Planned Giving

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Consider leaving a legacy at the Museum to ensure that our exhibits, collections, and research scientists can inspire, inform, and delight generations to come. A well-planned gift can support the Museum’s future, while helping you and your family achieve your financial goals, such as lowering your tax liability or providing an income source for life. 

We are honored to recognize those who make a planned gift to the Museum with a membership in the Jesup Legacy Circle. With many giving options to choose from, you can select the type of planned gift that best suits your needs. 

To discuss your options in more detail, please contact the Office of Planned Giving at 212-769-5119, email, or use the specific contacts listed below.

“Science is important to us… to our lives and existence. This bequest is an investment in our country’s future.”

Linda and Chester Widomski Jesup Legacy Circle Members

More than 100 years ago, Maria DeWitt Jesup, devoted naturalist and wife of former Museum President Morris Jesup, knew that this Museum would shape future generations of learners and scientists. To preserve the Musuem's important research, exploration, and education, she arranged a generous gift in her will. Since then, we have welcomed other Museum friends who have stepped forward with their own powerful planned gifts.

We honor Maria DeWitt Jesup's legacy through the American Museum of Natural History's Jesup Legacy Circle, which recognizes planned gifts for the future of the Museum. There is no minimum dollar requirement to be a member of the Jesup Legacy Circle. 

Members receive special invitations to exclusive Museum events and are recognized in the Museum's Annual Report. At specific amounts, a planned gift can establish a fund or endowment, which we would be honored to name for you or a loved one. 

We look forward to welcoming you as our newest member. If you'd like more information about the Jesup Legacy Circle, please contact the Planned Giving Office at 212-769-5119 or email us at

There is no cost or obligation to you.

Remembering the Museum in your will with a bequest is the most common way to plan a future gift. You may arrange for the Museum to receive:

• A specific dollar amount
• Specific assets like securities, real estate, or personal property
• A portion of what remains after providing for other beneficiaries (known as a residuary bequest)

An outright bequest to the Museum is fully tax-deductible for estate tax purposes.

Your lawyer or advisor can help arrange a bequest to the Museum, but here is some basic information to note for your planning:

Legal Name:
American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5102
Tax ID#:

Here are two samples, showing the kind of language you or your advisor might use to arrange a bequest for the Museum.

General Bequest

I give to the American Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5102, $ ________ for its general purposes (or list specific property).

Residuary Bequest

I give to the American Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5102, the remainder of my estate for its general purposes (or ____ percent of the remainder).

If you are designating a gift for something other than our general purposes, please contact us at or call 212-769-5119 to make sure we can fully honor your wishes.

Beneficiary designations on your IRA, 401K, banking, or brokerage accounts keep assets outside of probate, simplify your planning, and may reduce taxes for your estate.

Beneficiary designations, like bequests in your will, are among the most flexible of planned giving options, allowing you to continue to freely use your account and change your mind in the future for any reason. Life insurance policies can also be left to the Museum outside of your will, by making a simple change in the beneficiary designation.

Careful succession planning with an existing donor advised fund, charitable trust, or other family philanthropic vehicle is another way to create a future gift without changing your will.

The purchase of charitable gift annuities from the Museum not only helps to secure the future of the Museum, but can also help to secure your own financial future. If you are age 65 or above, you can transfer cash or stock to the Museum to fund such an annuity. Your gift annuity will make fixed payments for life to you, and/or to someone else if you wish. It will also allow you a partial charitable deduction.

The payout rate is set for life and based on the annuitant's age when the gift annuity is established. A few of these current payout rates we offer are below:

Sample One-Life Gift Annuity Payout Rates
AGE       RATE
65         4.7%
70         5.1%
75         5.8%
80         6.9%
85         8.0%
90         9.0%

Use our no-obligation information request form to see how a gift annuity might work for you. If you have questions, contact the Planned Giving Office at 212-769-5119 or

Individually managed charitable trusts of donated assets (typically cash, securities, and/or property) can be tailored by your advisor to meet your specific financial planning needs. 

Charitable remainder trusts can provide a fixed or variable income for a set number of years, or for your life or the life of the beneficiaries you designate. Because the remaining assets will pass to the Museum to support our non-profit mission, a tax deduction is often available to the donor at the time the trust is established

Charitable lead trusts can be particularly tax-wise if set up when interest rates are low. This trust makes gifts to the Museum for a period of years, after which time the trust assets can pass to the beneficiaries you designate. Often the full value of the original asset can be transferred to the intended beneficiary tax-free or nearly tax-free.

For more information on charitable trusts, please contact the Planned Giving Office at 212-769-5119 or

Here is some basic information to note when planning a bequest, beneficiary designation or other planned gift for yourself or for your client:

Legal Name: American Museum of Natural History
Address: 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5102
Tax ID#: 13-6162659

Stock brokers seeking information about transferring shares of stock electronically to the Museum should call 212-769-5119, or email

For questions about setting up an endowment or restricted bequest, please contact:

John Matthews
Director of Planned Giving

For all trust and estate matters, or for information about life-income gifts, such as charitable gift annuities or charitable trusts, please contact John Matthews as noted above.


While the American Museum of Natural History does not provide specific tax or legal advice, we do share information about charitable options with our donors.  Please consult your own advisor about your specific situation.