Donor Member

Give to the Garden

Support us through a donation to the Annual Fund.
Your gift funds horticultural displays, the conservation of 
plants, groundbreaking scientific work, and education.

Planned Giving

Through a planned gift to the Chicago Botanic Garden, you have the opportunity to support the Garden and receive lifetime benefits important to your financial future. Planned gifts include charitable gift annuities, bequests, and gifts of retirement plan assets and other assets. The first bequest was received at the Garden in 1978, six years after the Garden's opening to the public. Since that time, bequests of all sizes have helped to build the Garden's future. These bequests are a critical ingredient in ensuring the Garden fulfills its mission. Below are some of the ways donors provide for the Garden through planned gifts.

All donors who include the Chicago Botanic Garden in their estate plans or make a planned gift are eligible to become members of the Garden Heritage Society. Members receive an invitation to an annual event, recognition in the Annual Report, complimentary private tours of the Garden, and a special gift. The Society is the Garden's way of saying "thank you" for including the Garden in your plans. To enroll, complete the Garden Heritage Society Enrollment Form.

For more information about the gift opportunities mentioned below and their benefits, contact:

Patricia M. Shanahan
Associate Vice President, Development
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, Illinois 60022

Phone (847) 835-6838
Fax (847) 835-4484


Various ways you can help support the Garden

  • Bequest — Include the Garden in your will or trust for a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your estate, or another type of provision to make a thoughtful gift to the Garden and receive potential tax savings for your estate. If you prefer to restrict your gift to a particular program or area of the Garden, please let us know.
  • Charitable gift annuity — To establish a charitable gift annuity, a donor makes a gift of cash or appreciated securities to the Garden. In exchange, the donor is eligible to receive a charitable income tax deduction and receives annual (or quarterly, or semiannual) payments for life. Payment amounts may be made to the donor or to another person and are based on the age of the person receiving the payments.
  • Charitable remainder trust — A charitable remainder trust is established when cash or securities or another asset are transferred to a trust. The donor or another person receives payments from the trust for life or for a term of years (not exceeding 20). At the end of the lifetime or term of years, the trust terminates and the assets pass to charity.
  • Charitable lead trust — A charitable lead trust is established when cash or securities or another asset are transferred to a trust. The donor arranges for one or more charities to receive payments from the trust. At the end of the trust term, the assets pass to the donor or family members.
  • Life insurance — Name the Garden as beneficiary of all or a percentage of a fully paid life insurance policy you may no longer need and you may receive a charitable estate tax deduction for the portion you designate for charity.
  • Retirement plan assets — Name the Chicago Botanic Garden as a percentage beneficiary of your retirement plan assets and your estate will receive the appropriate charitable estate tax deduction.
  • Savings bonds — Gifts of savings bonds have tax consequences when transferred to individuals but may be bequeathed to charities with fewer tax ramifications. If you are thinking of making a bequest to charity and own savings bonds, considering funding your bequest with savings bonds.
  • Real estate — Gifts of homes or real property offer benefits, too, depending on the donor's situation. Real property gifts may include gifts of a primary residence or a vacation home. In some cases the donor may choose to remain in the home for his or her life after the home is deeded to the Garden and still be eligible to receive tax savings. Real estate gifts are subject to review by the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Remember to consult your attorney or other advisor before making a bequest or planned gift. This information is for educational purposes and is not intended as legal advice.