How To Donate
How you can build a stronger Kennebec Historical Society
Since its founding in 1891, KHS occupied rented space for its headquarters and its collections. That changed when KHS purchased its current headquarters at 107 Winthrop Street. The 1836 house provides a permanent, safe and climate-controlled facility to house the activities and burgeoning collections of the society.
Supporters of the Kennebec Historical Society may contribute in a variety of ways and to a variety of funds or projects. Outlined here are just a few, but donors are encouraged to consult their professional tax advisors for the one(s) best suited to their goals.
A Building Fund was started some years ago and has grown in two ways: by individual restricted gifts and by the establishment of a Life Membership Endowment Account designated for the sole purpose of securing a home for the society.
Subsidizing special Programs/Projects affords the donor an opportunity to designate how his/her donation will be used. This might be in the form of adopting a project such as the rebinding of a fragile book, conservation or restoration of a deteriorated manuscript or underwriting a lecture or special event.
Monetary donations to Collections/Acquisitions are restricted to rescuing and/or acquiring materials for addition to the society’s impressive collection of historical records, manuscripts and graphic images. Collecting, preserving and sharing these important materials is KHS’s mission.
Planning Your Gift
There are a variety of ways you can invest in the future of the Kennebec Historical Society: gifts of cash, securities, bonds, tangible property, bequests and trusts or “in lieu of/memorial” instructions to your next of kin.
Cash—Cash contributions provide KHS with immediate capital and allow the donor to deduct the amount from his/her income tax. Depending on the income bracket of the donor, the amount of the tax benefit can be great.
Securities—For some, a gift of appreciated stock to KHS may be preferable to a cash gift. Gifting appreciated stocks, securities or bonds to a non-profit group allows the donor to avoid capital gains tax and qualifies the donor to declare the entire full market value of the gift as a charitable deduction.
Real Property—Donation of a historically significant site, parcel of land or private residence might be an option for some. In the first instance, if development pressure places a significant property at risk, KHS may be able to offer protection by holding the site in perpetuity. Gifts of real estate of a less historically significant value might generate revenue for the society or serve as a much-needed headquarters.
Bequests—Donors are encouraged to make bequests or establish trusts to support KHS’s future. Such gifts can be structured to support the society’s mission while assuring the security of the donor or the donor’s family members. Consult your attorney for workable options.
“In lieu of” or memorial contributions—It is quite common in obituaries today to see the phrase, “in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to…” Such gifts recognize the loved one’s interest in a particular cause or his/her desire to provide support for a worthy organization. It’s as simple as adding a sentence or two when your funeral director or next of kin prepares the obituary.
Historical items/documents—Donations of family papers, photographs or artifacts to KHS safeguards your treasured items, expands the society’s collection, provides access by researchers and preserves your family’s past in the Kennebec Valley region.
Summary—By planning ahead, your hard-won assets and accumulated reserves can provide for your loved ones and sustain the work of the Kennebec Historical Society for years to come. Consult a qualified attorney and a tax professional to determine the best course for you and your heirs. Charitable incentives in the tax structure may permit you to leave a legacy that will preserve your contribution to the Kennebec Valley story.
Updated: April 19, 2018 (srw)