Ways to Give

Our Giving Circles

Find the Giving Circle that’s right for you.

Our donors appreciate that we’re the only organization in the world that does the work we do. Your support not only inspires us to work hard and think big, but also inspires others to support the Institute as well.

Donors are invited to special events, including cocktail parties, VIP receptions, and exhibition openings, where scientists, young professionals, and science history lovers gather for conversation and networking. There are compelling opportunities at every giving level, making it easy to find the giving circle that’s right for you.

As one of our donors, you automatically become an integral member of a scientifically curious community. Your giving allows us to share captivating articles and podcasts through Distillations, collect new archival materials, and offer free programs and exhibitions to the public. 

Your financial support builds a greater understanding of and a deeper connection with the science that is in plain sight all around us.

Giving Circle Levels

Element $100
Bimonthly emails with news and event information, invitation to free virtual events, and a mailed copy of Best of Distillations print magazine.

Catalyst $250
Includes Element benefits, plus recognition in the annual report of gifts and an invitation to a cocktail reception with Institute president and CEO David Cole.  

Alchemist $500
Includes Catalyst benefits, plus curated events throughout the year for donors giving $500 and more.

Robert Boyle Society $1,000
Includes Alchemist benefits, plus invitation to our “Cocktails with a Curator” event and a series of specialized Boyle Circle donor events.

Jonas Salk & Albert Sabin  $2,500
Includes Robert Boyle benefits, plus private breakfast opportunities with president and CEO David Cole and unique naming opportunities for collections, exhibitions, and digitized items.

Rosalind Franklin $5,000
Includes Salk and Sabin benefits, plus naming opportunities, a curated tour of the Institute for four guests, a visit to our rare book room, or a co-hosting opportunity for our life sciences dinner.

Marie-Anne & Antoine Lavoisier $10,000
Includes Rosalind Franklin benefits, plus private events with peer donors and notable scientists. Also includes naming opportunities for library exhibitions, ExhibitLab installations, or term-limited staff and fellow positions.

Planning Your Gift

Bequest Gifts
When you inform us that the Science History Institute is named in your estate plans, you help us ensure your purpose in giving is honored. We recognize our legacy donors as members of the Othmer Legacy Society.

Bequest gifts are made by will or through a trust. They can represent a percentage of the estate or a lump sum. Popular and simple to do, bequests are a satisfying way to perpetuate your annual fund giving and sustain an initiative you care about. 

This is the suggested language for an unrestricted bequest by will, codicil, or revocable living trust:

“I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise, and bequeath to the Science History Institute, at 315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, a Pennsylvania and 501(c)(3) organization, tax identification #22-2817365, [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose.”

Restricted Bequests
To direct your bequest to an endowment for programming, please note that the bequest is restricted to endowment and is to be added to the “Science History Institute’s Endowment for General Program Support.”

Named Endowment Funds
Named funds for unrestricted purposes can be created with a gift of $100,000 or more. Named leadership or curatorial positions can be created with gifts of $1,000,000 or more. For a list of positions that can be endowed, please reach out to the Office of the President at 215.873.8244.

Retirement Assets
By directing a gift from retirement assets such as an IRA, 403B, pension fund, or 401K, donors more than 70.5 years old may transfer up to $100,000 to a qualifying charity tax free. Donors 73 years of age and older may count that gift towards a required minimum contribution.

Charitable Gift Annuities
Annuities provide a fixed income to you in your lifetime with the remainder going to the Science History Institute or beneficiaries you designate.

Targeted Support

By targeting your philanthropic support to special projects, exhibitions, and digital content, you make the history of science come to life by helping us draw visitors to our website, museum, and library.

Specific initiatives open to named or branded support include:

  • Curious Histories Fest
  • Museum exhibitions 
  • Exterior window exhibitions 
  • Google Arts & Culture digital exhibitions
  • First Fridays
  • Upcoming conferences
  • Oral history interviews
  • Best of Distillations print magazine

Corporate and Foundation Support

Corporations and foundations support unique projects and events through directed philanthropy that aligns with their goals and values. 

The museum and library were founded by individuals and corporations who felt the pressing need for trusted scholarship and public education on the history of science. Since its inception in 1982, the Science History Institute has curated stories about the many ways chemistry, chemical engineering, and the life sciences have transformed society.

Corporate, family, private, and community foundations may target their funding to exhibitions, digital programming, events, our annual Foundations to Futures biotech conference, and new museum and library projects. 

Major initiatives at the Science History Institute are supported by the Laurie Landeau Foundation, LLC, which helped launch our new Collections Lab building extension, and provides ongoing program support. Chemist Gordon Moore was a vital force behind the development of our Center for Oral History, rare book and archival collections, and historical research projects.

To participate in educating the scientifically curious public through corporate philanthropy, please contact us at philanthropy@sciencehistory.org or 215.873.8244.

Event Support

We make the history of science fun and accessible to all. Whether you’re a member of a family of science fanatics, a young professional, or a retired chemist, we offer events that suit your interests.

Your branded support for a conference, special event, or public program at the Science History Institute helps provide engaging educational content at no cost to the public. Individuals or corporations can sponsor a day at the museum, a hands-on First Friday event, or Pioneers and other dinner events. To discuss event sponsorship opportunities, philanthropy@sciencehistory.org or 215.873.8244.

Our Giving Community

At the Science History Institute, the scientifically curious convene around a shared interest in the history of chemistry, chemical engineering, and the life sciences. While you may not be a scientist yourself, our community offers numerous opportunities to connect with like-minded people.

Join one of our free programs, attend Curious Histories Fest, participate in a First Friday, or stop by to chat with a curator at an exhibition opening in our museum.

Your support ensures we always have something to satisfy your curiosity.

The Science History Institute is proud to display our 2024 Candid Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations.

This recognition underscores our commitment to transparency, accountability, and inclusivity.

Learn more by visiting our GuideStar profile.


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