Special tax incentives in 2020 for charitable gifts from U.S. taxpayers

Every day in 2020, iNaturalist connected people around the globe to biodiversity around them and to each other. iNaturalist fostered connections and meaning for over a million people during a time of isolation and suffering. With your support, iNaturalist will continue to put biodiversity on the map for years to come. Has iNaturalist helped you this year? If so, can you help iNaturalist?

Just for 2020, there is a new tax deduction for taxpayers in the United States as part of the CARES Act to encourage philanthropic giving to causes such as iNaturalist (via a qualified charity, the California Academy of Sciences). This year, households taking the standard deduction can take an additional tax deduction of up to $300 (total for both individual and joint filers). Normally, only those who itemize deductions receive a tax benefit from charitable gifts, so this new deduction can benefit the 87% of filers who take the standard deduction. Those who itemize also benefit this year—they may be able to deduct up to 100% of their adjusted gross income.

There has never been a better time to make a generous charitable gift to support iNaturalist. Donate to iNaturalist before the end of the year to take advantage of this special tax deduction for 2020.

If you want to support iNaturalist by check, an IRA Qualified Charitable Deduction, a Donor Advised Fund, grants, employer matching, or employer volunteer hours, we have more details here. iNaturalist is a not-for-profit joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society, and all donations are received by the California Academy of Sciences (Tax ID: 94-1156258).

Disclaimer: We are not qualified to provide tax/financial advice and encourage you to ask your tax-advisor how a gift of cash, appreciated stock, or a qualified charitable distribution from your IRA can benefit you.



Posted by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer, December 18, 2020 06:07


(on the giving page) That some employers might donate for your volunteer hours spent iNatting or presumably IDing is pretty cool - I added that to the wiki for all the different ways to help out on iNat: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/ways-to-help-out-on-inat-wiki/1983 :)

Posted by bouteloua almost 2 years ago (Flag)

Thank you, @bouteloua! If anyone works for an employer who makes donations for volunteer hours, bioblitzes can be very effective fundraising activities. We are especially grateful to Microsoft for their employees who have supported iNaturalist through volunteering.

Posted by carrieseltzer almost 2 years ago (Flag)

I gather this year has been a bit rough for everyone, so I imagine funding has been tricky for CalAcademy too. I know myself and some others appreciated the prior banner on how amounts reflected hosting costs (e.g. the $X supports X number of photos). I don't think many people, myself included, quite realize how much hosting something like iNaturalist costs, and putting those numbers into perspective might help in terms of prompting donations.

Though I can understand if there's a shyness about doing so. Just a thought, anyway.

Posted by silversea_starsong almost 2 years ago (Flag)

Thanks, @silversea_starsong. Since those banners change, I'll share some of those numbers here too as a snapshot of current costs:
-$13 stores 10,000 observation photos for a year (iNat has over 90 million photos and counting)
-$28 sends one day's worth of email updates
-$150 supports the iNatForum for a month
-$333 keeps iNat servers running for 24 hours

We're always looking for ways to save on these costs, but as iNaturalist grows, so do these expenses. We greatly appreciate support from the community towards iNat's core operations!

Posted by carrieseltzer almost 2 years ago (Flag)

Is sending an Email update rather cost intensive ? I like to see my updates on my own observations but if that is CPU Expensive I can reduce the number of people i follow and shorten the time i follow /Subscribe to Taxons, Locations (mainly locations i go on holiday).
Is there any information about it ?

Posted by ahospers almost 2 years ago (Flag)

@ahospers Email updates are much less costly than servers and image storage. We are working on some major updates to subscriptions and notifications to better keep up with scaling the infrastructure as the community grows. We don't recommend subscriptions to extremely large places or taxa (i.e. please don't subscribe to all "Plants" or everything from "Europe"), but a manageable set of people, places, and taxa you follow and use is fine. Thanks for your concern.

Posted by carrieseltzer almost 2 years ago (Flag)

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