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Benefits of Giving

Every supporter of the Boston Athenaeum is honored with special benefits in recognition of their generosity, above and beyond the benefits of membership.

GIVING SOCIETIES

Armstrong Society

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 celebrates all donors who have made cumulative gifts of $100,000 or more to the Athenæum. Their gifts benefit all aspects of the Library, including cataloging and digitization, building the collections, renovating the building, honoring staff members by endowing positions, and supporting operating expenses.

Hannah Adams Society

The Hannah Adams Society is named in recognition of the first woman granted access into the library. Although Hannah Adams (1755-1831) is a fairly obscure figure in the history of American letters, William Smith Shaw, first Librarian of the Boston Athenæum, championed Adams’s request for access to the Library at a time when women were not expected to have any need or interest in such a place. Adams’s professionalism, persistence, and integrity made her eligible for a place of honor within the Athenæum’s history. Members of the Hannah Adams Society give more than $25,000 to the Boston Athenæum in one fiscal year.

10½ Circle

The 10½ Circle is named in honor of our National Historic Landmark building at 10½ Beacon Street.  The building was designed by Edward Clarke Cabot and opened to great excitement in 1849. Its five galleried floors overlook the peaceful Granary Burying Ground, and, as Gamaliel Bradford wrote in 1931, "it is safe to say that [no library] anywhere has more an atmosphere of its own, that none is more conducive to intellectual aspiration and spiritual peace." Members of the 10½ Circle give more than $10,500 to the Boston Athenæum in one fiscal year.

Members of the Armstrong Society, Hannah Adams Society, and 10½ Circle receive the following in recognition of their extraordinary generosity:

  • Unlimited free and guaranteed seating at events (excluding select programs)
  • Reserved seating at special events
  • Invitations to VIP receptions, lunches, & dinners
  • Complimentary invitations to curator-led programs
  • Consultation appointment with an Athenæum Conservator
  • 10% discount on Athenaeum rentals
  • All benefits of leadership giving

Bromfield Society

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 over 150 living Bromfield Society members have committed to making a lasting impact at the Athenæum. 

LEADERSHIP GIVING

Sponsors give more than $5,000 to the Annual Fund and receive the following:

  • Advance registration for day trips and excursions
  • Opportunities to travel with the Athenæum abroad
  • All benefits listed below

Fellows give between $2,500 and $4,999 to the Annual Fund and receive the following:

  • Early 5th floor access
  • Invitations to participate in exclusive post-event dinners
  • All benefits listed below

Patrons give between $1,000 and $2,499 to the Annual Fund and receive the following:

  • London Library visiting privileges (contact the Development Office before your visit)
  • Invitations to all leadership giving events
  • Opportunities to register early to most events
  • Union Club: dining privileges in the Red Room - breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as access to Everett Bar prior to dinner reservations
  • All benefits listed below

SUPPORTER BENEFITS

Sustaining Friends give between $500 and $999 to the Annual Fund and receive the following:

  • 10% off at the gift shop
  • All benefits listed below

Friends give between $100 and $499 to the Annual Fund and receive the following:

  • Invitations to the annual donor open house
  • All benefits listed below

Contributors give between $1 and $99 to the Annual Fund and receive the following:

  • Listed recognition in the Annual Report