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Planned Giving

Benefits of planned giving

1. Provide for Your Future and Smithsonian Associates

Learn how you can make a gift to Smithsonian Associates, increase your income, and slice your tax bill—all in one transaction—through a charitable gift annuity.

2. Transfer wealth to your heirs with tax savings

Through an estate plan, it is possible for you to make a future transfer of assets to your heirs at a substantially reduced gift and estate tax cost, while continuing to support Smithsonian Associates during your lifetime.

3. Use bequests to achieve philanthropic goals

Your bequest can be of a stated dollar amount, or you can leave us a specific property. Some of our benefactors prefer to bequeath a certain percentage of the "residue" (the amount that remains after paying all inheritances, debts, and costs). There are special arrangements by which your bequest can provide financial benefits to your family and later be used for our programs.

Ways to give

Many people think of planned giving as deferred giving because the most common gift is one through a will, living trust or other estate document. The following are examples of planned gifts you can make to Smithsonian Associates:


Next to cash, appreciated securities that are readily marketable are the assets most commonly donated to Smithsonian Associates. When you donate appreciated securities, you generally do not realize any capital gains tax.


Bequests, gifts made by will, are the most popular type of planned gift. While your will (or codicil) should be prepared by your attorney in consultation with your tax and financial adviser, the Smithsonian's Office of Planned Giving would be happy to discuss the various giving opportunities with you.

Life Income Plans

Life income plans allow you to make a gift to Smithsonian Associates and at the same time retain a benefit from the assets you give. When you establish a life income plan, you make an irrevocable gift of assets, and in return receive income for life or for a term of years. When the life income plan terminates, the assets remaining pass to Smithsonian Associates.

For more information contact our Donor Services team by email at or by phone at (202) 633-3440.


This information is designed to give you general information about the many ways of giving to Smithsonian Associates. It is not intended to provide specific advice about the legal or tax implications of charitable giving. You should consult with your financial adviser for more information on these plans.