Welcome to the Circle of Support

Planned Giving

Benefits of planned giving

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.

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.

Use bequests to achieve philanthropic goals
We have received bequests—gifts made by will—from thoughtful people who considered it only fitting to provide us something from their estates. Their bequests were simply a continuation of the support they had provided all their lives. For these gifts, we are profoundly grateful.

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. You also may be eligible to receive a federal income tax charitable deduction (up to 30% of your AGI with a five-year carryover) for the securities' full fair market value if you have held them long term (i.e., for longer than 12 months). If the donated securities were held short term (i.e., 12 months or less), only your cost basis is deductible.

Bequests, gifts made by will, are the most popular type of planned gift. Whether you wish to provide general operating income for Smithsonian Associates to use where it is most needed, or to support a specific program at Smithsonian Associates, your bequest expresses your lasting commitment to Smithsonian Associates. A bequest may also help you meet your financial and estate planning goals since an estate tax charitable deduction for the entire amount of the gift would be allowed. 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. Life income plans offer a number of important potential benefits: an income tax charitable deduction; increased spendable income in many cases; elimination or reduction of capital gains tax liability if appreciated property is donated; and a diminution in the size of your taxable estate. You should consult with your financial adviser for more information on these plans as they pertain to your particular situation and needs.

More Information
To obtain more information about supporting Smithsonian Associates, please contact Vesna Gjaja at 202.633.8697 or e-mail gjajav@si.edu.


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. Before making a gift to Smithsonian Associates, you should consult with your accountant, counsel, or financial adviser for an analysis of your individual situation and the tax consequences to decide which of these ways of giving might work best for you.