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Spark Joy. Enrich Lives. Be Remembered.

The generous donors who have included TDF in their estate plans are a vital component of TDF's future.

TDF Legacy Circle


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As a TDF member, you enjoy the excitement of live theatre and recognize TDF’s important role in bringing the performing arts to New York-area residents. For more than 50 years, TDF has worked to make theatre and dance accessible for all. Our members are the backbone of all that we do, for today’s audiences and tomorrow’s.

The generous donors who have included TDF in their estate plans are a vital component of TDF's future. By declaring your intention to support TDF as part of your legacy, you join those committed to safeguarding our vision of a world where the transformative experience of attending live theatre and dance is essential, relevant, accessible and inspirational.

Joining our Legacy Circle is easier than ever. We’ve partnered with FreeWill to provide our community with this free, online will-writing tool. In 20 minutes or less, you can create your legal will at no personal cost, and include a legacy gift in your plans to support the performing arts for future generations.

We accept the following legacy gifts:

Bequests ❯
A bequest is a basic charitable planned gift that is completely free of estate and other taxes. A bequest is a gift to charity that is made in a will, a codicil to a will or in a living trust. A charitable bequest can be made through a cash gift of a specific dollar amount, a gift of a specific asset or a gift of a percentage of one’s residuary estate (what remains after all debts, expenses and bequests to others are paid).

Click here to write a free will and get started on a bequest, quickly and easily.

Beneficiary designations ❯
You may be able to avoid estate and income taxes by naming TDF as a beneficiary of your IRAs or retirement plans.These assets, when gifted at death to an individual, will likely be subject to income tax payable by your beneficiary when distributed.However, if TDF is named as the beneficiary of these assets, income taxes (as well as estate taxes, if any) are avoided.  One hundred percent of the monies in the IRA or other tax-deferred pension plan will thereby be able to be used for TDF’s charitable purposes.

Naming TDF as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy prevents the insurance proceeds from being included in your taxable estate. In addition, the cash surrender value and all future premiums paid on the policy may be taken as a charitable deduction on your income tax return if you transfer ownership of the life insurance policy to TDF during your lifetime.

In order to name TDF among your beneficiaries, please provide your attorney with our full legal name: Theatre Development Fund, our location, New York, NY, and our Tax ID number 13-6216919.

Your attorney will likely ask about the nature of your gift (cash, investments, insurance or property) and whether you would like these funds to be used for a specific purpose. If you want your gift to be invested in a specific TDF program, please be sure to identify that program. If you or your legal counsel have any questions or require any assistance, please contact TDF staff. 


“My husband John and I both caught the 'Broadway bug' when we were young. I still remember my first show, the Amish musical Plain and Fancy at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City where I grew up. They raised a barn on the stage! I was nine-years old and I remember it like it was yesterday. Thousands of shows later, my love of live theatre has only grown in the decades that have passed. 

As John and I planned our estate, we discussed what we wanted to do with what we had been fortunate enough to accumulate during our life together. Countless nonprofits were options. When we came across the Theatre Development Fund’s student matinee program which brings students from all over New York City to Broadway shows, we both looked at each other and said, 'That’s it.'  

We set up a legacy bequest in our trust naming the Theatre Development Fund’s student matinee program to be the beneficiary of our estate. The proceeds will go to TDF so that we can put more kids in theatre seats, and a new generation can discover the magic of Broadway.

I lost John in 2014. While I expect to see many more Broadway shows in the years ahead, I also now have the satisfaction of knowing that the estate plans we made through the Doug Jones and John Sanger Theater Ticket Fund will help thousands of New York City kids—most of whom have never been in a theatre before—attend Broadway shows simply because we took the time to plan our legacy gift to TDF.

You don’t have to be a Rockefeller to make a difference. Planning your legacy gift today can give the joy of Broadway to New York City students for generations to come.”

-Doug Jones, TDF Legacy Circle Member


TDF staff is ready to welcome you as a treasured member of the Legacy Circle. We are also happy to meet with you and your estate attorney to finalize language before you make your generous contribution. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Whitney Estrin (; 212.912.9770 ext. *345).

Please note: This information is not intended as tax or legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your legal and financial advisors to learn how a gift would work in your circumstances. Laws and regulations governing all gifts and availability of certain life income gifts vary by state.