Charitable Trusts

Photo: Winni Wintermeyer

Charitable trusts provide income for the donor or a designated loved one for the term of the trust (life or a specified number of years) while also providing a significant contribution to the museum at a substantial tax advantage. Trusts may be established during a donor's lifetime (intervivos trusts) or through an estate (testamentary trusts).

Charitable remainder trusts are trusts in which the trustees distribute income, generally no less than five percent, to a beneficiary for the term of the trust. When the trust terminates, any remaining principal and interest income is distributed to an organization designated as charitable by the Internal Revenue Service, such as SFMOMA. The museum may be named to receive the remainder of the entire principal, or a percentage of the trust. Gifts from charitable remainder trusts have been invaluable to the museum in building its endowment.

Charitable lead trusts provide SFMOMA with a guaranteed annual income or use of a specific property for a given number of years. When the trust is terminated, the principal or property reverts back to the donor or the estate. A lead trust gives reliable income to the Museum and can provide a reduction in gift or estate taxes when transferring property to others.

For more information please contact Dana Pace, director of leadership gifts, at 415.357.4087 or

This document provides general information about giving opportunities at SFMOMA and is not intended to offer legal or tax advice. Please consult an attorney or financial advisor for all matters related to estate planning — including the specific wording of bequests in your will.