Legacy Giving | Mechanics' Institute

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Legacy Giving

Join a community of benefactors in leaving a lasting legacy with a bequest to the Mechanics' Institute.

Named after James Lick, who in 1876 bequeathed $10,000 to us for the purchase of scientific and technical books, the James Lick Legacy Society is composed of members who have generously included us in their estate plans and are a pivotal part of our success. Charitable bequests make a crucial difference to the Mechanics' and our members, from helping to rebuild the library's collections after the 1906 earthquake and fire, to providing the computers, software, and e-resources critical to a modern library.

James Lick Legacy Society members enable us to continue our ability to meet our members' changing interests and needs. Your bequest will help us meet the needs of future generations of members by:

  • Expanding the library's collections
  • Providing classes on new research methods and technologies, as well as writers workshops
  • Funding author readings, panel discussions, and cinema programs
  • Creating communities of readers and writers discussing works of fiction and nonfiction
  • Supporting our internationally known chess room
  • Keeping dues affordable
  • Maintaining our excellent services by retaining dedicated and talented staff
  • Preserving our historic building

You can make a charitable bequest in a variety of ways. You can include gifts through your will or trust, an IRA or 401(k) designation, or a Life Insurance designation. No gift is too small.

When you become a member of the James Lick Legacy Society, you are demonstrating your commitment to the future of the Institute. Members of the James Lick Legacy Society come from a wide variety of backgrounds. What ties the community together is a dedication to sustain and enhance our library, chess room, events, and other services into the future.

Please download our free Estate Planning Organizer for an introduction to estate planning. You can also view any of our 10-minute illustrated Estate-Planning Briefings on wills, living trusts, probate, trustees, charitable trusts, gift annuities, advance health care directives and other powerful estate planning tools vital to you and those you love.

For more information, please email [email protected] or call 415-393-0105.

We encourage you to discuss these options with qualified legal and tax counsel when creating or revising your estate plan.