A gift by check or credit card is the simplest and most common way to support the Exploratorium and allows you to help now. If you itemize your income tax deductions, your gift is deductible up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income (or as currently allowed by law). If you are unable to deduct the full gift amount in one year, you may carry the unused deduction forward on your tax returns for up to five additional years.
A gift of appreciated assets, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or real estate, can be an excellent way to provide support. By contributing appreciated assets you receive a double benefit: you avoid tax on the appreciation and you receive a charitable income tax deduction on the value of the assets. Because of this potential double tax savings, a gift of appreciated securities usually has a lower after-tax cost than an equivalent gift of cash. If you itemize your tax return, your gift of appreciated property is deductible up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income (or again, as currently allowed by law) and you may carry any unused portion forward on your tax returns for up to five more years.
Securities, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, are easily contributed. Generally, if your securities have decreased in value, they should be sold first and the cash proceeds donated.
See securities transfer instructions »
Closely Held Stock provides you with another way to support the museum. This kind of stock is privately owned and not publicly traded. If you are considering a gift of closely held stock, it is important that you not enter into a prior written agreement with either the corporation or a potential purchaser before you make your gift.
Real Estate can create an important gift. Because of the special nature of real estate, the Exploratorium will carefully evaluate each property prior to acceptance.
A gift of Personal Property such as collections, books, or art may also be given to the museum. Special rules apply for these donations and it is important to discuss this type of gift with the Development Office prior to contributing it outright or designating it as a gift from your estate.