Thank you for visiting

Although our offices are closed for the holidays, our research, exploration and discovery continue, including our optical and radio SETI endeavors, and current field work in Antarctica, studying extreme biology. We are hard at work preparing for a new year full of discoveries. 2016 has been an incredibly productive year for our science and education programs, and 2017 should be equally amazing! From astrobiology research in some of the most extreme environments on our planet, to the discovery of more moons, asteroids and exoplanets, to our signature SETI research—we are fully engaged across the full spectrum of scientific disciplines to explore, understand and explain the nature of life in the universe.

Please consider supporting our quest with a year-end donation. Your gift supports our SETI research, our education programs and all our important outreach, connecting you to our work. Our quest belongs to all humankind and your donations help us bring our science to all who wish to learn.

Best Wishes for the holidays and for a Happy New Year of discovery, from all of us at the SETI Institute!”
— Bill Diamond, President and CEO, SETI Institute

The graphic above by Danielle Futselaar is the famous Drake Equation, representing the full spectrum of science undertaken at the SETI Institute. Wherever you are on Earth, the end of our calendar year is a time for reflection, and a time to plan new explorations of our lives, and life beyond our home planet.

FAQs and Ways To Give


  1. Why does SETI Institute need donations?
    About 80% of SETI Institute’s work is solidly funded through NASA and other grants. We need to raise donations for the 20% that is not funded.
  2. What will my donation support?
    Donations support our namesake SETI research, astrobiology research, and our education and public outreach programs like SETI Talks and Big Picture Science.
  3. How much do you need?
    Generally, we need to raise about $2 million each year; our annual operating budget is about $16 million.
  4. Can I designate my contribution?
    Yes. We prefer to get contributions that we can apply to where the need is greatest, but we have many donors who wish to support the radio program or SETI searches. It’s up to you!
  5. How can I learn more about what SETI Institute is doing?
    Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. Sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter. Scroll through our scientists biographies for an excellent in-depth introduction to the fascinating research they undertake.

Ways To Give

  1. How do I make a donation?
    You can make a secure online donation here. You can also mail your contribution to our office: SETI Institute, 189 Bernardo Avenue, suite 200, Mountain View, CA 94043.
  2. Credit card or Paypal?
    We take both. Credit card and Paypal
  3. Can I make a recurring gift?
    Yes, many donors elect to make monthly donations this way. Please follow the steps in the Credit Card or PayPal donation forms. You can also set up an Electronic Funds Transfer with your bank.
  4. I’m a Federal Employee; can I participate through the Combined Federal Campaign?
    Yes, we are a member of the CFC and have many donors who contribute this way. Use our CFC#11304 during the Combined Federal Campaign enrollment period.
  5. I would like to support you at a higher level, but don’t have the cash flow now. What else can I do for you?
    Consider making a pledge over a longer period of time; a pledge is a very generous gesture and helps us in many ways. Please contact the Development staff at
  6. How do I donate stock?
    Please give your broker this information to transfer stock to SETI Institute:
    • Brokerage: Morgan Stanley, Palo Alto
    • Account #: 112-123448-152
    • DTC: 015 Acct.
    • name: SETI Institute

    It is very helpful if you can let us know ahead of time the approximate value or # of shares of which stock. We let our Morgan Stanley broker know and they make sure it is sold promptly.

  7. My company might match my gift; how do I find this out
    Contact your HR department to find out if they match employees’ donations—most large employers and many small ones do.  They will have some paperwork for you to fill out. Make your own donation first and then let us know when you have applied to your employer for a matching gift.
  8. Can my company become a sponsor?
    Yes. We have several sponsorship opportunities now and a few more to roll out in early 2016. Please contact the Development staff at
  9. How do I get a receipt for my donation?
    When you make an online gift, you have the option to decline getting a paper receipt mailed to you. Otherwise, our practice is to mail you a receipt within a week of receiving your gift. Please contact the Development staff at for any assistance you need.
  10. What other sort of assets can I give as a donation?
    Besides money, there are many other types of assets you can donate to charities. Some are best considered as part of a bequest or estate plan, but there are others—like real estate or business interests, IRA assets, antiques, art work—that can be donated during the donor’s lifetime. There are other ways to structure current giving through annuities, trusts and other vehicles that allow some donors to make larger gifts during their lifetime. Please contact the Development staff at for assistance.
  11. Is my deduction tax-deductible?
    Yes. The SETI Institute is a 501 (c) (3) registered nonprofit organization.
    Our Federal Tax ID is: 94-2951356.

