Brenda and Swep Davis on the importance of collaboration and understanding the big picture

Landscape of mountain reflected in lake
Brenda and Swep Davis

After retiring 16 years ago, Brenda and Swep Davis moved to Bozeman, Montana, where they enjoy being surrounded by the serene beauty of the region’s lakes, rivers, and mountains. Both are ardent outdoors people and conservationists committed to protecting the natural world. They’ve generously supported WWF for years, including establishing a Charitable Gift Annuity, and Brenda has served on WWF’s Board of Directors and led the Northern Great Plains Advisory Committee.

Nature clearly connects you to each other and to WWF and conservation. What helped form your love for the natural world?

Brenda: I spent most of my childhood in the wilds near Anchorage, Alaska, with parents who loved being outdoors. One of my earliest and fondest memories is when, while camping on the banks of Wonder Lake, my parents woke my sister and me to see Mount Denali in the midnight sun, totally free of cloud cover. It was a stunning sight I’ll never forget.

Swep: I grew up on a working family cattle ranch in Mississippi—working cows, hunting, exploring the forest. From the time I was three I was outside, and from that point forward I was a conservationist. I just didn’t realize it at the time.

Why did you decide to support WWF by establishing a charitable gift annuity (CGA)?

Swep: We had been longtime annual supporters of WWF and were at a point in our lives where we were thinking about what assets we needed for ourselves and our future. Establishing a CGA allows us to make a significant contribution to WWF now—and well into the future—while simultaneously providing tax and financial benefits to us.

You’ve been involved with WWF for decades. Why do you remain so committed?

Brenda: WWF is always looking at the big picture. Over the years, we’ve witnessed one success story after another. In the Northern Great Plains, WWF has developed fruitful, collaborative partnerships with groups that traditionally are suspicious of conservation organizations. WWF has also launched groundbreaking projects like Heritage Colombia, a Project Finance for Permanence effort that will help protect over 79 million acres of Colombian landscapes and seascapes for all time. It’s incredibly meaningful to both of us to play a small part in such innovative successes and to have our contributions leveraged toward conservation at a scale that makes a real difference.

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