Planned Gifts: Creating Lifetimes of Memories
These trees will arch over many happy generations, and thousands who are not yet born will enjoy the sweet green of the grass… when those who made this great bequest shall have long passed on to other scenes. But if it be pleasant to man to know that he will not be wholly forgotten, let those who conceived the idea of this pleasure-ground… and those whose public spirit and untired zeal have brought it to perfection, be sure that their memory will not pass away, but will renew itself year by year with the waving trees and the blossoming flowers.
Clarence Cook, A Description of the New York Central Park, 1869
Central Park is many things to many people. The Park can be a place to relax, to enjoy nature in the midst of the City, to celebrate special occasions, to propose and marry, or just to take a walk. Whether a visitor comes to the Park just once, or every day for decades, the Park leaves lasting memories with everyone who experiences it.
For over three decades, Central Park Conservancy and its supporters have dedicated themselves to the making and keeping the Park more beautiful than ever. The decay and despair of Central Park in the 1960s and 70s left different memories with visitors – memories of broken benches, defaced monuments, and dust bowl "lawns." The Conservancy is dedicated to ensuring that the Park never goes through another period of decline again.
Whatever your financial situation, a legacy gift to Central Park Conservancy can help you to use the assets you have accumulated over a lifetime to meet your personal obligations to family and friends while simultaneously supporting the future of Central Park. With your help, we can create special memories in the Park for many generations to come.
Proper designation: When referring to the Conservancy in your will or other beneficiary designation please use, "Central Park Conservancy, Inc., New York, NY."
Tax Identification Number: Our tax identification number is "13-3022855"
Always consult with your attorney and/or financial professional when planning your estate or determining if any of the gifts described in this brochure are appropriate for you. We look forward to working with you and your legal or financial advisers and welcome your inquiries.
To learn how you can give a legacy gift to Central Park Conservancy, call our Office of Planned Giving at 212.310.6645, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All requests and discussions are confidential and without obligation.
See what others are saying about their legacy gifts
When I moved to the Upper West Side in 1969, Central Park was a do-not-enter zone. It was in such a state of neglect — and a danger at night — that I had to take the bus to make my way across town. Throughout the 1980s, and the decades thereafter, I marveled at how Central Park Conservancy transformed the Park from an uninviting, barren space into the joyous, nourishing place I now call my backyard.
I understood the importance of the Conservancy's work and the need for New Yorkers to support its mission, but concerns about rising costs and approaching retirement had held me back from making the kind of substantial annual contribution I thought the Park deserved. After procrastinating for about 30 years, I decided it was high time to write my will. That's when I had an "aha!" moment: I realized that when I no longer have to worry about monthly maintenance, grocery, and utility bills, my savings and the revenue from the sale of my co-op would allow me to be a philanthropist.
Then the fun really began. After making bequests to family members, I listed all of my favorite charities. The Conservancy immediately came to mind.
A simple call to the Conservancy's Office of Planned Giving was all it took to learn how to remember the Park in my will and make sure that my wishes were honored. What a thrill it is to know that my contribution will help keep my beloved Central Park the glorious work of art and nature it has become.
For many New Yorkers, the City's cultural institutions are like old friends. Central Park has been a lifelong friend of Lynn Barber. "I've visited the Park since I was a little girl," Lynn said. "My aunt used to take me. I thought the big rocks by the zoo were elephants with their heads buried in the soil. I would ask her who let them out." Since then, her love of the Park has only deepened. "My perfect day is one where I'm just free to wander. And when I think of wandering, I think of Central Park. It's the treasure of the City."
When she wants to relax, Lynn sits by the cafe at the Conservatory Water (familiarly known as the model boat pond) to enjoy the area's serenity and "rejuvenate." Lynn believes the common experience of enjoying the Park brings people together. "I've established some real friendships just sitting there," she said. "I've met artists and authors, it's amazing."
Like an old friend, Lynn cares about the health and future of Central Park. So, after years of support as a member of Central Park Conservancy, she decided to give in the most generous way she can – by making the Conservancy a beneficiary of her 401(k). "People often don't realize the options they have with retirement savings," Lynn said.
In most cases, adding a beneficiary is simple. "It just takes one phone call or a few minutes online," Lynn said. Since it's so easy to do, it's also easy to undo. There are no fees for setting it up, and no penalties for changing your mind. With her retirement many years away, Lynn said that making the Conservancy a beneficiary has given her a sense of security. "I want to know where my savings are going. Central Park is perpetual; it will always be part of the City."
And, with the continued help of donors like Lynn, the Park can always look as good as it does today.
When Maurice Bendahan moved to New York City from Spain in 1951, he fell in love with Central Park. “Expecting a cold, concrete city, I discovered the most beautiful park I had ever seen,” he says.
He met his future wife, Yvette, a few years later, and introduced her to the Park. And even as Central Park declined throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Maurice and Yvette continued visiting what they had grown to consider their backyard.
“Back then, the Park was like a sick child,” Maurice says. “When your child is very ill, you don’t love him any less. You attempt to modify and improve things. That’s what Central Park Conservancy has done with Central Park.”
Central Park Conservancy nursed Central Park back to health with the help of people like Maurice and Yvette. More than a decade ago, they started supporting our work through our charitable gift annuity program. They receive guaranteed income for life, and the satisfaction of sustaining the Park for future generations.
“You can see the effect of your generosity in your lifetime,” Yvette says.