When you donate to OHA, you’re making an investment in our community’s future.

Contribute to our Annual Fund »
Your unrestricted contribution helps to keep our history museum free and supports educational programming and collections care.

Support Educational Programming »
Encourage a deeper appreciation of history among all ages.

Support Our Collections »
Help support our amazing collections, resources, and exhibits.

Donate to OHA

Make a Donation

Types of gifts you can make to OHA:

Support through cash and/or check shall be accepted regardless of their amount. All checks shall be made payable to the Onondaga Historical Association (OHA). Any checks made payable to an employee, agent or volunteer of the organization will not be accepted as a gift to the organization.

All securities that are traded on the New York and American Stock Exchanges, the NASDAQ, and other major U.S. Exchanges shall be accepted. The value of a gift of regularly traded securities will be the mean of the high and low of the stock(s) or bond(s) on the day the transfer is effected by the donor to the organization.

Cash bequests represent an important potential source of gifts. Direct, unencumbered bequests provide the OHA the full value of the bequest and provides the testator’s estate with a charitable deduction for the same value. Attempts shall be made to discover bequest plans whenever possible in order to determine whether inappropriate (non-cash) items have inadvertently been left to the organization so the donor can be advised how to conform his or her plans to fit OHA’s policy.

Ways a bequest can be made to OHA:

  • A fixed amount of cash or securities or a percentage of the estate can be given.
  • In a residual bequest, after other beneficiaries receive a designated portion of the estate, the remainder of the estate is left to the OHA.
  • A contingent bequest can be made in which the OHAwill receive a portion of the estate only if the named beneficiaries predecease the maker of the bequest. This form is often selected by those who must provide for younger family members.
  • A testamentary trust bequest creates a trust and the income or stated amount is paid to the beneficiaries. On their death, the OHA receives the use of the gift. This option may increase life income for beneficiaries, since it reduces the amount of the estate subject to estate taxes.

Charitable Remainder Trusts are separate legal entities, and their obligations are limited to their assets. Trusts file their own returns and make all payments from their assets and must have a federal trust number, making payments to beneficiaries under strictly hierarchical rules.

Life insurance may be given to the organization. OHA encourages donors to name the organization to receive all or a portion of the benefits of life insurance policies that they have purchased on their lives. New or existing policies may be given outright or the organization can be named the owner and beneficiary of an existing policy.

OHA will accept fully-paid life insurance policies in which the donor has named the organization to receive all or a portion of the benefits of the insurance policy. The donor’s tax consequences hinge on whether the policy’s ownership has been endorsed over to the organization and whether the benefits have been irrevocably assigned to OHA.

A donor who irrevocably transfers life insurance to the OHA can claim income tax deductions for the policy’s cost basis or cash surrender value, whichever is less. The donor can never claim an income tax deduction or the policy’s face value. Naming the OHA as the beneficiary on the policy is not sufficient to generate an income tax deduction for the donor because the donor can change the beneficiary at a later date. To be entitled to a deduction, the donor must make the organization both beneficiary and owner of the policy. Upon receiving a paid-up policy, the organization, as owner, can surrender it and obtain the cash value or keep the policy until the death of the donor.

Donors can transfer their Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) directly to the OHA to reduce that adjusted gross income. This is beneficial to IRA owners over 70.5 that do not itemize deductions, thereby allowing donors to take advantage of a charitable contribution.

You are a part of our story and when you donate, you help maintain Onondaga Historical Association’s historic resources and public programming – bringing knowledge, inspiration, pride, and economic benefit to our community. Onondaga Historical Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions to OHA are tax deductible under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Tax Code.

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Partial funding for the Onondaga Historical Association comes from the County of Onondaga, the New York State Council on the Arts, the City of Syracuse, and the Onondaga Historical Association Board of Directors. The building of this website was made possible by the John Ben Snow Foundation.