Donate to AAVSO, an international nonprofit

Support the AAVSO's work of "enabling anyone, anywhere, to participate in scientific discovery through variable star astronomy"

A star-dusted night sky with a graphic of a person at a telescope in front of an outline of a house. AAVSO swirly star logo in corner


                          Donate Now

You can allocate your donation to one of our funds, or give a general donation, which AAVSO uses where it needed most.

The AAVSO is recognized by the IRS and the state of Massachusetts as a 501c3 nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Gifts of all denominations are welcomed, and may include cash, securities, and other gifts. Unrestricted contributions may be made in any amount, and are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the law.

AAVSO has a profile on Guidestar, a database of U.S. nonprofit organizations and their financial data.












To donate by check: please mail to AAVSO, 185 Alewife Brook Parkway #410, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Donors have the opportunity to become an Argelander Society member!

Other charitable giving strategies:

Charitable remainder trust

​​​​Donors and spouses can benefit from lifelong payments from such a trust. The donor selects the rate of return from these income arrangements and also chooses a fixed or fluctuating annual payment to be made to the designated parties as long as they live. Capital gains tax may be completely bypassed and you will receive a tax deduction based on the age of the income recipient and the rate of return chosen.


Charitable lead trust 

In a charitable lead trust, assets (generally cash or securities) are transferred to a trust that pays income from the fund to your favorite charity or charities for the number of years you select. At the end of the designated time period, the trust terminates and the assets are given back to the person you name. This trust helps to lower estate and gift taxes that would otherwise be due on the assets. This option is especially attractive if you want to leave your children or grandchildren assets in the future, but not immediately.


Gift of appreciated stock

Appreciated Stock makes an excellent charitable gift. Under current tax laws, when an appreciated asset (such as stock) is sold, a capital gains tax is due. By making a charitable gift of the appreciated stock, you can avoid or delay the capital gains tax. You can also take an immediate income tax deduction for the current fair market value of the stock, no matter what was originally paid for it.

To take a deduction for gifts of appreciated stock at their current value, you must have owned the stock for more than 12 months. Such gifts are deductible up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income in the year of the gift. Any unused deduction amounts may be used in as many as five subsequent tax years.

Procedure for Donating Appreciated Stock to the American Association of Variable Star Observers


Bequest through your will

One of the most simple and popular ways to make a gift that will live after you is to give through your will. You can make a gift bequest to benefit the AAVSO by providing a dollar amount, specific property, percentage of your estate, or the remainder (what's left). Such a designation can reduce your estate taxes. In many cases, a simple change to your will can add this bequest and does not require rewriting your most recent will.


Gift annuity

In exchange for a gift of cash, stock, or securities, the AAVSO will pay you, you and your survivor, or another person named by you, a guaranteed income for life. In addition, you receive a substantial income tax deduction in the year of the gift, and part of the annual payment is non-taxable. Your annuity payment and tax deduction are based on the age and income of the recipient.


Deferred gift annuity

A deferred gift annuity is similar to a gift annuity except that payments begin for you at a future date of your choice, such as your retirement. Your tax deduction and the annual rate of return on your annuity increase the longer you wait to start payments. This is an excellent retirement planning method to implement during prime income producing years that will benefit you later.


Using your life insurance

Insurance is another simple way to make a substantial future gift at a level that would not be possible at the same level in cash. Name the AAVSO the owner and beneficiary to receive the proceeds of an existing life insurance policy. You will receive a tax deduction for approximately the cash surrender value, thereby reducing your tax liability in the year of the gift.

An alternative is to purchase a new life insurance policy naming this organization as owner and beneficiary. With this option, you receive an income tax deduction for each premium made and make possible a major gift to your favorite charity with a modest annual payment (or one-time premium payment).


Looking to retirement accounts

Account funds (IRAs or company plans) beyond the comfortable support of yourself or loved one may be given (like life insurance proceeds) to the AAVSO by proper beneficiary designation. Large pension plan assets can be subject to double or triple taxation (federal estate, federal income, and state death and state income tax) that virtually eliminates the benefits to heirs if tax-wise alternative planning is not arranged.


Real estate

For some people, a gift of land, primary residence, or vacation home is a preferred way to make a gift. You will receive a tax deduction for the full fair market value, avoid all capital gains tax, and remove this asset from future estate taxes. One option is to give real estate while you retain a life tenancy. This provides a substantial income tax deduction by giving (deeding) your home or farm to your favorite charity now. You continue to live there, maintain the property as usual, and even receive any income it generates. At your death the property will be sold and the proceeds will support the mission of the AAVSO.



Charitable giving strategy explanations given by Tom Alessi and Craig Richardson from The Moody Street Group:

For more information on these strategies, please contact:

Tom Alessi,, (617) 682-7374 or
Craig Richardson,, (617) 916-5155

For most planned giving, you will need the AAVSO federal identification number: 042 164 402


To contact the AAVSO:

Text reads contact information. +1 (617) 354-0484 | 49 Bay State Road, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. Our address is changing in June to 185 Alewife Brook Parkway #410, Cambridge, MA 02138. Text is in a yellow spotlight with a telescope outline pointing toward it and AAVSO swirly star logos across a sky