Become a Trust Fund Donor

Are there tax benefits?

Regardless of your gift's designation, it may reduce your federal income, estate and gift taxes. Deductions from your federal income tax markedly reduce the cost of your gift. Because everyone’s tax situation is different, however, you will want to consult with a qualified tax advisor before making your gift in order to discuss the options available and the benefits of each to you.

MSHS Trust is classified as a nonprofit, tax-exempt, educational organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the US Internal Revenue Code, being organized and operated for educational purposes.

How big must my gift be to count?

MSHS is most grateful for every gift, large or small. All donors are recognized in the Society's Annual Report, and each donation is personally acknowledged.

Several honor groups have been established to extend special recognition to those who are especially generous.

$1 - $99   Patron Club
$100 - $249   Century Club
$250 - $499   Bronze Club
$500 - $999   Silver Club
$1,000 - $2,499   Diamond Club
$2,500 - $4,999   Executive Club
$5,000 - $9,999   T.T. Lyon Club
$10,000 Or more   President’s Club

Gifts of $5,000.00 or more may be identified with the name of the donor or an honoree that the donor specifies; such gifts may also be used for the support of a given objective specified by the donor consistent with the objectives of the Trust and federal income tax regulations.

What are some special ways to give?

It may be helpful to discuss various options with a Trustee or Board member in addition to a tax consultant. Some of the options are…

Year-End Gifts

The best way to give a charitable gift is through careful planning; the gift you give before December 31st may qualify for important benefits during this taxable year.

Estate Planning / A Gift of Bequest

Bequests from an estate or trust can include gifts, unencumbered property, or income. You may leave a gift of bequest in your will for the benefit of the Society's Trust. The simplest method is a provision in a will making an outright bequest of money or property to the Trust. For example:

"I give, devise and bequeath to the MSHS Trust the sum of $_____________ (or otherwise describe the gift if is consists of real estate, securities, or personal property)."

Memorial Gifts

The Trust accepts one-time or annual giving programs to commemorate an individual.  Please make checks payable to the Michigan State Horticultural Society Trust and mail to the address at the bottom of this page.

Designated Gifts

Substantial one-time donations can be applied to designated programs, projects, or equipment.

Corporate Gifts

MSHS urges corporations and organizations, particularly those engaged in activities related to the fruit industry, to contribute to the Trust.

What do I have to give?

Cash is the most popular way to make a charitable gift. A check given to a non-profit organization for $2,000 before December 31 may save you as much as several hundred dollars at tax time.

Gifts of appreciated securities can be one of the most advantageous ways of giving. If you make a gift of securities you have owned more than six months, you may be able to deduct the full market value of the securities as a charitable contribution while bypassing all capital gains taxes.

A gift of real estate can also be quite advantageous. You may be able to deduct the fair market value of property owned more than six months as a charitable contribution without paying capital gains tax on the appreciation.

Life insurance is a unique way to contribute. If the policy is fully paid up, a charitable contribution is generally the replacement cost of the policy, or the cost basis, whichever is less. A policy that is not fully paid up may also be given, and a charitable contribution may be allowed for approximately the cash surrender value of the cost basis, if less. Ongoing premiums may also be deductible.

Tangible personal property that is related to our exempt function may also be deductible at the fair market value of the property without capital gains tax payments on the appreciation, provided the property has been owned more than six months.

I wish to speak with a Trustee or Board Member. Who do I contact?

Ben Smith will put you in contact with Trustees or Board Members.

I wish to contribute. What do I do next?

Please include the following information and send your gift, payable to the Michigan State Horticultural Society Trust, to Ben Smith, MSHS, 7087 E. Napier Ave. Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Organization (if applicable)


Contact any of the Trustees, a Board Member or Ben Smith for discussion and more information.

More Information



7087 East Napier Ave.
Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022

Phone (269) 252-5461