Geographical Society of Philadelphia

Support the Society

As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the Geographical Society depends on and appreciates your generous gifts which directly support world exploration grants, underwrite student geographical studies, and help fund our programs that bring the world to Philadelphia’s doorstep.  You can choose from the many ways to give in support of our mission. Your gift to the Society is fully tax-deductible.

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Ways to Support the Geographical Society

Contributing Membership

Support the Society by becoming a Member. There are four Membership options offering special benefits and your gift is 100% tax-deductible.

To become a Member, join online, or call 610-649-5220.


Your gift in any amount will go to work immediately to support the Society’s programs.

To donate to the Society, give online, or call 610-649-5220.

Amazon Smile

You shop and Amazon donates a portion back the GEO.  Sign up today and designate the Geographical Society, click here, or call 610-649-5220.

Employee Matching Gifts

Multiply the impact of your personal support for the Geographical Society by submitting an Employee Matching Gift Form. If your employer has a matching gift program, you can obtain an Employee Matching Gift Form from them and send it to the Society with your donation.

Memorial and Honorary Gifts

A Memorial or Honorary Gift to the Geographical Society is a memorable and meaningful way to recognize or remember friends, family, and special occasions, Or, if you have a family member or friend whose life has been touched by the Society, please consider making a gift to us in honor of that person. Call us at 610-649-5220 to arrange this special gift.

Endowed Gifts

You may choose to make a permanent, term, or unrestricted endowed gift.

When you make a permanent endowed gift, your contribution is invested with and becomes part of the Society’s permanent endowment fund. An annual income distribution is made from the fund to support the Society’s ongoing operations. Because the principal remains intact, the fund will generate support in perpetuity.

Term endowment gifts are similar to permanent endowment gifts except that upon the passage of a stated period of time or the happening of a particular event, all or part of the principal may be expended.

Unrestricted gifts may be directed to a special current need or to the Society’s unrestricted endowment fund, the principal and income of which may be expended at any time at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

You may fund your endowment now or after your lifetime.  If you choose to wait, you can include the Society in your estate planning; (see Planned Giving below).

For more information or to make an endowed gift to the Society, please call 610-649-5220.

Planned Giving

Following are many planned giving opportunities which can be tailored to meet your specific financial and estate-planning needs.  Your planned gift can help grow the Geographical Society’s endowment or can support a specific interest or program.

Beneficiary Designations

Continue supporting our work even after your lifetime by naming us as beneficiary of your retirement plan, life insurance or insurance annuity assets.

Charitable Bequests

One of the easiest ways to make a planned gift is to include the Geographical Society in your will or revocable living trust. Called a charitable bequest, this type of gift offers important benefits:

  • Simplicity.      Just a few sentences in your will or trust are all that is needed. Share this sample bequest language with your estate planning attorney:
    “I, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to the Geographical Society of Philadelphia [dollar amount or percentage of the estate] for its unrestricted use and purpose.”
  • Flexibility.      Since you are not actually making a gift until after your lifetime, you can change your mind at any time.  You can structure the bequest to leave a specific amount of money or a percentage of your estate or make the gift contingent on certain events.
  • Tax Benefits.      If your estate is subject to estate tax, your gift is subject to an estate tax charitable deduction for the gift’s full value.

To make a charitable bequest, you need a current will or revocable living trust.

Charitable Gift Annuities

A Charitable Gift Annuity provides you with regular fixed payments annually (an annuity) for life in exchange for transferring assets to the Geographical Society.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

These trusts constitute an agreement between you and a trustee that can provide fixed or variable income to meet your specific financial needs, at the termination of which the remaining assets are passed to the Geographical Society.

Gifts of Plans and Policies

IRAs and qualified retirement plans like 401(k)s are some of the best assets to leave to charity. You may also designate the Geographical Society as owner and/or beneficiary of a life insurance policy.

Charitable Lead Trusts

A Charitable Lead Trust enables you to preserve a portion of your estate and pass assets tax-free to your heirs. This arrangement provides income to the Geographical Society for a period of years, after which the trust property typically passes to the donor’s heirs.

The information above is intended only as general guidelines.  The Geographical Society of Philadelphia does not provide legal or tax advisory service. Advice from legal and tax counsel should be sought when considering these types of gifts.

If you are interested in planned giving to the Geographical Society, please contact us by phone at 610-649-5220.