Planned Giving

Visionary individuals can make a lasting contribution to global science and society through bequests and other legacy gifts to AGU. There are many ways to blend philanthropic giving with your financial goals and tax planning. To discuss your needs, please contact Victoria Thompson, development manager, at or 202-777-7471.

AGU’s federal tax identification number is 52-0955532. If you have already included the Union in your estate plans, please let us know so that we may recognize your generosity.

Will Bequests

A gift made through a will bequest—either large or small—is an excellent way to perpetuate your interest in advancing Earth and space science through AGU. You may designate a specific amount of your estate, a percentage of your estate, or any residual amount that is left once all other costs and bequests have been honored. Your estate will receive a dollar-for-dollar deduction in estate taxes. You may even designate AGU as a contingent beneficiary in the event that your heirs do not survive you.

Giving Through a Retirement Plan

Did you know that retirement plan assets, passed directly to heirs, are sometimes subject to both income and estate taxes? Naming a charitable remainder trust as the beneficiary of a traditional IRA or other retirement plan can leave your estate in a much better financial position. For many, it is a smart way of ensuring that your heirs will receive a regular income (the trust payout) while avoiding significant taxes, which otherwise could be as much as 75 percent.

For donors who choose to make an outright gift in their will, an effective strategy can be to make a specific bequest of your IRA or other tax-sheltered retirement accounts to charity. Some donors make the mistake of leaving cash from other assets to charity and leaving their tax-sheltered accounts to family or friends. Unfortunately, this can mean that the net received by them is less than intended.

Since the tax-sheltered retirement account pays both estate and income taxes, your individual heirs may receive as little as 30 percent of the original balance. If, however, your bequest were to specify that AGU is to receive the IRA or other tax-sheltered account, the favored tax treatment would allow for a larger gift to both AGU and to your heirs.

Life Insurance

Life insurance can be a valuable planned giving option in certain situations. It may be used as the gift itself, or as a vehicle used to replace assets that were used as a planned gift. If AGU is named both owner and sole beneficiary of a wholly paid policy, you will be entitled to a federal income tax deduction in the year of the gift.

For more information, please contact Victoria Thompson, development manager, at or 202-777-7471.


The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax adviser. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.