“We have to make sure that what is central to this museum endures, and let that which is new, innovative and even provocative emerge."
— Lucia Riddle, National Museum of African Art
“The Smithsonian shows us just how great we can be.” 
— Richard Russell, National Air and Space Museum
“The Smithsonian is taking on big challenges, such as protecting biodiversity. We need the finest leaders and the funds to make these kind of long-term commitments.” 
— Roger Sant, National Museum of Natural History
“The history of our country and its growth is very important to future generations.”
— Gus Miller, Smithsonian Libraries

Ways To Give

The Smithsonian belongs to every American. Whatever your passions, private giving is an opportunity to connect them to the Smithsonian by bringing collections to life and new scholarship and insight into the world.

There are many ways to support the Smithsonian. Whether you choose to give a cash donation, planned gift, support from your business or family foundation or your time as a volunteer, your gift truly makes a difference.

The Smithsonian was founded in 1846 on James Smithson’s extraordinary act of philanthropy. Throughout its history, it has benefited from the generosity of private citizens. Your gifts are critical to its success. They enable the Smithsonian to realize its bold ideas and big aspirations and to stay at the leading edge of discovery in science, history, art and culture.

How are you inspired to give?

Fund Grand Ambitions

The Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum and research complex, depends on generous giving to achieve excellence.

Federal funds provide foundational support, allowing the Smithsonian to stay open and free to the public 364 days a year. Private support enables it to attract top curators and scientists, offer extraordinary exhibitions and conduct innovative research, education and outreach. 

To stay dynamic and vibrant, the Smithsonian is embarking on its first-ever institution-wide campaign. This ambitious, coordinated effort to raise $1.5 billion will transform our national treasure. 
Campaign gifts will fund the Smithsonian’s new strategic plan — a clear vision for the future with big ideas that have the potential to change the fields of research and inquiry in ways that benefit humankind.


Give to the entire Smithsonian or to one or more of its 19 museums, nine research centers or the National Zoological Park.


Individual Gift

Private contributions of every size make possible projects such as the digitization of millions of photos and documents that tell America’s story, the construction of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture and groundbreaking science to meet the challenges of tomorrow's world.


Become a Member

Members sustain our commitment to celebrating our nation’s history, art and science and preserving them for all. Those who join enjoy a range of benefits and members-only events. 


Planned Gift

The Smithsonian secures legacies for all time. Multiple planned giving vehicles offer benefits for you and your family.


Matching Gift

An employer matching gift program can can increase the impact of your gift. Find out if your employer has one by clicking here.


Gift to Honor or Remember

A gift in honor or memory of another is a wonderful way to pay tribute to someone special in your life. 


Gifts of Securities

The Smithsonian welcomes gifts of marketable and closely held securities. Contact us before making such a gift to ensure we properly recognize you.


Foundation Gift 

When your foundation or organization partners with the Smithsonian, it demonstrates its dedication to innovation, creativity and excellence.


Corporate Gift

Reach your company's audiences through exhibition and program sponsorship or Corporate Membership. Sponsors and corporate members gain unparalleled access to the Smithsonian's world-class collections, exhibitions and programs.


Corporate Membership 

Whether you are part of a Fortune 500 company or a small business owner, your Smithsonian Corporate Membership can be structured to meet your business and philanthropic priorities. 


Serve as a Volunteer

More than 6,000 Smithsonian volunteers help inspire and engage millions. Interested? You are invited to explore our many volunteer opportunities. 


By Telephone

Telephone: 202.633.4300
Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (except Federal holidays)

By Mail

Use the Donation Form (requires Adobe Reader) and send your gift to: Smithsonian Contribution Receipt Center, P.O. Box 9016, Pittsfield, Mass. 01202-9016

Your gift is tax-deductible under Section 170(c) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.




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