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So Many Ways…

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 18:15

Each fall, we begin membership renewal season with the hope that our members will not only renew, but also choose to support the Society and its programs through contributions. Most choose to contribute money directly, but there are many ways to give and some of them might have significant tax advantages for donors.

Outright Gifts can include donating publicly traded securities of many types that have appreciated significantly in value. Gifts like these are not subject to capital gains tax and you may claim a charitable contribution for the full market value of the securities on the day the gift is made. We will have to work with your broker. It is best to contact the AAS Giving Office and speaking to Diane Frendak, our Director of Membership, prior to making such a gift to make sure all the right forms and words are used. Do not sell the securities, you need to donate them directly to get the best tax advantage.

Charitable rollovers of IRA and some other retirement accounts are possible. Doing so would avoid an inclusion of the amounts in your taxable income for the year and the transferred amount can count toward the IRA’s required minimum distribution for the year. Note that not all accounts are eligible for this kind of transaction, so be sure to check with your financial advisor first. Again, contact the AAS Giving Office for details…we are happy to work with you to make such donations as easy as possible.

As you approach your estate planning, consider including the Society in a planned gift. Naming the Society as a direct beneficiary, a secondary beneficiary, or even a residual beneficiary can provide substantial support to the organization and can stand as an individual legacy gift to the astronomical sciences.

Intellectual property or proceeds from the sales of books or articles are also welcome. The Research Corporation for Science Advancement, has benefited for more than 100 years from the charitable contribution of the proceeds from the production and sale of electrostatic precipitators, a technology still in use today (see ‘Our History’ for details). It is amazing to me that the thoughtful and charitable gift of a scientist/inventor in 1912 is still having a tangible impact today. Your gift may have just as much long-lasting impact!

We graciously and happily accepted a gift of all proceeds from two authors of a soon-to-be-published book this fall. These authors opted to direct 100% of their proceeds to support the FAMOUS travel grant program, which helps underrepresented scientists attend AAS conferences. I know that their charitable gift will benefit the Society and allow us to continue our goal to bring more people from more backgrounds into our field.

Although our standing policy is to accept only cash or assets that are easily convertible to cash, there may be ways we can work with you to consider accepting other donations or helping you convert other assets to more easily fungible assets prior to donation. Don’t hesitate to reach out with your ideas or questions. We are here to help make supporting your Society easy!


Kevin B. Marvel, Executive Officer & Diane K. Frendak, Director of Membership Services

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