The Bourne Society

The Museum’s premier gallery, the Bourne Building, was named for Whaling magnet Jonathan Bourne (left) through a gift from his daughter, Emily (right). The Bourne Society honors donors who have named the New Bedford Whaling Museum in their wills or estates; following in the philanthropic footsteps of Emily Bourne.   


What will your legacy be? 

There are many planned giving opportunities available to donors that combine your philanthropic interests with your financial needs and tax-planning strategies. Planned gifts help to build the Museum’s endowment and also have lifetime benefits for donors.


A bequest from either a will or living trust lets you provide a contribution to the Whaling Museum free of estate tax. You can give cash, specific property, or a percentage of your estate. Because your gift doesn’t come to the Museum until after your lifetime, you can leave a legacy without giving up assets today.

Charitable Gift Annuity

A gift annuity is one of the most popular and simplest types of planned gifts. You donate assets that the Museum invests into its endowment. The Museum agrees to provide a fixed payment to you and/or a beneficiary for life. At the end of the agreement, the funds become available to support the Museum’s mission. A charitable deduction for a portion of the value of gift is available to the donor immediately. The income payments are also partially tax-free.

Charitable Remainder Unitrust and Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust

A Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT) and a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust are arrangements where a donor places assets in a Trust that makes payments to the donor (and/or someone else chosen by the donor) at least annually. It can run for the lifetime of an individual, or for a specified number of years. After this lifetime, the assets go to the Museum. For a CRUT, the pay-out to the income beneficiary each year is a fixed percentage of the value of trust principal, revalued annually. A CRAT pays out a fixed dollar amount annually, which does not change.

If you have already included the Museum in your estate plans, please let the Museum know. While participation can be anonymous, your willingness to be listed as a member of the Bourne Society inspires others to follow in your example.

For more information, contact Emily Mead, Director of Philanthropy at (508) 997-0046 ext. 150 or