Planned Giving at the Arnold ArboretumThe Arnold Arboretum was established through a planned gift in 1872 when the trustees of the estate of James Arnold (1781-1868), a whaling merchant of New Bedford, Massachusetts, transferred a portion of Arnold’s estate to the President and Fellows of Harvard College. In the deed of trust between the Arnold trustees and the College, income from the legacy was to be used “for the establishment and support of an arboretum, to be known as the Arnold Arboretum, which shall contain, as far as practicable, all the trees [and] shrubs . . . either indigenous or exotic, which can be raised in the open air.” Today, any donor who establishes a planned gift to the Arnold Arboretum is recognized as a member of The James Arnold Society, which honors those who have made efforts to benefit the future of the landscape in this way.
For many members, donors, and friends of the Arnold Arboretum, a charitable bequest is the easiest way to make a gift and allows you to make a lasting impact on our mission and collections. You can establish a bequest through your will or living trust, or by naming the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University as the beneficiary of your retirement account or life insurance policy. Your gift can represent a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your estate. You may also make arrangements to be commemorated with an Arboretum bench.
For help with bequest language, or to discuss other options such as charitable gift annuities, remainder trusts, lead trusts, donor advised funds, gifts of real estate, art and other personal assets or gifts of life insurance, please contact Jon Hetman, Associate Director of External Relations and Communications, at 617.384.5763, or by email.