- For Members
Support the Boston Athenæum: A Tradition of Giving
The Annual Fund is a vital stream of revenue comprised of unrestricted charitable gifts. These contributions, regardless of the amount, are crucial to the health of the institution. Annual Fund gifts can be submitted at any time during the year: by an online payment, check, credit card, or shares of stock. Because membership fees account for only 20% of the annual operating budget, we depend on each year’s Annual Fund to make up a sizable gap.
Each year the Annual Fund operates as a mini-campaign – with an official goal, progress reports, and ongoing appeals to various segments of our membership base. Each Annual Fund campaign runs on the same cycle as our fiscal year (October 1 to September 30).
We make it a policy to ask each member for an Annual Fund donation only once during a particular fiscal year. So, once your gift is received, we save money on postage and paper by excluding you from further fundraising mailings for the year. Unlike membership dues, all gifts to the Annual Fund are tax-deductible, and donors at all levels have the option of being listed in the Annual Report.
The Annual Fund represents unrestricted support, so it underwrites all facets of the Athenæum:
- Our ever-improving technical infrastructure, including wireless access throughout the building, and new electronic databases that members can use from home
- Refreshments, wine, and flowers at event receptions
- Newspapers and periodicals throughout the building
- Gallery exhibitions of both historical and contemporary art
- Conservation treatment for rare books, maps, and prints
- Cataloging of a wide range of materials from modern fiction to archival file collections
- Care and maintenance of our historic landmark building
- Reader services for members and scholars
- Excellent programming and events offered each season
The current fiscal year's Annual Fund campaign officially opened on October 1, 2012 with a budgeted goal of $950,000 – a full $100,000 higher than last year's goal. As you can see from the thermometer, we have a long way to go to reach this goal by September 30, 2013. This page will be updated weekly as new gifts arrive, and we invite members and donors to join us in watching the mercury rise throughout the year.
If you would like to make an online gift, click here
If you would like to give by phone, please call Michael Jugenheimer (617-720-7641) or Emily Anderson (617-720-7607). You may also print, fill out, and mail a Gift Form along with your payment, made payable to The Boston Athenæum, to the following address:
Department of Development
The Boston Athenæum
10 ½ Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
Our federal EIN number is 04-2104852 and we are a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Gifts may be made to the Boston Athenæum in honor or in memory of a friend or loved one. If you are interested in submitting this type of gift, please include the name of the person whom you are honoring or memorializing, and let us know if there is someone you would like us to notify about the gift. Tribute and Memorial Gifts will be listed in a special section of the Athenæum’s Annual Report, so please let us know if you prefer the gift to remain anonymous.
Many companies support the philanthropic interests of employees by offering to match their charitable gifts either completely or by some multiple or percentage of the donation. To find out if your company matches contributions to 501(c)(3) charities, please contact the appropriate representative in your Human Resources department. It usually requires only a brief one-page form to be submitted, along with your gift, directly to our Development Department. Our office will handle the rest.Matching gifts are lovely ways to strengthen the impact of your donations, and we are grateful to the organizations that offer these generous programs to their employees.
The Armstrong Society is named in honor of Rodney Armstrong, Director and Librarian of the Athenæum from 1973 to 1997. The society was founded to honor those donors who made cumulative gifts of $100,000 or more to the Twenty-First Century Fund Campaign (1998-2002). Today, the Armstrong Society welcomes all donors who have made cumulative gifts of $100,000 or more to the Athenæum. We deeply appreciate the commitment of these friends. The variety of their gifts have benefited all aspects of the Library, ranging from underwriting cataloging, building the collections, renovating the building, and honoring staff members by endowing their positions, to supporting operating expenses. Armstrong Society members enjoy an annual event featuring dinner and a special program.
The John Bromfield Society was established to honor those who make planned gifts to the Athenæum. This includes, but is not limited to, life income gifts, bequest intentions, and gifts of life insurance or retirement plans. The society was named to honor John Bromfield, whose initial bequest of $25,000 in 1846 has grown to more than $6.5 million. It has enabled the Library to maintain its distinction as one of the country's leading research institutions.
Currently there are over 140 living Bromfield Society members. Each year we honor their generosity through a special evening reception, when we showcase a number of our newest and most interesting acquisitions.
Some Bromfield Society members have chosen to establish Charitable Gift Annuities (CGA) at the Athenæum. Donors of CGAs transfer cash or securities to the Athenæum, and the Athenæum then pays the donor (or up to two annuitants they name) a fixed income for life. The principal passes to the Athenæum when the contract ends. Gift annuities offer donors the assurance of payments that will not fluctuate, and that are secured by all the assets of the Athenæum. Donors receive an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of the gift; ensuing annuity payments are treated as part ordinary income, part capital gains income, and part tax-free income. The minimum gift to establish a CGA at the Athenæum is $10,000, and the minimum age for immediate payment is 60 years.
Your outright gift of cash or securities, as well as your planned gift to the Library, can always be designated for a special purpose. Designated gifts increase our endowment, underwrite internships and fellowships, endow curatorial and librarian salaries, and constitute special acquisition funds.
The Department of Development is located on the fourth floor of the Library, and we hope members consider our doors always open.
Robert L. West (617-720-7682) Director of Development
Emily M. Anderson (617-720-7607) Membership and Annual Fund Officer
Marilyn Davidson (617-720-7629) Membership Assistant
Michael Jugenheimer (617-720-7641) Director of Annual Giving and Membership
Caitlyn Landry (617-720-7640) Development Events Officer
Peter Walsh (617-720-7639) Marketing and Communications Officer