Planned Giving

National Museum of the American Indian's Legacy Circle
National Museum of the American Indian's Legacy Circle Planned giving offers you the opportunity to support the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) while advancing your financial and estate-planning objectives. No matter the size, your gift will help us fulfill our mission-to reaffirm Native traditions and beliefs, encourage contemporary artistic expression, and empower the Native voice-for generations of Native peoples to come.

The Legacy Circle at the NMAI was established to recognize individuals like you who provide support for the museum by making a planned gift. A planned gift may include naming the NMAI beneficiary of a will, trust, retirement plan, or life insurance policy, or establishing a charitable gift annuity. Depending on the planned giving opportunity you choose, you will receive an income-, gift-, or estate-tax deduction.

To determine how you can best support the NMAI, you will need to begin by surveying your assets and assessing your financial goals. Below are some of the planned giving opportunities that will benefit you, your family, and the NMAI. As you begin assessing your needs, it is also important that you consult with your accountant, attorney, or financial advisor to ensure that your income, gift and estate tax objectives are met.

If you have already made a planned gift to the NMAI, please let us know so that we can thank you now for you future support by honoring you as a member of our Legacy Circle. By naming the NMAI beneficiary of one of these gift opportunities, you provide a lasting legacy for the museum!

Planned-Giving Opportunities at the NMAI

Current Gifts
These gifts provide the NMAI with the urgent funds we need to help us carry out our mission.

1. Besides making a gift of cash, you can transfer appreciated securities (stocks, bonds, and mutual fund shares) and real estate that you have owned more than one year to the NMAI and:

  • Gain an income-tax deduction
  • Avoid the capital gains tax upon the sale of the appreciated asset

2. You can also use these assets to establish a trust (charitable lead annuity or unitrust) for a set number of years or based on the life or lives of an individual(s) before the trust terminates and:

  • Provide the NMAI with a fixed income or income that changes each year based on the re-evaluation of the trust's principal
  • Transfer the trust's principal plus its appreciation to your loved ones when the trust terminates
  • Reduce your estate and gift taxes

This trust is a smart way for anyone in a high-estate and gift-tax bracket to benefit both the NMAI and their loved ones.

Life-Income Gifts
There are several giving opportunities that will provide you, and even a survivor, an income for life. When funding these gifts, you can convert low-yielding assets into a higher income stream. The NMAI receives the remainder of the gift after the income recipient's lifetime.

1. You can establish an annuity (charitable gift annuity), which is a simple contract between you and the NMAI, for a minimum gift of $10,000 using cash or appreciated securities. In return, you:

  • Secure a fixed income for the life of one or two individuals, part of which is tax-free
  • Initially avoid the capital gains tax on the sale of appreciated assets
  • Gain an income-tax deduction
  • Provide future support for the NMAI

You can also establish an annuity now, but defer (deferred charitable gift annuity) the right to receive income until some future date and obtain the benefits listed above.

2. You can establish a trust (charitable remainder annuity or unitrust) using cash, appreciated securities, real estate, or other assets. It is established for a term of years not to exceed 20 or the life or lives of an individual. In return, you:

  • Secure fixed income or income based on the trust's principal, revalued annually until the trust terminates
  • Initially avoid the capital gains tax on the sale of appreciated securities
  • Gain an income-tax deduction
  • Provide future support for the NMAI

Deferred Gifts
This giving opportunity is a planned contribution that you arrange now so that it will benefit the NMAI after your lifetime. The strategy for this gift plan is usually dictated by your personal circumstances and the size of your contribution. You will want to consider the following opportunities:

1. Contribute a new life-insurance policy or one that is no longer needed. You can also name the NMAI the primary or contingent beneficiary of a policy. If the NMAI is named the irrevocable owner and beneficiary of a life-insurance policy, you will:

  • Receive an income-tax deduction for the premiums paid each year to maintain the policy or its cash surrender value or replacement cost, whichever is less, if the policy is paid up.
  • Avoid including proceeds from the policy in your estate

2. Designate the NMAI the primary or contingent beneficiary of your qualified retirement plan or IRA. By naming the NMAI the beneficiary of your plan, this asset avoids income and estate taxes.

3. Create a living or testamentary trust that will pay income to you or a relative for life. When it terminates, part or all of the trust assets would pass to the NMAI.

4. Transfer your house or vacation property to the NMAI and continue to use it for the rest of your life.This way, you receive an income-tax deduction for your gift and continue living in your home or using your vacation property.

5. Execute a will or codicil naming the NMAI beneficiary of money, property, or a share of your estate. A bequest can be either outright or contingent upon the death of a family member. By naming the NMAI beneficiary of your will or codicil, you will provide support to the NMAI and your estate receives an estate-tax deduction for this gift.

Following is the language that we recommend you use to name the NMAI beneficiary of your will or codicil:

"I hereby, give, devise, and bequeath ________(specific dollar amount, or a percent of the residue of the estate or real estate located at ____________) to the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, located at 4th and Independence Ave., SW, MRC 590, Washington, D.C. 20560-0590. The Smithsonian Institution/National Museum of the American Indian's federal tax-identification number is 53-0206027."

If you designate that the NMAI is to receive real estate, please state in your will or codicil that the property is to be sold through your estate and the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian is to receive the proceeds from its sale.

Inquiries about Any of These Giving Opportunities
We invite you to consult with us personally about the specifics of your situation and how they might translate into giving opportunities advantageous to you.