Planned Giving

Your Museum. Your Legacy.

The History of Diving Museum exhibits span over 4,000 years of man’s quest to discover the underwater world. This unique, one-of-a-kind museum has captured the stories that share man’s incredible journey under the sea with visitors from around the globe. The History of Diving Museum was conceived after years of personal collecting by Dr. Joe and Sally Bauer, who recognized the importance of conserving these historical artifacts, and as a result, opened the museum in 2005. Since that time, they have generously supported and helped develop the museum into a world-class facility that attracts over 100,000 visitors annually.

You can help us ensure the long-term sustainability of the museum through your planned gift or legacy pledge to ensure our children and their children may understand the sacrifices and commitment that went into discovering our undersea environment.

Located in Islamorada, Florida, diving capital of the world, the History of Diving Museum continues to amaze and entertain audiences, while quietly educating visitors and locals alike on conservation, ecology, man’s sacrifices to conserve and protect, and visions of what our future world will endure. It’s the perfect place to learn for the whole family, making memories from experiences with the interactive exhibits that bring smiles to all. Together we can make a protect and preserve this museum for years to come.


Don’t Wait to Leave Your Legacy

Our goal is to help donors make an impact by supporting our exhibits, programming, collections, and educational programs with a sustainable gift to the museum, immediately or through estate plans.

Your long-term commitment to HDM provides us the ability to plan, implement, and respond to new opportunities to showcase changes in underwater technology and exploration. With your legacy gift, HDM will capitalize on our growing success, continuing to update and add to our collections, and develop educational programs for generations to come. We invite you to support HDM by including our organization in your Planned Giving and join our legendary Aquanaut Society.

Have you included HDM in your planned giving?

Please let us know if you have included the History of Diving Museum in your planned giving by filling out this Letter of Intent and emailing or mailing a copy to us.

History of Diving Museum

Attn: Executive Director

82990 Overseas Highway

Islamorada, FL 33036



All planned gifts are recognized in our Legacy Society unless specifically designated otherwise.



A Gift That Will Keep on Giving




Planned Giving Opportunities That Ensure HDM’s Mission Continues

HDM’s Planned Giving Program provides you with a broad range of opportunities to provide lasting support of our mission through charitable contributions that are incorporated into your financial, tax or estate plan.

  • The benefits of planned giving can include:
  • Immediate tax relief through an income tax charitable deduction
  • Annual income for life or for a period of years
  • Reduction or elimination of capital gains taxes on transfer of long-term appreciated assets
  • Reduction of estate taxes
  • Transfer assets to heirs at reduced tax rates

Some gifts allow you to receive income for the rest of your life, and most gifts provide a variety of tax benefits such as tax-free income, avoidance of capital gains tax, increased charitable contributions deduction and potential estate-tax savings. The choice you make will depend on the goals for yourself, your family and your overall estate and financial plans.

We encourage you to speak with your own financial advisor about the best choice for you and your family.


You have many options for supporting HDM through planned giving:

Wills & Bequests

A will enables you to:

  1. direct the distribution of your assets
  2. provide for your heirs in the way you choose rather than as state and federal laws dictate
  3. possibly reduce or eliminate certain estate taxes and court costs; and
  4. designate a portion of your assets as a gift to your favorite charity

Testamentary gifts to HDM or other charities can take many forms, either through a new will, or through a ‘codicil’ – an amendment to your existing will.

Cash Bequest

HDM receives a specified dollar amount.

Specific Bequest or Devise of Property

HDM receives specified assets, such as securities.

Residuary Bequest or Devise

HDM receives all or a percentage of the remainder of your estate after specific legacies, debts, taxes, and estate expenses have been paid.

Contingent Bequest or Devise

HDM receives a gift according to the language of the bequest. There are a wide variety of conditions that you could place on such a bequest. For example, if you outlive other named beneficiaries, then part or all of your estate would benefit HDM.


Examples of Testamentary Language

Unrestricted Bequest
I give and bequeath to the History of Diving Museum, a non-profit organization (Tax ID #65-1037158), with a principal business address of 82990 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036, for its general purposes, the sum of ______ Dollars ($______ ) – OR – ______% of my residuary estate.

An unrestricted bequest allows your support to be used in the area of greatest need.

Restricted Bequest
I give and bequeath to the History of Diving Museum, a non-profit organization (Tax ID #65-1037158), with a principal business address of 82990 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036,  the sum of ______ dollars ($______ ) – OR – ______% of my residuary estate to support ______________ (e.g, education, permanent or rotating exhibits).

If you have a more specific purpose in mind, please contact us so we can work with you to ensure that your wishes are met.

Tax Benefits
Your bequest to HDM may qualify your estate for a charitable deduction equal to the entire amount of the bequest. Consult your tax or financial adviser for further information.

Charitable Remainder Trust
One or more named beneficiaries receive income for life or for a specified term of years, after which time the assets pass to HDM. Through this arrangement, you can provide income to family members or friends, realize significant tax savings, and ensure important benefits to HDM after the trust’s termination.

Charitable Lead Trust
Income from the trust is paid to HDM for a period of years, after which time the assets pass to your heirs, usually your grandchildren, at a reduced estate tax cost. By substantially reducing estate and other transfer taxes, this arrangement allows you to preserve a larger portion of your estate for your beneficiaries.

Retirement Plans
IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, Keoghs, and other retirement plan assets make up an increasingly large part of many estates. When left to your heirs, these assets can be subject to income, estate, and other transfer taxes. Naming HDM as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of all or a percentage of your plan assets may reduce or eliminate both income and estate taxes. Note that designating a specific dollar amount, rather than a specified percentage, may result in the inclusion of these funds in your gross estate for tax purposes.

To designate HDM as the beneficiary of some or all of your retirement plan funds, please use the following language on the retirement plan forms:

Retirement Plans
I give and bequeath to to the History of Diving Museum, a non-profit organization (Tax ID #65-1037158), with a principal business address of 82990 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036,  the sum of ______ dollars ($______ ) – OR – ______% of my residuary estate for its general purposes – OR – to support _________________ (e.g, education, permanent or rotating exhibits).

Retirement plan assets can also be placed in a testamentary charitable remainder trust to provide income to your heirs for life or a specified term of years with the remainder interest passing to HDM.

Sample Codicil

Please have your will or codicil drafted by an attorney who is familiar with the estate laws of the state where you live. We are not engaged in legal or tax advisory service. The purpose of this SAMPLE CODICIL is to provide general gift, estate, and financial planning information. Watch for tax revisions. State laws govern wills, trusts, and charitable gifts made in a contractual agreement. ADVICE FROM LEGAL COUNSEL SHOULD BE SOUGHT WHEN CONSIDERING THESE TYPES OF GIFTS. View Sample Codicil


This information is intended to provide general gift planning information. Our organization is not qualified to provide specific legal, tax or investment advice, and this information should not be looked to or relied upon as a source for such advice. Consult with your own legal and financial advisors before making any gift.

2023 Museum Sponsors

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