Types of Gifts

To learn more about any of the gift types below, we encourage you to contact us at 617-369-3193 or SargentSociety@mfa.org.


The most common and flexible type of planned gifts, a bequest through your will or trust can be made in any amount. A bequest may allow you to make a significant gift to an organization you care deeply about without affecting your current finances. You may designate the MFA as the recipient of a specific amount or a percentage.

Gifts of Retirement Plan Assets

Making the MFA a beneficiary of your retirement account is an easy, flexible, and tax-wise way to make a planned gift, and does not require changing your will or trust.

IRA Charitable Rollover

If you are age 70½ or older, you may also qualify for an opportunity to transfer assets annually from your IRA to a charity, tax-free.

Charitable Gift Annuities

Charitable gift annuities are as popular as they are easy to set up, and provide a safe, generous income as well as meaningful tax benefits. In exchange for your gift of cash or appreciated securities, the Museum will pay you and/or another beneficiary a guaranteed fixed income for life.

Gifts of Securities

When you make a gift of appreciated securities, you could receive a double tax benefit—a charitable deduction and avoidance of capital gains tax.

Other Types of Gifts

Life Income Gifts

Life income gift arrangements can provide an immediate tax deduction as well as an income stream for life for you and/or another beneficiary, while also making a contribution to the future of the MFA.

Charitable Remainder Trust

A charitable remainder trust is independently managed by you or your advisor, and pays you and/or another beneficiary income for life in exchange for your commitment to make a charitable gift. It can also provide a substantial income tax deduction, and can serve as an effective means of avoiding capital gains and estate taxes.

Pooled Income Fund

The MFA’s pooled income fund works like a mutual fund; your gift is co-mingled with other assets and invested for high yield. You and/or another beneficiary receive variable income for life. You also receive an immediate income tax deduction and avoid capital gains taxes when you make a gift with appreciated securities.

Gifts of Real Estate

A gift of a highly appreciated residence, vacation home, or investment property can be arranged to produce maximum tax benefits for you while providing meaningful support for the MFA. The Museum can work with you and your advisor on a variety of gift structures, whether in your lifetime or as a bequest.

Charitable Lead Trust

A charitable lead trust provides the MFA with a reliable gift for a set number of years but retains the principal for you or your heirs. A lead trust is especially beneficial if you have a large estate and are concerned about gift and estate taxes. Removed from your estate, assets placed in a lead trust can be passed to loved ones untouched by these taxes.

Other Beneficiary Designations

Beneficiary designations are among the easiest and most flexible ways to support the MFA through your long-term plans, and typically do not require changing your will, trust, or other existing estate plan. In addition to your retirement or deferred compensation plan, many other types of financial accounts such as health savings accounts, commercial annuities, and certificates of deposit, will allow you to name a beneficiary or to change the account structure to “payable on death” or “for the benefit of.”

Donor Advised Funds

Donor advised funds often provide the opportunity to make recommendations regarding the distribution of any remaining fund balance in the event of one’s death. You may be able to name one or more charities as beneficiaries or to recommend future distributions to certain charities. Your fund administrator can provide more information.

Life Insurance Policies

Naming the MFA as a beneficiary of your life insurance is a simple way to leverage your policy into a meaningful gift. Alternatively, if you have reached a point where your life insurance is no longer needed as part of your estate plan, you can also choose to make the Museum the owner of your policy. For more information, contact us or your policy administrator.

We encourage you to consult with your financial advisor, attorney, or other trusted professionals to know if a giving option is right for you.