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Going Home Fund: Donating Items to a Native Cultural Institution

The Going Home Fund helps connect donors with indigenous cultural institutions. If you have an item or items you wish to donate, please complete this FORM. The Going Home Fund Council meets monthly to consider donations and make recommendations.


What types of items are considered for donation?

  • Assorted historic or contemporary items of significant cultural value to the indigenous cultures of North America.
  • Items may include artwork, baskets, rugs, literary works, recordings, photographs, and other items of cultural value to the originating communities.

How does the Going Home Fund Council determine if an item is selected?

  • The item is of interest to the community of origin.
  • The community of origin has a cultural facility that can ensure proper care, conservation, storage, and security.
  • The item does not represent a hazard to personnel, i.e., no known contaminants.

Once an item is accepted, what happens?

  • If the donor wishes to receive a tax-deduction, and the item is valued at more than $5,000, it is the responsibility of the donor to secure a written appraisal, The Going Home Fund Council cannot provide appraisals.
  • Deed of Gift is developed between the donor and the receiving organization. The Deed of Gift verifies transfer of ownership and all rights to the item(s) to the cultural institution.
  • The item is delivered to the cultural institution, at which time a written receipt is provided. View a sample receipt here.
  • The cultural institution signs the Deed of Gift and provides it to the donor.

Is financial support available?
The Going Home Fund will provide financial support for items of significant cultural value. Request for support should be made at the time an item is offered for donation. Funds may be used to support authentication, appraisal, conservation work, and transportation.

Who retains the copyright, if applicable?
Owners of copyrighted items will transfer rights to the community receiving the item. Items created on or after January 1, 1978 are subject to the Copyright Act of 1976 (17 U.S.C. »» 101-702).

Can I get a tax deduction for donating my collection?
Please refer to IRS Publication 561 to learn more about tax deductions for items donated to charitable organizations.

How will my gift be acknowledged?
The Deed of Gift provides an area to indicate how you wish to be acknowledged for your gift. For example, if the item is used for exhibition, the donor is listed as indicated on the Deed of Gift.

What if I want to make an anonymous donation?
For legal purposes, your name will appear in the Deed of Gift, If you wish to remain Anonymous, this information should be indicated in the donor acknowledgment part of the Deed of Gift.

Is it possible to restrict how items will be used?
Donors are encouraged to not place restrictions on gifts. The cultural institution should be allowed to use the item as it deems most appropriate.

Can the cultural institution ever dispose of my donation?
Unless otherwise stipulated, gifts that are accessioned into the cultural institutions’ collections are held in perpetuity as long as they support the institution’s mission, retain physical integrity, their identity, and their authenticity, can be properly stored, preserved, and used.

Can I bequeath an item or items to a cultural institution rather than donating them now?
The Going Home Fund will work with you and your attorney to write language into your will. Financial support from the Fund is not available for bequeathed items.

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