Planned Gifts and Bequests

There are a number of planned giving options that can help you realize your own philanthropic goals while ensuring the future financial stability of the Massachusetts Historical Society. The benefits of making a planned gift may range from a steady stream of life income to a charitable income tax deduction and lower capital gains, estate, and other taxes.

Bequests

A bequest is a gift made through a will or trust and is an easy, practical way to make a meaningful financial contribution to the Society without affecting your current finances. A bequest may be made for a specific dollar amount or piece of property, for a percentage of your estate, or for part or all of what remains of the estate after other bequests are carried out.

Charitable Gift Annuity

Establishing a gift annuity with the MHS is a way to receive income for life as well as potential tax benefits—such as a federal income tax charitable deduction, annuity payments which are partially tax-free, and future estate tax savings—while supporting the Society's mission. 

Other Planned Giving Assets and Vehicles

The MHS offers a wide range of planned giving options —charitable remainder trusts, chartiable lead trusts, gifts of real estate or tangible personal property, and gifts from retirement plans or life insurance policies—that can be tailored to your needs and interests. For more information on how to make a planned gift to the MHS or to inform us of your existing plans that name the Society as a beneficiary, please contact the Development department at 617-646-0543 or development@masshist.org. Please note that the information above is not intended as legal advice, and you should consult with your attorney before making a planned gift.

James Sullivan Society

Since its founding in 1791, the MHS has benefited from a tradition of giving in Boston and beyond. The James Sullivan Society honors this legacy by recognizing those who have included the MHS in their long-term plans through bequests, life-income gifts, or other deferred-giving arrangements. 

The Hon. James Sullivan had the distinction of being the Society’s founding president, first recorded donor, and early legator through a generous bequest of important historical documents and artifacts. In addition to his service to the MHS, Sullivan was one of the first justices appointed to the Superior Court of Judicature and a governor of Massachusetts.

Members of the Sullivan Society continue the tradition of giving by naming the MHS as a beneficiary in their estate plans. Their gifts help the Society preserve our history for the scholars of tomorrow. In return, they are invited to special events and recognized in the Society’s Annual Report. To learn more about the Sullivan Society or to inform us that you have included the MHS in your estate plans, please contact the Development department at 617-646-0543 or development@masshist.org.

Upcoming Events

Online Event; Seminar; Environmental History Seminar

Climate in Words and Numbers: How Early Americans Recorded Weather in Almanacs

9Mar 5:15PM 2021
This is an online event.

As we begin to consider climate as an everyday problem, it's valuable to see how people did that in the past. With support from the Guggenheim Foundation, Joyce Chaplin ...

Online Event; Conversation; Racial Injustice Series

Confronting Racial Injustice: Redlining: From Slavery to $8 in 400 Years

11Mar 6:00PM 2021
This is an online program

In 2015, the Boston Federal Reserve found the median net worth for Black families in Boston was $8, in stark contrast to $250,000 for white families. This discrepancy is ...

Author Talk; Online Event

The Hunt for History: On the Trail of the World’s Lost Treasures—from the Letters of Lincoln, ...

15Mar 5:30PM 2021
This is an online program

Nathan Raab describes his years as the Sherlock Holmes of historical artifacts and he shows us what the past can tell us about the present. Raab shares some ...

From our Blog

This Week @MHS

Join us for a program this week! Here is a look at what is going on: - Tuesday, 29 January, 5:15 PM: Better Teaching through Technology, 1945-1969, with Victoria Cain, Northeastern ...

Founder to Founder

Like so many good stories here at the Historical Society, it began with a reference question. Jeremy Belknap, hunting through his sources, asked Vice President John Adams for some help. Belknap, the ...

Read more from our blog

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