With the end of the year approaching, so is the deadline for making your tax deductible donations for the 2016 tax year. Beyond the impact of giving and your deduction, some of these opportunities come with direct rewards as well – memberships, classes, lectures and other perks are available at many of these Seattle cultural institutions either as part of your membership or simply via support of their programs. While there are countless options in Seattle, the list below is a selected set of my favorite giving options for 2016 in Seattle. If you have other suggestions, share this post and add them in the comments or e-mail Seattle City Sound directly, here.
The Pacific Science Center
There are a variety of ways to give at Pacific Science Center – depending on the amount you wish to give or if you’re interested in anything in return. Individual, Dual, and Family Memberships for example (link here), are entirely tax deductible, at $79, $99, and $119 respectively. These get you benefits ranging from museum admission & guest passes to tickets to IMAX documentary events. At higher membership levels, while the full donation is not tax deductible, added benefits such as access to VIP events are added as well as IMAX feature length tickets. If you’re an IMAX fan, the tickets alone make up for a significant portion of membership costs. At even higher membership levels as part of Discovery Circle, benefits include special advanced screenings of IMAX shows and exhibit openings, donor events, and other enhanced perks.As a past and current Discovery Circle member, I can personal vouch for the value of this membership – both for yourself and your impact to the museum. Finally, one other unique form of giving is the ability to support a Family Membership for a less fortunate family in the community, via a Family Access Membership for $100. This allows a family getting assistance to purchase a family membership at a cost of only $19.
Center for Wooden Boats
The Center for Wooden Boats provides a unique opportunity for giving, in not only supporting the CWB’s efforts in preserving an important part of Seattle’s maritime heritage, but also in helping education future generations through support of the new Wagner Education Center. Currently rising in South Lake Union just beyond the CWB’s current piers, the new facility will assist the CWB in reaching even more of the public with programs for youth enrichment, job skills training, maritime skills workshops, adult and youth sailing lessons, boat rentals and community festivals, all featuring CWB’s fleet of classic wooden boats. The CWB’s focus in 2017 will be to complete the interior outfitting of the facility and get it ready for operations. CWB is working to raise the last 12% of funding to complete the facility through its current capital campaign. You can make a tax deductible donation here.
Volunteer Park Conservatory
Completed in 1912, the Volunteer Park Conservatory is a local historical landmark which preserves a rare glimpse of both the architectural beauty of this glass paned Victorian style greenhouse and its presentation of a world class botanical collection. While the Conservatory itself is part of the Seattle Parks system, the Friends of the Volunteer Park Conservatory is a non-profit who’s mission is to “advocate and encourage preservation, public participation, and education with respect to the Volunteer Park Conservatory and its plant collection”. The organization accepts direct tax deductible donations here.
King County Library System Foundation & Seattle Public Library Foundation
As featured on this website, the King County Library System Foundation is responsible for supporting some of the outstanding programs such as the ideaX program for teaching children in the county about STEM topics and the e-reading kiosks currently in place at SEATAC. As described directly by the foundation, the “King County Library System Foundation promotes literacy, learning,and libraries by providing support beyond public funding for initiatives and resources that enable the King County Library System to better serve the needs of our community”. By donating to the foundation, you can directly support the continuation of these programs and the development of more, to promote literacy and learning in our greater community. Donations are tax deductible and there are a variety of ways of giving. More information and a direct link to the donation page is here.
The Seattle Public Library Foundation is another non-profit that “helps the Library build its collection and resources, offer programs for patrons of all ages, and better serve the needs of our community. We do this by securing and managing donations from individuals, businesses and foundations to support the Library above and beyond what public funding provides.” Donations can directly support the Bookmobile, library book purchases, as well as SPLF scholarships in the community. Donations can be made online, here.