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Griffith Observatory Foundation

Legacy Giving

After a life-changing look through a telescope in 1904, Los Angeles resident Griffith J. Griffith knew what he wanted his legacy to be: a public observatory where everyone would have the opportunity to share in his transformative moment of observing and pondering the sky. Through a gift in his will, he funded the design and construction of Griffith Observatory, which opened in 1935. Today, the Observatory welcomes 1.6 million visitors per year and houses the most-looked-through telescope in the world.


All this started with one person’s legacy gift–imagine what could be accomplished with yours.

Before making any estate planning decisions, we recommend you consult with your accountant or legal advisor. To learn more about planned giving, contact Griffith Observatory Foundation at or (213) 473-0879.

Will or Living Trust

Including Griffith Observatory Foundation as a beneficiary in your will or living trust is the most popular type of planned gift. Many choose this because it is flexible and can be structured to meet your needs. In order to include Griffith Observatory Foundation in your will or living trust, we recommend inserting the following language:

  • I give [____% of the residue of my estate], or [the sum of ________ dollars] to Griffith Observatory Foundation, a California not-for-profit organization, for its general purposes [or program].
  • If you choose to include Griffith Observatory Foundation in your will or living trust, please notify us and use our legal name and federal tax ID number:
    • Legal Name: Griffith Observatory Foundation
    • Address: 2800 E. Observatory Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90027

Federal Tax ID Number: 95-3374645

Beneficiary Designations

You can designate Griffith Observatory as a beneficiary for:

    • Life insurance policies
    • Retirement accounts
    • Brokerage accounts
    • Bank accounts
  • Contact your retirement plan administrator, insurance company, bank or financial institution for a change-of-beneficiary form.
  • Decide what percentage (1 to 100) you would like us to receive and name us, along with the percentage you chose, on the beneficiary form.
  • Return the completed form to your plan administrator, insurance company, bank or financial institution.

IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs)

An IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) provides numerous benefits both to you and to Griffith Observatory Foundation. If you are 70 ½ years or older, you have the ability to contribute up to $100,000 annually to Griffith Observatory Foundation directly from your IRA. This amount is not included in your income. It also counts toward your Required Minimum Distributions.

To set up a QCD for Griffith Observatory Foundation, contact your IRA administrator about making a direct transfer or have the administrator send a check from your account to us. To be tax-free, the donation must go directly from your account to Griffith Observatory Foundation without passing through your hands.

Infinity Society

A gift of any size qualifies you for special recognition in the Infinity Society, a group of supporters who have chosen to contribute to the Foundation through their estates. If you have already included the Foundation in your plans,
please let us know at