Photograph by Chris Rainier
The National Geographic Society is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization. National Geographic's federal tax identification number is 53-0193519.
- Is my gift tax-deductible?
- Can I specify what my donation goes toward?
- How does donating differ from purchasing a National Geographic Society membership or National Geographic magazine subscription?
- How can I learn more about how charitable gifts have helped National Geographic fulfill its mission?
- Doesn't National Geographic have an endowment that supports all of its activities?
- How will my personal information be used?
- May I request a donation from National Geographic for a specific project or cause?
- I have a question about my magazine subscription. Whom should I call?
- I have a collection of old National Geographic magazines that I would like to donate to charity. Where should I donate them?
A. Gifts to the National Geographic Society, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, are tax-deductible under section 170(c) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, in accordance with IRS regulations. The Society will provide written acknowledgment for all charitable donations.
Q. I want to specify what my donation goes toward. What are my options for doing so?
A. Donors can designate their gifts to one or more of the five major areas of the National Geographic Society's Mission Programs: education, research and exploration, conservation, cultures, and public outreach. This website describes each of these five areas as well as additional designation opportunities ranging from purpose-specific funds to special initiatives.
If you are making a gift online, these options will also appear in the drop-down menu for gift designation on the online donation page.
Gifts to the fund for National Geographic Mission Program Priorities support all disciplines and allow the Society to use your donation where it is needed most.
Q. How does donating differ from purchasing a National Geographic Society membership or National Geographic magazine subscription?
A. Annual Society membership dues provide for the high level of journalistic integrity and excellence in National Geographic and the other magazines of the Society. A portion of the net proceeds from membership is directed back to core Society activities, including Mission Programs.
Charitable gifts above and beyond membership can be allocated directly to the work of Mission Programs: getting scientists and conservationists into the field, providing key educational resources for kids, and leading expeditions to vast areas of the globe.
A. Since 2004, National Geographic Mission Programs has issued an annual report of activities. This report is mailed to leadership donors, and the most recent version can be viewed online. A hard copy can be obtained by calling 800 373 1717 (U.S. and Canada only) or sending an email to email@example.com.
Q. Doesn't National Geographic have an endowment that supports all of its activities?
A. No, the National Geographic Society does not maintain an endowment that supports all of its programs. Despite the presence of the word "National" in our name, we are not a federally chartered or funded organization.
National Geographic does maintain an endowment for its Education Foundation, which makes grants totaling approximately five million U.S. dollars each year to promote classroom geography education. The Society is also establishing an endowment for research, conservation, and exploration, to ensure stability and growth for these core mission disciplines.
Q. How will my personal information be used?
A. Your personal information will remain confidential and will never be sold by the National Geographic Society Development Office or traded with another organization.
Q. I want to request a donation from National Geographic for a specific project or cause. Does the Development Office handle this type of request?
A. No, the Development Office is focused on seeking outside funding for Society-wide programs. All philanthropic or in-kind requests made to the Society are handled by our Public Service Committee.
Please contact Robert Dulli, Director of Public Service, in the chairman's office, at +1 202 857 7134 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about receiving a grant from the Society for hypothesis-based scientific fieldwork, conservation research, expeditions, geography education projects, or indigenous filmmaking, please visit our grantmaking program sites listed below:
A. In the U.S. and Canada call toll-free 800 647 5463 or 800 548 9797 (TDD), or view the Society-wide contact information. The National Geographic Society Development Office does not handle magazine subscriptions, book queries, or catalog orders.
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A. You are not the first to ask us for advice about giving away old National Geographic magazines. It seems that no one likes to throw them out, and we are gratified that this is so. But eventually people do run out of room.
A few people have written to us to request hand-me-down collections of National Geographic for various book-distribution charities. A list of these groups appears below. You might also check with nearby nursing and retirement homes, prisons, hospitals, or schools to see if they would welcome your donation.
The organizations below distribute primarily outside the U.S. Most of them can pay to send books and magazines overseas, but not for postage to their offices or warehouses. However, the cost of shipping and the estimated value of the donations are usually tax-deductible. Please consult your tax advisers.
Each organization has different policies on donations and procedures for packing. Call or write these organizations for specific instructions. The addresses below are not necessarily the addresses to which you should send your magazines.
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National Geographic News
In collaboration with the Chilean Navy, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala and Oceana scientists traveled to remote and largely unexplored Salas y Gómez Island, some 200 miles east of Easter Island, Chile. There they conducted the first systematic survey of life in the waters of Motu Motiro Hiva Marine Park and its surroundings. Data collected revealed that waters in the park are a biodiversity hotspot for reef fish, and point to the importance of marine protected areas. National Geographic's Ocean Initiative, supported by the donations of individuals, corporations, and foundations, is working to protect the last healthy, undisturbed places in the ocean.
A charitable trust gift to National Geographic was a “win-win” for JC and Anna Zajic, giving them income for life while supporting the work of an organization they believe in. “We would encourage others who have charitable trusts or are planning on setting one up to think of including National Geographic. Your gift, like ours, will be well used and make a real difference.” Read More