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Gift Planning

Leave a Lasting Legacy

By including the Academy in your estate plans, you will leave a legacy that ensures the Academy can continue its mission. There are several ways you can make a planned gift — through your will, trust, retirement plan, life insurance policy or other assets.


The 1817 Heritage Society

The 1817 Heritage Society recognizes all those who have named The New York Academy of Sciences in their estate plans.
There is no minimum amount required.

Benefits of 1817 Heritage Society Membership include:

·        Invitation to exclusive events for Academy supporters
·        Recognition in Academy materials
·        Certificate of Membership in The New York Academy of Sciences 1817 Heritage Society
If you have already made, or plan to make, a commitment to support the Academy in your will, trust, retirement plan, or other planned gift, please contact us at so we can be sure to initiate your membership into the 1817 Heritage Society.
You will be leaving a legacy that will impact generations of scientists to come!

Retirement Plan Gifts

Consider naming the Academy as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), or other retirement plan and leaving other assets to your heirs. The Academy will not have to pay taxes and can benefit from the full value of your intended gift. Your estate will also benefit from an estate tax charitable deduction for the gift.

To leave your retirement assets to the Academy, simply complete a beneficiary designation form provided by your retirement plan custodian — often available online. You can designate all or a percentage of your retirement plan assets to the Academy.

Qualified Charitable Distributions (IRA Rollover Gifts)

If you are age 70 ½ or older, you may make a charitable gift to the Academy directly from your IRA (or Roth IRA). This type of gift is a way to lower your income and taxes from your IRA withdrawals. It is a particularly attractive option for those who do not itemize their tax deductions or whose distribution would put them in a higher tax bracket.

A Qualified Charitable Distribution allows you to avoid taxes on transfers of up to $100,000 per year from your IRA. It satisfies your required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year and allows you to make a gift that is not subject to the deduction limits on charitable gifts. Contact your IRA plan administrator to make a gift from your IRA to the Academy. Please note that Qualified Charitable Distributions do not qualify for a charitable deduction.

Life Insurance Policy Gifts

If you have a life insurance policy that has outlasted its original purpose (i.e. if you purchased a policy to provide for minor children who are now financially independent), consider making a gift of your insurance policy to the Academy. A life insurance policy may also offer tax savings now and into the future as well as benefit the Academy’s future upon the policy’s maturity. Consider:

Naming the Academy as a Policy Beneficiary

This is as simple as updating the beneficiary designation form, designating the Academy as the primary beneficiary for a percentage or a specific amount or as a contingent beneficiary. You will continue to own and can make use of the policy during your lifetime. Your estate may also benefit from an estate tax charitable deduction.

Making an Outright Gift of an Existing Policy

You can name the Academy as owner and beneficiary of an existing policy. You would qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize your taxes depending upon whether the policy has increased in value above the premiums and whether the policy is paid up or there are remaining payments to be made. For a paid-up life insurance policy, the tax deductible value of the gift is the cost basis or cash surrender value of the policy, whichever is less.

If there are remaining payments, premium payments which you pay for a life insurance policy for which the Academy is both the owner and beneficiary may be also be treated as charitable gifts when you itemize your taxes. For guidance, consult your financial advisor.

Donor Advised Funds (DAF)

Donor Advised Funds (DAF) allow you to make a charitable investment now and recommend grants to charities of your choice over time. You can recommend a gift to the Academy once or on a recurring basis, through your financial institution or foundation. Contact your fund manager for more information.

Gifts from Stock or Other Assets

Many people often make gifts by donating assets such as real estate, artwork, royalties (e.g. to patents) or appreciated securities such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. These types of gifts can provide charitable tax deductions and may also offer additional tax savings.

Planned Gift Logistics

If you plan to make a gift to The New York Academy of Sciences, please do let us know so that we credit your gift properly, send you the appropriate acknowledgment for your records, and initiate your membership in the 1817 Heritage Society. Bequests can be a specific amount or a percentage of your estate. There is no minimum amount required.

Please note that most bequests are used to provide support wherever the Academy most needs it. However, if you wish to designate a specific purpose for your bequest, please contact us to discuss your wishes.

The following information may be helpful when completing beneficiary designation forms:

Official Name: The New York Academy of Sciences

Address: 115 Broadway, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10006

Taxpayer ID number (sometimes called the Employer Identification Number or EIN): 13-1773640

The following sample bequest language may be helpful:

“I give, devise, and bequeath [assets/percent share of the residue of my estate] to the New York Academy of Sciences, with its principal office at 115 Broadway, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10006.”