Legacy Giving

How to Leave a Legacy for Learning and Discovery

Remembering Brooklyn Public Library in your estate plan secures your legacy while supporting the Library’s important work.

Your contribution ensures that books, learning and our beloved branches will remain an important part of our borough’s fabric for generations to come. You do not need to be wealthy to leave a legacy gift. Donations of any size can make a significant impact in providing for the Library’s future.

Types of Legacy Gifts

  • A bequest in your will, one of the simplest ways to make a future gift to the Library, can take different forms and be easily modified to address your changing needs. Below is sample language to discuss with your attorney:

    I give and bequeath the sum of $_____ (or a portion/residue of my estate) to Brooklyn Public Library, of 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238, to be used in support of its general charitable purposes.
  • Even if you do not have a will, designating Brooklyn Public Library as a beneficiary of your retirement plan or bank account provides a meaningful way to support BPL while fulfilling your financial and philanthropic goals. Gifts of assets from qualified plans such as 401(k), 403(b), IRA, Keogh, life insurance, or savings and checking accounts can all help leave your legacy. The basic information you need to include BPL as a beneficiary is:

    Legal Name: Brooklyn Public Library
    Address: Development Office, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238
    Federal Nonprofit Tax Identification Number: 11-1904261
  • Life insurance policies that are no longer needed to secure your family’s financial future may also be contributed. Though this option, you can make an irrevocable gift of an existing policy to BPL, or, alternatively, can name BPL as a beneficiary of a policy held in your name. Issuing a policy in the form of an irrevocable gift qualifies donors for an income tax deduction for the cash value of the policy or the total premiums paid, while naming BPL as a policy beneficiary makes the donor’s estate eligible for a charitable estate tax deduction for the amount passed to BPL.
  • If you are over 70 1/2 and hold an IRA, you may consider contributing a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) to Brooklyn Public Library or another public charity. QCDs can be counted toward your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) as long as certain rules are met. Funds must be directly transferred to the charity from the IRA custodian company according to specified deadlines, and special tax filing requirements apply. Consult a tax advisor and your financial institution to determine if making an IRA QCD gift is appropriate for your situation. As of January 26, 2021.

The Ingersoll Circle

By including Brooklyn Public Library in your estate plan, you join the Ingersoll Circle, a community of patrons who are helping to ensure the long-term future of the Library’s good work. Ingersoll Circle members enjoy invitations to special events throughout the year, an Ingersoll Circle Tea, opportunities to go behind the scenes at BPL, personal access to BPL staff and recognition in our annual report.


Paula Silver "I remember the excitement of getting my first library card at the DeKalb branch when I was five. Seventy years later, I am thrilled each time I see Central Library’s reading room filled with students. I know the library is providing the environment and resources for them to become successful adults. My legacy gift is my way of acknowledging the role Brooklyn Public Library played in my life and supporting its essential role in the Brooklyn community." —Paula Silver, Ingersoll Circle Member



Brooklyn Public Library, its employees, and representatives do not offer legal or financial advice. Prospective donors are urged to consult with an attorney, financial advisor, estate planner, or accountant before making arrangements.

Your planned gift ensures that the important work of the Library continues for generations to come. For more information and sample language for your will, download our brochure here.



To arrange a confidential conversation to discuss your legacy plan, please contact Lauren Arana, Assistant Vice President of Development by calling 718.230.2009 or emailing larana@bklynlibrary.org


If you have provided for BPL’s future, we hope that you will consider sharing that information with us. We would be honored to thank you today for your thoughtful planning and special commitment. Simply email larana@bklynlibrary.org.