Bequests & Planned Gifts

The Marian MacDowell Society honors the many artists, friends, and supporters who choose to sustain the residency program by including MacDowell in their estate planning. Marian MacDowell, who founded the organization with her husband, Edward MacDowell, devoted the rest of her life to ensuring that the residency program had the resources to endure into the distant future. With a bequest or one of the other planned gift options listed below, you can too. Society members receive invitations to special events and are recognized in the Society’s Honor Roll, in MacDowell publications, and on permanent signage in our main hall. Donors may also choose to participate anonymously. To learn more about supporting MacDowell in this meaningful way, you may download the planned giving brochure, Creating the Future, here.


A bequest is a provision in a will setting aside a portion of a donor’s estate to MacDowell. This commitment allows donors to make significant contributions that may not be possible during their lifetimes. Legacies of assets — including cash bequests, stocks, real estate, rights to and royalties from works of art, and useful items such as books, equipment, and furnishings — are important in sustaining the program’s operations year to year.

To make a bequest, include a provision or codicil in your will designating a fixed amount of assets or a percentage of your residuary estate to MacDowell. Bequests are fully deductible from your taxable estate and can therefore represent significant tax savings. We recommend that you have your will prepared by an attorney. Here is sample language you may wish to use:

“I give, devise, and bequeath ____ (describe dollar amount, property to be transferred, or percentage of your residuary estate) to The MacDowell Colony a not-for-profit corporation located at 100 High Street, Peterborough, NH 03458, for its general charitable purposes.”

Other Planned Giving Options

There are many additional ways you can incorporate MacDowell into your financial and estate planning. The following options also carry tax deductions and other benefits, including trusts that provide you and/or your loved ones with lifetime income.

  • Retirement Plans offer one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to make a planned gift. You can make a donation directly from your plan or name MacDowell as the recipient of all — or a percentage of — assets that remain in your retirement plan at your death. This designation is handled through the company that administers your plan. Bequests of retirement plan assets to MacDowell are exempt from both income taxes and estate taxes, making them a financially savvy way of providing a bright future for artists.
  • Insurance Policies that are no longer needed for protection of your family can be restructured to name MacDowell as a partial or full beneficiary. Complete a new beneficiary designation form, which should be available from your insurance agent or directly from the company that issued your policy. Another approach is to irrevocably assign ownership of the policy to MacDowell by completing a change of ownership form. This arrangement makes it possible to secure an income tax deduction during your lifetime.
  • Charitable Lead Trusts provide MacDowell with a fixed annual income stream through a trust arrangement while making it possible to transfer significant assets to your heirs at greatly reduced transfer taxes. The monthly discount rate used to determine gift taxes on the gift to your heirs has dropped to historic lows, making the Charitable Lead Annuity Trust very attractive as a wealth transfer strategy.
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts allow you to make a future commitment to artists at MacDowell while maximizing the return on your current assets. Your investment in the trust pays an annual income to you or another beneficiary for life or a term of years. When the trust expires, MacDowell receives the remaining assets. Your income tax deduction is based on the fair market value of the donated assets, and any capital gains realized by the trust are protected from capital gains taxes until they are distributed to the income beneficiary. Download a brochure on Charitable Remainder Trusts here.
  • Charitable Gift Annuities allow you to transfer cash or securities into a fund that will provide you with regular annual income, while designating the remainder for MacDowell. To create a Charitable Gift Annuity fund for MacDowell, contact Robin Abbott at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation at 603-225-6641 or via e-mail.

Donors who wish to make a planned gift should always check with their own legal or financial advisors. Although MacDowell does not offer tax or legal advice, we would be pleased to assist you and your legal or financial advisors in structuring your gift to support a specific discipline, Fellowship, or other project at MacDowell. We would greatly appreciate it if you would inform us of any arrangements in your will, trust, or other estate plans that support MacDowell. We will, of course, keep your commitment confidential. Please contact Stacey Bosworth, Director of Development, at 212-535-9690 or via e-mail to discuss your estate planning.

Other ways to give

To learn more about other ways to give to MacDowell, please take a look at these other opportunities.

Ways to give