Leave Your Mark

Help the music play on for generations through a legacy gift.

Individuals who include the New York Philharmonic in their planning are welcomed as members of the Heritage Society, a group of committed supporters who are impacting the Orchestra’s future financial health through a gift that costs nothing during their lifetimes!

  • Did You Know?

    Wills are not the only way to leave a legacy to the Philharmonic.

    Naming the New York Philharmonic as a beneficiary of your retirement plans is an easy way to secure the Orchestra’s future.
    Click for more info.

    • You can make the gift today, with no change to your income.
    • Neither you, your heirs, nor your estate will pay income taxes on the distribution of the assets.
    • Your estate will receive a tax deduction that can be used to offset estate taxes.
    • Because the Philharmonic is a not-for-profit, the full amount of your retirement account will directly benefit the Orchestra.
    • You can designate any percentage of the account to the Philharmonic.
    • Retirement assets generally avoid probate.
    • Making the Philharmonic a beneficiary of your IRA or other retirement assets is typically straightforward: Most banks or financial firms will be able to provide you with an easy form.

    Please let us know if you have made this designation so we can properly thank and honor you as a member of our Heritage Society. With questions, please contact the Planned Giving Office at plannedgiving@nyphil.org.

    Information to pass onto your advisor(s):

    Tax Information:
    Legal Name: Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York, Inc.
    Federal Tax ID Number (EIN): 13-1664054

    New York Philharmonic
    David Geffen Hall
    10 Lincoln Center Plaza
    New York, NY 10023

Heritage Society

The Heritage Society was established to recognize and thank our loyal friends who have included the New York Philharmonic in their charitable estate plans. Such gifts include bequests, charitable trusts, gifts of retirement plan assets, gifts of life insurance policies, and gifts of tangible personal property. Anyone who makes a planned gift to the New York Philharmonic may be enrolled into membership of the Heritage Society. Donors may, of course, remain anonymous.

Members enjoy the enormous satisfaction of supporting the New York Philharmonic. In return, they are acknowledged in the Orchestra’s Annual Report and our concert programs. Additional Heritage Society benefits include access to meet and greets with our Musicians, hospitality opportunities, and opportunities to attend educational gatherings.

View Supporters

Gift Vehicles

  • Bequests
    Bequests are the simplest way to help ensure the continued mission of the New York Philharmonic. Donors who have remembered the Philharmonic in their Wills or Trusts help sustain the artistic excellence of America’s oldest symphony orchestra while bringing the joy of music to new audiences.

    You may arrange for the Orchestra to receive:
    • a specific dollar amount
    • specified assets, such as securities, real estate, or tangible personal property
    • all or a percentage of the remainder of your estate after all other obligations (i.e. a residuary bequest)

    Just a sentence is all you need!

    You may make a bequest to the New York Philharmonic by preparing a new Will or by adding a Codicil to your current Will. An outright bequest to the Philharmonic is fully tax deductible for estate-tax purposes.

    Suggested Language
    The most useful bequest is an unrestricted bequest for the general purposes of the New York Philharmonic. This permits us to use your gift however it is most needed at the time. Language for making an unrestricted bequest could be: "I give, devise, and bequeath [the sum of  , [all or   percent of the rest, remainder, and residue of my estate of every kind and description (including lapsed legacies and devises)] to the New York Philharmonic, David Geffen Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, New York, 10023, for its general corporate purposes."

    If you would prefer to specify a purpose for your gift, we suggest: "I give, devise, and bequeath [the sum of   dollars], [all or   percent of the rest, remainder, and residue of my estate of every kind and description (including lapsed legacies and devises)] to the New York Philharmonic, David Geffen Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, New York, 10023, to create an endowment fund that, subject to the Philharmonic’s endowment spending rule, is to be used for the following purpose: [state the purpose]."

    If you choose to restrict the use of your bequest, the following language will ensure that your gift will always remain productive: "If at any time in the judgment of the Board of Directors of the New York Philharmonic, the designated use of this bequest is no longer practicable or appropriate, then the Board shall use the bequest to further the general purposes of the organization giving consideration, where possible, to my special interest as described above."
  • IRA Charitable Rollover
    The New York Philharmonic is grateful to receive contributions from IRAs. Your qualified charitable distribution (QCD) may satisfy all or part of the amount of the required minimum distribution from your IRA. Generally, a QCD is an otherwise taxable distribution from an IRA owned by an individual who is age 70 ½ or older that is paid directly from the IRA to a qualified charity, such as the New York Philharmonic.

