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The Academy depends on gifts and grants from members and other individuals, foundations, corporations, colleges, and universities to support its research projects, publications, and fellowship programs. A gift to the Academy is an investment in its work and its future. Contributions may be made in a variety of ways.

Outright Gifts of Cash and Securities

Outright gifts of cash and securities are a welcome and essential source of support for the Academy. Gifts to the Annual Fund provide critical, unrestricted funding for the Academy’s research program and other core activities. Contributions may also be designated for the endowment, to honor an individual or commemorate a special occasion, or to help fund specific Academy initiatives.


Bequests from Fellows and other individuals helped to create and build the Academy’s endowment. Today, bequests continue to provide a foundation of support for projects, publications, and programs that are addressing challenges facing our society. Other planned giving opportunities include charitable trusts and gifts made through retirement and life insurance plans.

Intellectual Venture Fund

The Intellectual Venture Fund provides critical funding for new projects and ongoing work before major support can be secured from other sources. Corporate donors help to underwrite the Academy’s research program with five-year commitments of $10,000 - $50,000 per year. Contributions may be unrestricted or designated to a project area.

Donor Advised Fund

What is a donor-advised fund?

A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a type of giving program that allows you to combine the most favorable tax benefits with the flexibility to easily support your favorite charities. An increasingly popular charitable vehicle, DAFs are an excellent way to both simplify your charitable giving and facilitate your strategic philanthropic goals.

How does it work?
  • Establish your DAF by making an irrevocable, tax-deductible donation to a public charity that sponsors a DAF program
  • Advise the investment allocation of the donated assets (any investment growth is tax-free)
  • Recommend grants to qualified public charities of your choice
What are the main advantages of a donor-advised fund?

Simplicity – The DAF sponsor handles all record-keeping, disbursements, and tax receipts.

Flexibility – Timing of your tax deduction can be separate from your charitable decision making.

Tax-efficiency – Contributions are tax-deductible and any investment growth in the DAF is tax-free. It is also easy to donate long term appreciated securities, eliminating capital gains taxes and allowing you to support multiple charities from one block of stock.

Family legacy – A DAF is a powerful way to build or continue a tradition of family philanthropy.

No start-up costs – There is no cost to establish a donor-advised fund. However, there are often minimum initial charitable contributions to establish the DAF (typically $5,000 or more).**

No transaction fees – Once approved, 100% of your recommended grant goes to your qualified public charity of choice.**

Privacy if desired – Donors may choose to remain anonymous to the grant recipient.

** Sponsoring organizations generally assess an administrative fee on the assets in a DAF. These fees vary by sponsoring organization.

A Tradition of Giving

Since the Academy’s founding, Fellows have been generous in providing contributions to help advance the institution. James Bowdoin, the Academy’s first president, gifted 100 pounds and a collection of books from his personal library. John Hancock, along with other early Fellows, pledged support to publish the Memoirs, records of the Academy’s earliest transactions and communications. In 1796, Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, endowed a prize for discoveries and advances in the “science of heat and light.”

Over the years, outright and legacy gifts have established funds to sponsor meetings, publications, fellowships, research, and other prizes or awards.

Contact the Development Office

To discuss making a gift to the Academy:

  • Call 617-576-5066
  • Send an email to dev@amacad.org
    (Please do not email credit card information.)

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