Thank you for your interest in the SETI Institute!

From expeditions to the extreme environments of both poles and the high altitude of the Andes, to discovering new moons and new Exoplanets, and SETI studies that examine the far reaches of space, our researchers work hard on all facets of our mission to understand life in the universe. Our scientists publish in the top journals of their field and collaborate with their peers. And we share their work with you and the rest of the world through our radio show, weekly lectures, social media, websites and public outreach.

The graphic above by Danielle Futselaar is the famous Drake Equation, representing the full spectrum of science undertaken at the SETI Institute. Wherever you are on Earth, the Drake Equation represents all explorations of our lives, and life beyond our home planet.

Please make a donation help the SETI Institute bring new discoveries to everyone, everywhere.



FAQ and Ways to Give


1. Why does SETI Institute need donations?

About 80% of SETI Institute’s work is solidly funded through NASA and other grants. We need to raise donations for the 20% that is not funded.

2. I thought SETI just got $100 million—why do you need my support?

The field of SETI research just got this big donation, but it was other institutes who received the funding. The SETI Institute does indeed need donations.

3. What will my donation support?

It is mostly our programs in education, public outreach, external communications and our SETI research that need contributions.

4. How much do you need?

Generally, we need to raise about $2 million each year; our annual operating budget is about $16 million.

5. Who else supports your work?

About 1400 different donors—both individuals and businesses—regularly support our work each year. Like all nonprofits, we need to increase the numbers of steady donors so we can accomplish more.

6. Can I designate my contribution?

Yes. We prefer to get contributions that we can apply to where the need is greatest, but we have many donors who wish to support the radio program or SETI searches. It’s up to you!

7. How can I learn more about what SETI Institute is doing?

Look around on our website. Scroll through our scientists biographies for an excellent in-depth introduction to the fascinating research they undertake. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. And check out this section of blog entries from some of our scientists.

Ways to Give

1. How do I make a donation?

You can make a secure online donation here. You can also mail your contribution to our office: SETI Institute, 189 Bernardo Avenue, suite 200, Mountain View, CA 94043.

2. Credit card or Paypal?

We take both

3. Can I make a recurring gift?

Yes, many donors elect to make monthly donations this way. Please follow the steps in the Credit Card or PayPal donation forms. You can also set up an Electronic Funds Transfer with your bank.

4. I’m a Federal Employee; can I participate through the Combined Federal Campaign?

Yes, we are a member of the CFC and have many donors who contribute this way. Use our CFC#11304 during the Combined Federal Campaign enrollment period.

5. I would like to support you at a higher level, but don’t have the cash flow now. What else can I do for you?

Consider making a pledge over a longer period of time; a pledge is a very generous gesture and helps us in many ways. Please contact the Development staff at

6. How do I donate stock?

Please give your broker this information to transfer stock to SETI Institute:

Brokerage: Morgan Stanley, Palo Alto
Account #: 112-123448-152
DTC: 015 Acct.
name: SETI Institute

It is very helpful if you can let us know ahead of time the approximate value or # of shares of which stock. We let our Morgan Stanley broker know and they make sure it is sold promptly.

7. My company might match my gift; how do I find this out

Contact your HR department to find out if they match employees’ donations—most large employers and many small ones do. They will have some paperwork for you to fill out. Make your own donation first and then let us know when you have applied to your employer for a matching gift.

9. Can my company become a sponsor?

Yes. We have several sponsorship opportunities now and a few more to roll out in early 2016. Please contact the Development staff at

10. How do I get a receipt for my donation?

When you make an online gift, you have the option to decline getting a paper receipt mailed to you. Otherwise, our practice is to mail you a receipt within a week of receiving your gift. Please contact the Development staff at for any assistance you need.

11. What other sort of assets can I give as a donation?

Besides money, there are many other types of assets you can donate to charities. Some are best considered as part of a bequest or estate plan, but there are others—like real estate or business interests, IRA assets, antiques, art work—that can be donated during the donor’s lifetime. There are other ways to structure current giving through annuities, trusts and other vehicles that allow some donors to make larger gifts during their lifetime. Please contact the Development staff at for assistance.

12. Is my deduction tax-deductible?

Yes. The SETI Institute is a 501 (c) (3) registered nonprofit organization. Our Federal Tax ID is: 94-2951356.

13. How do I put the SETI Institute in my will?

Here is a link that gives general guidance on how to add any charity to your will. Specifically for the SETI Institute, you can use the following language in your will:

"I give, devise, and bequeath to the SETI Institute, 189 N. Bernardo Avenue, suite 200, Mountain View, CA 94043, the sum of $________(or a specific percentage of your estate, or a description of the specific asset), for the benefit of the SETI Institute and its general purposes."

The SETI Institute is a 501c3 nonprofit organization; our Federal Tax I.D. # is 94-2951356. Most bequests are very easy to set up and need only language like that suggested above. If you have something more complex in mind, or have some special circumstances or assets, please contact If you do make a provision for the SETI Institute in your will, we would love to know about it and properly thank you during your lifetime. You would become a member of the Carl Sagan Legacy Society here at the SETI Institute. As such, you would receive occasional news about the organization’s work and invitations to occasional gatherings just for Legacy Society members.

The SETI Institute relies on private, philanthropic support from thousands of donors each year to fulfill some aspects of its work. We are very grateful to the many individuals like yourself who donate every year and/or remember the Institute in their estate plans.

Donations to the SETI Institute are tax-deductible in the U.S.

SETI Institute and Teamseti donation pages use GeoTrust for online security.

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