Wondering if planned giving is right for you? Here are four top reasons why making a future gift to the Academy is a scientifically sound investment.

Plus, scroll down a little farther to find your own story among some common planned giving scenarios.


It's in good hands

2023 Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency

Ethical, effective, and efficient stewardship of every donor dollar is our priority—and it’s proven by our Candid 2023 Platinum Seal of Transparency.


It's fast and easy

A simple form or brief phone call is often all it takes to set up your gift. Visit our Starting Your Planned Gift page for the basics, or contact us if you need help.


It matches your values

Anytime the Academy discovers a new species, protects an ecosystem, launches a career in science, or trains a teacher, we’re achieving our mission. And planned gifts from donors like you make it possible.


It benefits you, too

Planning a gift for the Academy's future means plenty of perks for the here and now. Eastwood Associates enjoy all member benefits, plus:

  • Complimentary museum admission for 2 adults and accompanying children (17 and younger)
  • Invitations to exclusive Eastwood Associate and member events
  • Recognition in the annual report, digital donor wall, the Academy website, and other special materials
  • And more!
View complete Eastwood Associate benefits

Museum access

  • Complimentary admission for 2 adults and accompanying children (17 and younger)

Events and programs (in-person and virtual)

  • Invitations to exclusive Eastwood Associate events such as:
    • Eastwood Associates Appreciation program
    • Legacy of Hope seminars
    • Donor premieres for new exhibits and planetarium shows
    • Other special programs curated for our closest supporters
    • Invitations to member events, Member Nights, and Members’ Month programming
  • Subscription to Donor eNews
  • Special communications


  • Eastwood Associates are listed in the Annual Report, digital donor wall, the Academy website and other special materials. (You may also choose to remain anonymous and still receive the associated benefits).

See why planned giving is smart for those who are...


Ensure your health care decisions and estate distributions are determined by you—not the courts. Update your estate plan to include the people and places that mean the most to you.


Take care of your family’s future first and then name the Academy as a contingent beneficiary in your revocable living trust. This will help you avoid California’s long and costly probate process.

...over age 72

Name the Academy as the beneficiary of your IRA to avoid passing down a heavy tax burden to your heirs. Plus, directing your annual RMD to the Academy will reduce your taxable income today.

...on a fixed income

Convert a low-earning asset (such as a CD, cash, or stock) to a charitable gift annuity and receive higher recurring payments for life. It’s simple to set up and you won’t have to worry about outliving your funds.


Create a plan for your children, friends, and causes by establishing a charitable remainder trust (CRT). Your loved ones receive income for life—and the Academy receives the remainder.

...pet owners

With the help of an attorney, establish a pet trust for your non-human companions. Name the Academy as a beneficiary to help provide for our animals after lifetime care is provided for yours.

...aquarium aficionados

Have a specific Academy destination in mind for your gift? Discuss a restricted gift with us today so we can ensure your intention is fulfilled in accordance with all state laws and accounting principles.

...starting a new job

During onboarding, name the Academy as a beneficiary of your life insurance, retirement fund, and other financial assets. Set up a payroll deduction gift to go straight to the Academy each pay period.

...in a life transition

From getting married to winning the lottery to retiring, any major life moment is a great opportunity to update your trust. Priorities change over time, so make sure your trust reflects them.

...California residents

By creating a trust instead of a will, you skip California’s costly probate process and ensure your estate reaches the people and causes you care about more quickly. Preparing a trust is easy—and stays private.

...DAF holders

If you have a donor-advised fund (DAF), you can direct a gift to the Academy on a one-time or recurring basis, name us as a beneficiary of your fund, or talk to us about how to have an even larger impact.

...staff or volunteers

With your personal connection to the Academy, you know you can trust us with your legacy. Talk with us today about how your gift can support the areas of the Academy that mean the most to you.

The Academy is not engaged in legal or tax advisory services and cannot provide legal or tax advice. Please ask your legal, financial, and/or tax professional to advise you on how to make a gift that is best for your unique needs and goals.