Planned Giving: The Lightkeeper Society

What is a planned gift?

A planned gift is a deferred gift in any amount given to the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, an independent nonprofit. The most common planned gifts are bequests through wills and living trusts and beneficiary designations on retirement plans and life insurance policies.

Your legacy gift will help future generations learn about nature, science, and caring for the sustainability of our region.

How do I start?

Please review the options listed here and consult your legal counsel or tax advisor to evaluate your best options to make a planned gift. Our staff will work with you to ensure that the process is simple and recognized as you prefer.

Donating Retirement Assets & Insurance

Designate the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, insurance policy, or other financial assets. All non-charitable retirement plan beneficiaries are subject to income taxes on these assets, reducing the amount they would receive. The Museum, on the other hand, will benefit from every dollar.

A Bequest in your Will or Trust

A bequest creates a lasting impact on the organizations and work you care about. It can also provide potential tax and income advantages for you and those you love. With the help of an advisor such as your attorney, you can include language in your will or trust specifying a gift to the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History. You may bequeath a specific asset, a dollar amount, a percentage of your estate, or the remainder of your estate after your other estate planning has been distributed.

Qualified Charitable Distribution

These are made directly to the Museum from your IRA and are a great way for supporters 72.5 years and older to use IRAs to make charitable gifts. If you haven’t already, consider speaking with your financial advisor about making your required minimum distribution. There’s still time to do so before the end of the year.

Other Options for Planned Gifts

However you choose to make your gift, we will work closely with you and your financial advisors to ease the process.

The Lightkeeper Society: Recognition for Your Gift

When you inform us that you have initiated a planned gift to benefit the Museum, you are entitled to become part of the Lightkeeper Society with exclusive benefits. You can choose to be recognized as a member of the Lightkeeper Society anonymously or by name.

Your Planned Gift Will live Far into the Future

The Museum is a thriving, independent nonprofit serving thousands of students and community members each year. You can be a part of this enduring legacy. To learn more about our financial picture, view our Annual Report. Please get in touch with us at (831) 420-6115 or email development@santacruzmuseum.org for assistance.

Contributions to the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, a 501(c)(3) organization, are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. SCMNH tax ID: 94-2427733.