board of trustees from 1989-1990. At the time of his death on July 12, 1996, Bob made a final and enduring statement about the importance of The High Desert Museum by providing for the Museum in his estate plans. This was the first planned gift ever received by the Museum. The fund that Bob created to benefit the Museum furnishes important perpetual support and, thereby, helps to insure our future.

One of Bob’s driving beliefs was that one owes a debt to the community that should be repaid by giving time or money, or both if possible. Bob always made such giving a priority and set a shining example for others to follow. For many years he was the Museum’s largest individual donor, contributing to exhibits, publications and education programs as well as to capital campaigns. Would you expect anything less from a man who cared so deeply?

It is for these reasons that we have chosen Robert W. Chandler’s name for the society by which we will recognize and honor those who provide for the Museum through planned gifts. The Robert W. Chandler Society will honor those people who make provisions for the Museum through wills, trusts, or a variety of other estate planning techniques. Recognition will include listing Chandler Society members’­ names (with permission) in Museum publications and other appropriate materials. Such meaningful donations not only help insure the Museum’s future, they also allow donors to achieve personal philanthropic and financial goals.

For information about how to become a member of the Robert W. Chandler Society, please contact Director of Philanthropy Kathy Baczko at 541-382-4754 ext. 248 or email her at kathyb@highdesertmuseum.org.