The Mountain View institute says this couldn't have come at a worse time, with the recent discovery of new possible planets, which may be capable of supporting life.
"There is a huge irony," said SETI Director Jill Tartar, "that a time when we discover so many planets to look at, we don't have the operating funds to listen."
We have the radio antennae up, but we can't run them without operating funds," he added. "Honestly, if everybody contributed just 3 extra cents on their 1040 tax forms, we could find out if we have cosmic company."
The SETI Institute's mission is to explore the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.
If you would like to donate to help turn back on the the search for ET's, you can visit the SETI page.