Silhouetted guests look at fish in California Coast exhibit

Make advancing science part of your legacy

Incorporating a gift for the California Academy of Sciences into your estate, will, living trust, retirement plan, or other financial asset is a simple but powerful way to connect people to the wonder of nature, the power of science, and proven solutions for a sustainable future.

Plus, it's easy: A simple form or brief phone call is often all it takes to set up a donation that will support the museum you love for years to come. Gifts of any size make a big difference—and can benefit you, too! See below for just a few of the many ways you can support the Academy through non-cash gifts.

Have you already made a plan to support the Academy through your will, trust, retirement account, or another method? If so, thank you—and please let us know by emailing!


Filling out planned-giving paperwork?

Here’s some key information you’ll need:

  • California Academy of Sciences is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our EIN (tax ID) is 94-1156258. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.
  • Our address:
    California Academy of Sciences
    55 Music Concourse Drive
    Golden Gate Park
    San Francisco, CA 94118

IRA RMDs and your gift to the Academy

Your retirement plan’s Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) can be used to make a tax-free gift to the Academy allowing your hard-earned savings to be put to work at an organization that matters to you. If you are 70 ½ or older, up to $100,000 of your otherwise taxable RMD, can be paid directly from your IRA to the Academy as a qualified charitable distribution (QCD), fulfilling your distribution requirement and eliminating taxable income.


Wills and trusts

Including the Academy in your will or living trust is an easy way to make a lasting difference for the future—without affecting your income during your lifetime. You can choose to leave the Academy a specific amount or percentage of your estate, or the balance remaining after distributions have been made to other beneficiaries. Click below to download a PDF of sample language you can use when setting up your bequest.


Retirement plans and bank accounts

Make a plan to support science in the future by leaving all or part of the balance of your IRA, 401(k), or other financial account to the Academy—all you have to do is submit a simple form to your plan administrator naming us as a beneficiary. We’ll receive the assets tax-free; you’ll still be able to take withdrawals and modify your beneficiaries if your family’s needs change during your lifetime.


Charitable gift annuities

Set up a simple contract to support the Academy’s future: We’ll invest your gift of cash or securities, and in return, you’ll receive fixed, recurring payments for life. You’ll enjoy a reliable income stream during your lifetime, regardless of market fluctuations—and when the contract ends, the remaining balance of your gift annuity will go to the Academy, ensuring that your generous donation will provide a significant gift to support important science.


Appreciated securities

Transfer appreciated stocks, bonds, or mutual fund shares to the Academy and avoid capital gains. We’ll sell the securities and use the tax-free proceeds to support the Academy’s mission. You’ll receive a tax deduction for the full value of the gift—and can rest assured your gift is making a difference for the science we need. Click below to download a PDF of our transfer of assets form.


Donor-advised funds

Donor-advised funds let you set aside money or assets for future giving, get an immediate tax deduction, and then decide how, when, and where to donate the resources. If you have a fund set up, work with your adviser or use this tool to support the Academy. Many administrators of donor-advised funds will also allow you to name the Academy as a beneficiary of your fund. Click below to be taken to the DAF Direct site, where you can give directly from your donor-advised fund. For Fidelity, Schwab, and BNY Mellon clients only.


We look forward to helping you make a plan that fits your goals. Contact us to get started!

Debra Holcomb
Associate Director, Gift Planning
(415) 379-5202

Join our Legacy Match Challenge

Share your intention to leave a future gift to the Academy and unlock a matching gift of $10,000+ today.

Thank you to our Eastwood Associates

When you make a bequest or other planned gift, you’ll enjoy unique benefits and honors as an Eastwood Associate, including invitations to special events and recognition on our donor lists.