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Gift Planning



For more information, please contact:

Dustin Nelson
Director of Gift Planning
(716) 357-6409 |

Please provide Dustin with your mailing address if you would like to receive printed materials on planned giving.

Gift Planning

Planned gifts are deferred contributions which you can make through your will, retirement plan, trust, or other life-income plan, to name but a few options. They all offer attractive tax benefits, some of which can be immediate, particularly when you choose to fund your gift with appreciated securities, as you will reduce or eliminate capital gains tax.

Most important, planned gifts are added to Chautauqua’s endowment, ensuring that the programming quality experienced through all four of Chautauqua’s pillars – Arts, Education, Religion and Recreation, will continue for years to come.


A bequest is the easiest and most common way to make a planned gift. It can be as simple as including Chautauqua in your will either as a percentage of your estate or for a specific dollar amount. You can also bequeath tangible personal property. The great advantage of a bequest is that you don’t have to part with any of your assets during your lifetime. In addition, you may eliminate or reduce federal estate taxes.

A bequest can be made in one of the following ways:

  1. Specific Bequest: Name Chautauqua Foundation, Inc. as a beneficiary of your estate.

  2. Residuary Bequest: Once all estate obligations have been satisfied, i.e., taxes, debts, expenses, as well as other bequests, what remains is given to Chautauqua.

  3. Contingent Bequest: This type of bequest is conditioned on the occurrence of an event, i.e., one or more of your beneficiaries predecease you, in which case, Chautauqua becomes the beneficiary.

The following language may be helpful when arranging a bequest to Chautauqua:

Our legal name: Chautauqua Foundation, Inc.

I give ($______ ) (or a specific asset such as securities, real estate or other property), or (___ percent) of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate to Chautauqua Foundation, Inc., in Chautauqua, New York, for its general support of Chautauqua Institution.

By making a bequest to Chautauqua, you are entitled to become a member of the Eleanor B. Daugherty Society.

* Please note that any type of planned gift you are considering should be discussed with your own professional advisors.

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Retirement Assets

For many individuals, most of our accumulated wealth may be in some form of retirement plan - an employer’s pension or profit-sharing plan, an IRA, or a Keogh plan are the most common. A gift through a retirement plan is the most tax-wise gift you can make, as these are the most heavily taxed assets at death because they are subject to both income and estate taxes. You may choose to name Chautauqua Foundation, Inc. as beneficiary for all or part of your retirement account, leaving less heavily taxed assets to children or other heirs.

By designating Chautauqua a beneficiary of your retirement plan, you are entitled to become a member of the Eleanor B. Daugherty Society.

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Life-Income Gifts

Life-income gifts offer you a stream of income for your life, and a family member or friend if you choose, in exchange for making an irrevocable gift. Your gift is invested and you, or the person you name, receive an income for life, and then the gift principal transfers to Chautauqua to be used as you have designated. Charitable remainder trusts and gifts to Chautauqua’s Pooled Life Income Fund are popular life-income gift options.

A life-income gift offers reduced income taxes, if you use appreciated securities to fund your gift, as well as a possible estate tax reduction.

We would be pleased to speak with you about a life-income arrangement that would best fit your personal and philanthropic goals, without obligation.

By arranging a life-income gift for the benefit of Chautauqua, you are entitled to become a member of the Eleanor B. Daugherty Society.

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Charitable Lead Trusts

A charitable lead trust is an extremely tax-efficient way of ensuring that assets are passed to heirs while at the same time, making a significant contribution to Chautauqua. You as the donor, designates a trust term of years, whereby a stream of income funds the program(s) you are interested in supporting at Chautauqua, then at the end of that term, the principal goes to family members or friends that you have named.

A charitable lead trust enables you to make a significant deferred gift to heirs at a very low gift tax rate. It also reduces your taxable estate.

There are several types of lead trusts you might consider, and you should consult with your professional advisors to see if this type of gift makes sense for you.

By arranging a charitable lead trust for the benefit of Chautauqua, you are entitled to become a member of the Eleanor B. Daugherty Society.

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Gifts of Real Estate

A gift of a personal residence or a vacation home, particularly if highly appreciated, can be a very beneficial way for you to make a significant gift to Chautauqua, while retaining the right to live in the home for the rest of your life.

If the gifted property is highly appreciated, there is potential for a sizeable charitable deduction and the avoidance of capital gains tax.

There are other types of real estate Chautauqua accepts as gifts, such as undeveloped land, farmland, and rental property. Each has its own tax advantages and you should consult your professional advisors about making a gift of this type.

We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about the potential for a gift of real estate.

By making a gift of real estate for the benefit of Chautauqua, you are entitled to become a member of the Eleanor B. Daugherty Society.

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The Eleanor B. Daugherty Society

By making a planned gift to Chautauqua Foundation, Inc, you are entitled to become a member of the Eleanor B. Daugherty Society, a group of Chautauquans who have included Chautauqua Foundation in their will or other estate plans. There are over 300 members in the Society, ranging in age from 38 to over 100. Society members receive many benefits and most important, as a member we are pleased to thank and recognize you for your generosity in helping to ensure Chautauqua’s future.

Benefits of Membership:

  • Invitation to the annual “Daugherty Society” luncheon with a selected lecturer
  • Invitation to special gatherings at the President’s Cottage
  • Exclusive tours conducted by Chautauqua’s artistic directors
  • Invitation to the annual Scholar-in-Residence Program
  • Opportunity to attend a special Cabaret Performance
  • Recognition in The Chautauquan Daily and off-season Chautauquan (a member’s wish to remain anonymous is respected)

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Chautauqua Foundation Planned Giving Committee

Courtney Curatolo

Laura Currie

Andrew Camden

Jack Connolly

Sylvia Faust

Joan Keogh

Susan Laubach

Ben Sorensen

Amy Mead

Dusty Nelson

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P.O. Box 28
One Ames Ave.
Chautauqua, N.Y. 14722
Institution website

Chautauqua Institution is a non-profit organization, dependent upon your gifts to fulfill its mission. Gate tickets and other revenue cover only a portion of the cost of your Chautauqua experience. A community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state, Chautauqua Institution comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. Visit our website for more information.