The Gerard O’Neill Voyagers Circle: NSS’ New Society to Honor our Visionary Donors

Gerard O'Neill

Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill is author of The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space, first published in 1977. It proposed the construction of giant solar powered cylinders, inside each of which as many as ten million people could live in space. Materials for these colonies would come from mining the Moon and asteroids. Manufacturing space solar power satellites to provide clean, limitless power for the Earth and in space would sustain the colonies, which would be built at the L4 and L5 Lagrangian libration points on the Moon's orbit at equal distances from both the Earth and the Moon. An object placed in orbit around L5 (or L4) will remain there indefinitely without having to expend fuel to keep it in position. The L5 Society, one of the precursors of the National Space Society, was founded around his ideas and from his mailing list. Although Dr. O’Neill never achieved his dream of retiring to one of these colonies, his ideas live on and are within reach of the technology of the near future, with companies such as Made In Space demonstrating additive manufacturing in microgravity and Deep Space Industries preparing to bring materials back to the vicinity of the earth or moon from the asteroids.

Planned Benefits:

Receive a custom black wool  Voyager Circle Jacket, with its NSS logo brass buttons, NSS and Circle logos embroidered on interior pockets, and silk lining depicting beautiful images of O'Neill Cylinder Colonies by Don Davis and Rick Guidice, courtesy of NASA.* Wear it with pride and be recognized and honored at NSS events such as ISDC’s, Chapter Meetings, and Space Development Congresses. Enjoy a special meeting room and the ability to reserve a table for you and your colleagues at ISDC meals.

Our Bequests Coordinator will arrange meetings with NSS Leadership at ISDCs or calls at other times so you can discuss your ideas for the Society’s future, and desirable life experiences that NSS might be able to arrange for you and other Circle members (such as visits to NASA or commercial space partner facilities).

Entry Requirements:

A signed, non-binding Letter of Intent to remember NSS in your will, plus a $500 current gift.

AND/OR

A current gift through one of the tax advantaged means described on our website with a binding value of at least $5000.

*The Blazers will be manufactured as soon as there are 50 members in the Society, so they will most likely be presented at the May, 2018 ISDC in Los Angeles, or at your home or NSS Chapter meeting in the Spring or Summer of 2018.

Frontier Magazine

Can I designate my gift to go to a specific cause I care about, or name my gift?

    • Gifts of $1000 or less go toward our general operating budget to support NSS’ many programs in education and policy to advance our future as a spacefaring society.
    • Gifts greater than $1000 go into the NSS Endowment Fund, which is designed to generate funds for the operating expenses for our programs in perpetuity, unless the bequest is “donor restricted”, as described below.
    • Gifts greater than $10,000 may go into a Supplementary Endowment Fund, at the donor’s request.  This involves the creation of a new endowment fund, one which supports a specific educational project or program The specific use must be one that is approved by the NSS Board of Directors, so please contact NSS headquarters for assistance.
    • Gifts greater than $50,000 may go into a “named” endowment (one that honors a specific person, persons, or company and may be designated for a specific purpose); please contact NSS headquarters for assistance.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the National Space Society a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to the National Space Society [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to NSS or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to NSS as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to NSS as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and NSS where you agree to make a gift to NSS and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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