Explore this page for more gift and estate planning resources, including helpful documents, frequently asked questions, and how to reach our staff.


At-a-glance info

Filling out planned-giving paperwork? Here’s some key information you’ll need:

  • The Academy 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 is: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA 94118.

Helpful resources

Click below for some downloadable PDF documents and related links to explore. More coming soon!



Click below to view answers to some frequently asked questions. More coming soon! 

What is a planned gift?

A planned gift can sound confusing or difficult to understand, but it's actually pretty simple: It's a gift that takes thought and intention. A planned gift can go by many different names—legacy gift, final gift, estate gift, bequest, beneficiary designation—and is often the largest gift someone will ever make and is often made using assets (such as your home or stock), rather than using cash available to you today.

What’s the difference between a bequest and a beneficiary designation?

A bequest is a gift that you make through a will or trust. A beneficiary designation is a gift you make through a contract. Life insurance, investment accounts, and retirement plans are examples of assets that pass by contract. If you don’t name a beneficiary of these contracts, then the assets will go to your estate and pass by bequest. When an asset passes through your estate, it is subject to probate. Though probate isn’t all bad, it can add costs and time delay to estate administration. Most people don’t like that so it’s important to complete and to regularly review your beneficiary designation forms. You can make a gift to charity via a bequest or beneficiary designation form.

What’s the difference between a will and a revocable trust?

A revocable trust ("revocable" meaning that its terms can be changed during your lifetime) holds title to your property, then distributes it according to the terms of the trust after your death. The probate court does not review these distributions. In states where probate fees are expensive, a living trust can save costs that a will would incur. Also, if you own property in another state, consider a living trust instead of a will to avoid having to deal with two Probate Courts. However, a revocable trust and a will are both subject to the same amounts of estate and inheritance taxes.

Contact us

Whether you've already included the Academy in your estate plans or just need some help getting started, we'd love to hear from you. Please reach out anytime by emailing eastwoodassociates@calacademy.org or calling 415-379-5202.

The Academy is not engaged in legal or tax advisory services and cannot provide legal or tax advice. Please ask your legal, financial, and/or tax professional to advise you on how to make a gift that is best for your unique needs and goals.