Planned Giving

Tomorrow’s work supported by today’s leaders.

Since 1945, members of the American Geophysical Union’s Legacy Society have sustained a commitment to support and advance the future work of AGU and its members well past their lifetimes through planned giving. Your support will continue this tradition as we approach AGU’s Centennial and beyond.

For many, planned gifts through bequests, life insurance policies, or retirement plans can create opportunities to support AGU with larger charitable gifts than could be done through current income alone. Planned gifts provide a foundational source of funding for AGU’s programs and a number of benefits to donors, including:

  • The ability to contribute to the long-term health and success of the Union
  • Charitable tax deductions for your estate
  • Membership in AGU’s Legacy Society and inclusion in special recognition and events
  • The ability to direct your support to the area of AGU’s work where you see the greatest need

Planned gifts can come in many forms.

Charitable bequests are gifts of any property made by naming AGU as a beneficiary in your will. Bequests can take various forms: a general bequest, a residuary bequest, or a percentage bequest.

  • A general bequest is one of the most popular ways to make a charitable gift, by simply leaving a specific dollar amount to AGU in your will.
  • A residuary bequest is a gift to AGU of all, or a portion, of your estate’s property after all debts, taxes, expenses, and other bequests have been paid.
  • A percentage bequest is expressed as a percentage of your estate or of your residuary estate.

To leave AGU in your will today, simply share this sentence with your attorney or financial planner: “I bequeath $______ or _____% of my estate to the American Geophysical Union, 2000 Florida Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20009 (tax ID# 52-0955532).”

Gifts of life insurance are made by naming AGU as a full or partial beneficiary of your life insurance policies. Upon adding AGU as a beneficiary, you retain ownership of the policy and continue to have access to the policy’s cash value. When the proceeds are paid to AGU, your estate will be allowed a charitable estate tax deduction. You can work with your insurance provider to designate AGU as a beneficiary of your policies.

Retirement plans are another easy way to make a planned gift to AGU. Retirement plan benefits represent a major portion of the average donor’s estate. Through your retirement plan provider, you can designate AGU as a full or partial beneficiary. You can name AGU as a beneficiary of a specific amount or a percentage of your plan at any time. Giving in this way can help maximize tax savings.

Naming AGU as a beneficiary in your will or through your life insurance policies or retirement plan will not affect your cash flow during your lifetime and can be revoked or amended if your situation changes.

Let us know whether you have already included AGU as part of your estate planning or whether you want to learn more so that we can include you as we recognize Legacy Society members at future Fall Meetings. Contact Victoria Thompson at or 1-202-777-7471.


The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax adviser.