Whatever walk of life you’re on, it only takes a few minutes and a bit of intention to make a world of difference.

Anyone with a bank account has an estate—and anyone with an estate can set up a donation that will support the Academy for years to come. Follow the three steps below to make a gift that can be easily modified to meet your needs and won’t alter your current lifestyle in any way.

Already named the Academy as a beneficiary? Thank you! Please let us know by emailing us at eastwoodassociates@calacademy.org or completing this form.


1. Name the Academy as a beneficiary

In your will or living trust, include a statement that provides the Academy’s full name, location, and tax identification number.

For example: I give to the California Academy of Sciences (tax ID #94-1156258), located in San Francisco, CA…


2. Identify what you wish to give

The Academy can accept cash, stocks, retirement funds, bank accounts, and some forms of real property. If you wish to leave a specific item or property, please work with us in advance to ensure we can accept your gift.

Select the statement that best fits your needs:

  • ...[specific percentage] of my estate...
  • ... the sum of $[specific dollar amount]...
  • ...my [specific asset]...
  • ...the remainder of my estate...

3. Include what you’d like your gift to accomplish

Your gift will help the Academy achieve its mission, from biodiversity research and ecosystem regeneration around the world to environmental education and animal care and enrichment right here at home. If you wish to designate your gift for a more specific purpose, please consult with the Academy prior to finalizing your documents to ensure your gift can be used as intended in the future.

For example:

  • ...to support its mission.
  • ...to support [specific fund or program].

More sample language and instructions

Click below for more resources that may be helpful for specific bequest needs.

Sample contingent and residual gift language

The Academy can be named as a contingent or residual beneficiary in your will or living trust if one or more of your specific bequests cannot be fulfilled.

Residual beneficiary:

  • I give to the California Academy of Sciences (tax ID #94-1156258), located in San Francisco, CA [all or a percentage] of the residue of my estate.

Contingent beneficiary language:

  • If [insert name] should predecease me [or no longer exists], I give the remainder of my estate [or a percentage of the sum of $______] to the California Academy of Sciences (tax ID #94-1156258) located in San Francisco, CA.
Retirement plan beneficiary instructions

Naming the Academy as the beneficiary of a qualified retirement plan asset such as a 401(k), 403(b), or Keogh or profit-sharing pension plan allows 100% of your hard-earned savings to avoid taxes and be put to its fullest use to advance science and learning. Plus, it's easy to do:

  1. Request a change-of-beneficiary form from your plan administrator. You may be able to do it all online.
  2. List the California Academy of Sciences as a nonprofit organization beneficiary using the tax ID #94-1156258.

When you have finished, please return the form to your plan administrator and notify the Academy by emailing eastwoodassociates@calacademy.org.

Curious about more ways to support the Academy?

Explore our Ways to Give page for inspiration, or contact us for more information.

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.