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Legacy Giving

Planned gifts help secure a thriving future for Holden Forests & Gardens, while also allowing you to leave a vibrant, meaningful legacy.

Planned giving provides donors with an opportunity to leave a legacy to Holden Forests & Gardens.  These gifts may provide you with additional income, help avoid or minimize taxes, and assure the long-term future of the Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden.

In appreciation, all who include the Holden Arboretum in their estate plans are inducted into the Albert Fairchild Holden Society.  Those who include the Cleveland Botanical Garden in their estate plans are inducted into the Perennial Society.  Membership to both societies includes invitations to special programs and mentions in HF&G’s annual report (as permitted).

Holden Forests & Gardens is a collaboration between affiliates, the Holden Arboretum (EIN: 34-0750346) and Cleveland Botanical Garden (EIN: 34-0239538). Holden Forests & Gardens represents that its affiliates are qualified as charitable organizations and 501(c)3 non-profit public benefit organizations.

Unless otherwise designated, planned gifts are placed into the respective organization’s endowment fund.


A bequest is the transfer of cash, securities, or other property through a will or living trust. Bequests can be a specific amount, percentage of your estate, percentage of your residual estate or specific property.

You can decide if you want to support Holden Forests & Gardens as a whole, or support a specific area or program. A bequest is private and you may change it at any time.

Giving by bequest costs nothing now, but may provide a great deal of satisfaction to know that your gift will live on.

Retirement Assets

You can name Holden Forests & Gardens as the primary or contingent beneficiary on the beneficiary designation form for your retirement plan. This may be the most tax-efficient way to give a gift to Holden Forests & Gardens; many retirement assets may be taxable for income and estate tax prior to being paid to an individual beneficiary.

Life Insurance

Your life insurance policy can serve a charitable purpose that both covers a generous donation, and leverages the value of your policy.

Options include:

  • Naming Holden Forests & Gardens as the beneficiary of an existing policy
  • Transferring ownership of an existing policy
  • Purchasing a new policy naming Holden Forests & Gardens as the owner and beneficiary and donating premium payments

Charitable Gift Annuity

A Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) is a contract between the donor and Holden Forests & Gardens. In exchange for an irrevocable gift of cash, securities, or other assets, we pay one or two named annuitants a fixed sum each year for life.

The rate of payout is based on age and set by the American Council on Gift Annuities. You provide generous support, while receiving a steady income stream, and may collect additional tax benefits.

Charitable Remainder Trust

A Charitable Remainder Trust allows you to make a gift while retaining the benefit from your assets.

Cash, securities or other property are irrevocably placed in a trust that provides an income to you or one or more beneficiaries for life or a set period of time. When the trust ends, the assets of the trust are passed to the Garden. Significant tax benefits may be available through a charitable deduction.

Charitable Lead Trust

A Charitable Lead Trust is an excellent way to transfer assets to heirs at a reduced transfer tax rate. With this type of trust, Holden Forests & Gardens is the recipient of the income stream from the trust for a specified term, after which the trust assets pass to the remainder beneficiary, most often the heirs.

Additional Ways to Make a Planned Gift 

  • Gifts of appreciated securities
  • Gifts of real estate and conservation easements 

For more information

For more information on planned gifts, please contact Deborah Miller, vice president of development at 216.707.2807 or or Chris Keeney, major gifts officer at 216.707-2834 or

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