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Donation Request and Tax Deductibility for Museums

How to Make a Donation Request

Our Museum supports donation requests for local non-profit fundraisers and charitable initiatives. Requests must be submitted at least SIX WEEKS prior to the dated event.

The Museum reserves the right to decline an offer based on content criteria and collection goals. Any items that are declined for the Museum’s permanent collections will be deaccessioned (withdrawn). Deaccessioned material is sold or donated to other museums.

Tax Deductibility

Many museums depend on donations for a large portion of their funding. This allows them to acquire new art and objects that might not be possible with their limited budgets.

Museums often give donors special perks and events to show appreciation for their generosity. These can include free entry passes, invitations to museum cocktail parties or dinners, discounts on gift shop items, and even the option to have a room (or even an entire wing) named after them.

Besides cash, museums also accept other forms of charitable gifts like endowments and other assets. This helps them with their operating costs which are usually the largest expenses for museums. The funds are typically invested, and the income from the investment is used to cover other expenditures. In the United States, donors are able to deduct contributions up to 50% of their taxable income. In the UK, donors can deduct up to 30% of their taxable income.

Exhibitability

Museum staff evaluate all artifacts and documents received for donation to ensure they fit the scope of the Museum’s collecting policy and will not duplicate existing holdings. Due to conservation issues and space limitations, only a small percentage of the collection is on display at any one time, so MoMI’s curators often rotate material in and out of exhibition.

The standard donation for a non-profit organization is two museum admission tickets and a family four pack of passes good for one year at the Butterfly Rainforest ($24 value). If your request meets the Museum’s criteria, you will be provided with these items.

Please note that we can only support one donation per school or non-profit organization in a given calendar year. This policy is designed to provide consistency and fairness to all organizations requesting ticket donations. We look forward to supporting your efforts to positively impact the communities you serve! Thank you for your interest in the Museum.

Requirements

The museum should carefully consider each potential donation, especially in terms of its relevance to the institution’s mission. For example, The Strong’s mission statement states that it collects “materials relating to the development of aerospace technology and experience.” It does not accept items that are not relevant to this collection and it cannot guarantee that any item will be exhibited. Due to space limitations and conservation concerns, only a small percentage of the Museum’s collections are on view at any given time.

If the museum decides to acquire your heirloom, it must take custody of it for a period while it makes a decision. It may also require you to fill out sections of IRS tax form 8283, Non-Cash Charitable Contributions, for donations over $500. Donors often want to impose conditions on their gifts, such as the fact that an art object must never be sold or that it must always remain on display. However, museums rarely sell donated artworks because it goes against donor intentions and removes the art from public access.

Restrictions

Donor funding can help museums cover operating costs and make new acquisitions. Museums also use charitable donations for various purposes like educational and outreach programs.

However, many donors want their donation to be used a certain way. For example, they may wish for their art to be grouped with others by artist or time period. This is understandable but it is often not possible. Curatorial goals and interests change over time, and it’s not possible to guarantee that a museum will maintain the same curatorial intent that a donor had at the time of their gift.

In addition, space limitations and conservation concerns dictate that only a small percentage of the Museum’s collections are on display at any one time. Whether or not your donation will be exhibited depends on the Museum’s ability to accommodate it while maintaining high-quality standards of care. Most donations will be assigned to the permanent collection or education collection, depending on the Museum’s needs.

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