    After contacting your fund administrator for a rollover form and policies, we encourage you to contact our office to give us notice that your donation is on the way. We often receive checks from banks that are not attributable to a specific donor, so this would allow us to honor your generosity.
  • Retirement Assets
    Retirement assets, when bequeathed to anyone other than a spouse, may be subject to high taxation. But by naming the New York Philharmonic as the recipient of any benefits remaining in your retirement plan, you may effectively reduce the taxes on those assets.
  • Charitable Remainder Trust
    Donors can make a legacy gift and receive tax-free income for life through a charitable remainder trust (CRT).

    A CRT might be useful if you want to supplement your existing retirement income, provide income for other loved ones, avoid capital gains or other tax exposure, or convert another type of asset into a stream of income. A CRT can be funded with cash, securities, debt-free real estate, tangible personal property, and other kinds of assets.
  • Charitable Lead Trusts
    By creating a charitable lead trust (CLT), you can support the New York Philharmonic and still make gifts to children or other family members in the future. A CLT can make distributions of a predetermined amount, either a fixed dollar amount of a set percentage of the initial value of the trust assets, to the Philharmonic for a specific term of years. At the end of the trust term any remaining assets in the trust pass to individuals whom the donor chooses, such as children or grandchildren.
  • Gifts of Real Estate
    For many individuals, real estate represents a significant portion of their wealth. The availability of a variety of planning techniques can make a charitable gift of real estate financially beneficial to your estate. When you donate appreciated property, which you have held longer than one year, you qualify for a charitable deduction against your federal income tax and eliminate capital gains tax. And you no longer are burdened with a property’s maintenance costs, property taxes, or insurance.

    You can make an outright gift of real estate or a gift through your Will or Trust agreement, or you can retain use of the property or receive income from the property during your lifetime.
  • Gifts of Art and Instruments
    Gifts of art and instruments are accepted by the New York Philharmonic and, akin to other types of gifts, can provide potential benefits to a donor’s estate. Such gifts are subject to assessment and acceptance by the Board of Directors.

Donor Stories

Please meet Maryanne Schwaller, our friend and a new Philharmonic donor.

Maryanne contacted our office last year when she was considering making a bequest to the Philharmonic. After chatting about her charitable wishes and financial needs, we discovered that with a little creative planning, she could make the same gift but with massive tax benefit and provide even more benefit to the Philharmonic. The result – a Retained Life Estate.

Maryanne Schwaller with Bassoonist Roger Nye.

Q: Gifting Real Estate to the Orchestra sounds complicated. Was it a difficult process?
A: The process, of course, involves an attorney, ideally with estate expertise, but the Phil provided an initial draft agreement and we responded to that. The negotiations went back and forth a few times but the Phil was certainly amenable to suggestions which my attorney and I felt were important. It’s also important to have someone involved who can assess the tax implications and, in my case, the tax advantages were substantial. Overall, I’d say it requires some attention to legal detail which you may or may not relish, but not onerous.

Q: What do you hope this legacy gift does for the New York Philharmonic?
I am directing at least some of my gift to the Phil’s children’s education programs. I hope it means that many, many children will be exposed to serious music of all genres and eras, particularly those who, like me, might not otherwise have had the chance to be enchanted and begin a lifelong love affair. I would especially like for the live children’s concerts to continue (as soon as this is possible, of course) and to provide something unique, maybe unexpected, for kids — in the vernacular, to be awesome (or am I a couple of generations out of date?).

Q: What does it feel like to be a Major Donor and play such a big role in the Philharmonic’s future?
It is really gratifying to contribute to such a wonderful and historic organization. I suppose it’s a feeling of being involved, not just as a passive -- although I rarely am -- listener. Not quite the same as being a musical contributor – but one can daydream.

Thank you Maryanne!

Contact Us

To learn more or to receive a gift illustration with the tax benefits of specific vehicles, please contact:

Derek K. Lance
Associate Director, Major Gifts and Planned Giving
(212) 875-5753

Laura Yoo
Major Gifts and Planned Giving Officer
(212) 671-4781

Information contained herein was accurate at the time of posting. The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any example are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact an individual’s tax responsibility.

A copy of our most recently filed financial report is available from the Charities Registry on the New York State Attorney General’s website (www.charitiesnys.com) or, upon request, by contacting the New York State Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 28 Liberty Street, New York, NY, 10005. You also may obtain information on charitable organizations from the New York State Office of the Attorney General at www.charitiesnys.com.