Although our office is closed until January 3, 2016, you can make your donation anytime—online or through the mail. If you need assistance, please email or call 650-960-4537 and someone will get back to you.

To make sure your donation qualifies for a tax deduction in 2016, we suggest you do not wait until the last hours of 2016. Donations made by check must be postmarked by 12/31/2016. Your Credit Card or PayPal donation must be processed before midnight 12/31/2016—check the time zone of your bank. Donations of stock must be received by our broker no later than 12/29/2016 so they can be sold no later than 12/30/2016. SETI Institute Development staff will work hard to make sure your gift is processed promptly and that you receive your receipt for tax reporting.

SETI Institute will be back on January 3, 2017 to begin a new year of exciting exploration and discovery. Come join us!

Report Nov

Activity Report of the SETI Institute - October 2016

As the winter rains move in to Bay Area and the days get shorter, SETI Institute scientists are still keeping busy. They continue to unravel more puzzles about our local celestial neighbors, as well as other worlds many light-years away.
Read More

  • Report Nov

    As the winter rains move in to Bay Area and the days get shorter, SETI Institute scientists are still keeping busy. They continue to unravel more puzzles about our local celestial neighbors, as well as other worlds many light-years away.

    Read More
    Report Nov
  • Doug Lin's SETI Talk on Tuesday November 29, 2016. Recent observations indicate that super Earths are common whereas gas giants are relatively rare.

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  • Brain Dust

    The brain is a hot research topic, but despite all efforts, your grey matter largely remains a black box – an indecipherable web of neurons with a hidden subconscious agenda. But tiny sensors could shed light on what’s going on in your noggin. Find out what implanted “brain dust” may reveal about who you are.

    Read More
    Brain Dust
  • Mehmet Alpaslan's SETI Talk on Tuesday November 22, 2016. When viewed at the largest scales, the distribution of galaxies in the Universe resembles a complex, tangled web: an interconnected network of filaments of galaxies that surround vast, empty voids.

    Read More
  • Janice Bishop gave a SETI Talks about "History of Clays on Mars: How We Found Them and Why They are Important for Astrobiology" on Tuesday, November 08 2016 - 12:00 pm, PST. Detecting clays on Mars has had a rocky history over the past 4 decades, but detecting them on the surface today is becoming commonplace.

    Read More
  • It has just become harder for surprise meteor showers to escape our attention. On October 1, the third station of a new 48-camera, video-surveillance network in the United Arab Emirates has come online to help map meteor showers. The network complements the existing 80-camera Cameras for Allsky Meteor Surveillance (CAMS) network twelve time zones later in California.

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  • milky way galaxy

    Soliciting Community Input for the Advancement of the Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe, and the Creation of a Multidisciplinary Virtual Institute for SETI Research.

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    milky way galaxy
  • Drake Frank

    Frank Drake had a problem. It was the fall of 1961, a year after his pioneering SETI experiment: Project Ozma. Using an 85-foot antenna in Green Bank, West Virginia, Drake had unfurled the intriguing possibility that we might find proof of intelligent beings by simply eavesdropping on their broadcasts.

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    Drake Frank
  • Marion Nachon's SETI Talk on Tuesday November 01, 2016. Located on Curiosity's mast, the ChemCam instrument ("Chemistry and Camera") uses a laser to provide the elemental composition of geological features along the rover's path.

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  • Please join us at NUMU on November 5th at 3 pm for a panel with the artists and scientists including Charles Lindsay, Jill Tarter, Martin Wilner, Oana Marco, Danny Bazo, Karl Yerkes, Marco Peljhan, Friedemann Freund, Rachel Sussman, Jon Jenkins, Mark Showalter and George Bolster.

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