Planned Giving

Naming the Oshkosh Public Museum as a beneficiary in your will or other accounts is a way to leave a lasting legacy in the Oshkosh community. Charitable gifts to the Museum can provide you and your estate with significant tax benefits and can be a financially responsible way to make a special gift that may not be possible during your lifetime. These commitments allow us to further our stewardship of irreplaceable Oshkosh history and advance the Museum and its mission into the future.

Gifts of Stock

The Oshkosh Public Museum is pleased to accept gifts of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Making a gift of appreciated securities to the Museum offers you the chance to help our organization while realizing many important benefits for yourself. You may make a gift of stock by asking your stock broker to transfer the number of shares you would like to donate to the Museum.

Gifts of Property

Gifts of personal property are an excellent way to support the Oshkosh Public Museum while reaping substantial tax benefits. Gifts of real estate or personal property can be of considerable help to the Museum. The Museum also accepts gifts of objects and furniture that are appropriate for its permanent collections.


Bequests made through a will are a popular method of benefiting the Oshkosh Public Museum. A charitable bequest distributes a specific asset or pays a designated sum of money to the Museum. With this outright bequest, you may indicate a specific amount, a percentage of your estate or a specific piece of real estate or other tangible property. A residual bequest provides that the Museum receives the “residue,” or balance remaining, of your estate after outright bequests are satisfied.

Retirement Account

One of the easiest ways to make a planned gift to the Oshkosh Public Museum is by making the Museum the beneficiary of a retirement account, such as an IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or other retirement plan. This beneficiary designation is a quick procedure that can be done either by mail or online with a simple change of beneficiary form. Naming the Oshkosh Public Museum as a full or partial beneficiary of your retirement plan may result in significant income or estate tax savings.

Life Insurance

Another simple and low-cost way of making a significant gift to the Oshkosh Public Museum is to make the Museum the beneficiary or owner of a new or existing life insurance policy. With this giving method, you can receive an income tax charitable deduction for premiums paid after the gift of the policy.

Other Gifts

Donations, like artifacts, come in all shapes and sizes. A variety of distinctive giving options, such as gifts of stock or property, can provide you with substantial tax benefits, while others, such as matching gifts, enlist your employer to double the impact of your contribution. All of these commitments have a powerful impact on the Museum and advancing our mission of preserving the rich history of Oshkosh and the Lake Winnebago Region.

Support What You Love

Whether it's the stately Sawyer home, the thousands upon thousands of artifacts it houses, the inspiring exhibits and educational programs we provide, or the development of a new generation long-term exhibit, People of the Waters, your gift to the Museum will help us achieve our goals for this year and beyond. Give today online or by contacting Director Sarah Phillips at 920-236-5769 or by email.

The Durow Bequest

Frederick Schattschneider Durow and his wife Marion were long-time supporters of the Oshkosh Public Museum, visiting often during the Museum’s early years in the 1930s, but it wasn’t until 2002 that the Museum officially met Fred. During a visit from California, he expressed his interest in creating a means to carry on his lifelong support of the Museum.

When Fred passed away in September 2009 at the age of 95, he left his entire estate to the Museum, a gift of nearly $3 million. The Durow Bequest is dedicated to the Museum’s decorative arts collection and has already supported the important addition of a full-time Curator of Decorative Arts. It was Fred and Marion’s hope that their contribution would inspire the community to appreciate and support the treasure they have in their local museum.