Donate Now

Your tax-deductible donation to the HSO’s Annual Fund provides critical funds that support all of our programs in Greater Hartford! Please consider renewing your support now, making an extra gift, or choosing this time to pay your outstanding pledge to our Annual Fund to help maintain our operating needs. Many companies will match any charitable contributions made by their employees! Check with your employer to see if your company offers a Matching Gifts program. Your support could be doubled or tripled.


You can make your donation online today by filling out the form below.


Give us a call- We would be happy to process your gift over the phone : 860-760-7302


Gifts of stocks or property are particularly advantageous from a tax point of view.


Hartford Symphony Orchestra
Attn: Development
166 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106

  • Benefactor $100-$249
  • Player’s Club $250-$499
  • Principal’s Club $500-$999
  • Concertmaster’s Club $1,000-$2,499
  • Maestra’s Society $2,500-$4,999
  • Gold Circle $5,000-$9,999
  • President’s Circle $10,000-$24,999
  • Francis Goodwin Circle $25,000+

Encore Society

Planned gifts are the resources that help preserve and ensure the successful future for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. We acknowledge our friends who make a planned gift to us through our Encore Society. If you have made, or plan to make, a planned gift to the HSO, we ask that you let us know by submitting a Bequest Intention Form so we can make sure we recognize you among the members of the Encore Society. You can also inform us of your planned gift and remain anonymous. We appreciate your consideration in supporting the HSO in this way. Should you have additional questions, please contact your estate attorney, financial advisor, or call Eric Hutchinson, Director of Development, at 860-760-7321.

Planned Giving Options:

  • Bequests
  • Retirement Plans
  • Life Insurance
  • Life income gifts

A gift left to the Hartford Symphony Orchestra by your will or living trust. Your bequest may be for a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your total estate, or the remainder of your estate, after other commitments have been met. Gifts can be of cash, securities, real or personal property. Gifts can be unrestricted or restricted.

Among the appropriate formats for bequests are:

The Specific Bequest
I give and bequeath to the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, a cultural and educational corporation existing under and by virtue of a charter granted by the State of Connecticut and located in Hartford in the State of Connecticut, the sum of $__________ , absolutely, and for its sole use and benefit. The said sum is to be used for the general purposes of the Symphony.

The Residuary Bequest
I give and bequeath to the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, a cultural and educational corporation existing under and by virtue of a charter granted by the State of Connecticut and located in Hartford in the State of Connecticut, __ percent of my residuary estate, absolutely, and for its sole use and benefit. The said sum is to be used for the general purposes of the Symphony.

Retirement Plans
You may designate the Hartford Symphony Orchestra as the specific or contingent beneficiary of an individual retirement account or a qualified retirement plan (e.g., 401k, 403b defined contribution plan). Naming the Hartford Symphony as beneficiary of a retirement plan or account, especially if there is no surviving spouse, is advantageous because accrued earnings otherwise will be subject to combined income and estate taxes, potentially of 70% or more.

Other types of pension plans may also permit beneficiary designation. As the donor, you retain the right to funds in the account as needed. Thus there are no federal income tax deductions allowed. If the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is the designated beneficiary, at the end of your lifetime, all or a portion of the unused funds in the account will pass to the Symphony and, as such, will be exempt from any applicable estate (and income) taxes.

Life Insurance
You can give a gift of life insurance by naming the Hartford Symphony Orchestra as owner and beneficiary of a new or existing policy. The premiums that you pay on a new policy are tax deductible. For an existing policy, you receive a tax deduction for either the replacement value or cash surrender value of the policy, as well as for any premiums that you continue to pay. You may also name the HSO as the beneficiary of your policy without giving up ownership.

Life Income Gifts
Through a charitable trust or charitable gift annuity, you can transfer assets to the Hartford Symphony Orchestra now, and in return, you or your heirs can receive income back for life. These life income gifts are attractive if you have assets (such as stocks or real estate) that produce little or no income but have increased in value, and would incur substantial capital gains tax if sold. Such a gift has many advantages:

  • Provides immediate income tax reduction
  • Avoids capital gains taxes
  • Removes the asset from the taxable estate
  • Provides a secure source of income back to the you (or your designees)

Please contact your attorney or financial planner for more information on life income gifts such as a charitable remainder trust, charitable lead trust or charitable gift annuities.

Charitable Giving Under Federal Tax Laws

The number one reason why people make charitable gifts to organizations they care about is because they are committed to a mission of importance to them.  Tax considerations may be secondary, but it is important to understand the tax consequences of gifts, regardless of one’s financial circumstances.

Standard vs. Itemized Deductions and Other Tax Strategies

Since 2018, the standard deduction was increased to $12,000 for singles, $18,000 for head of household and $24,000 for couples.  This change created options for new giving strategies that can provide tax advantages to the donor, while simultaneously benefiting nonprofit organizations with charitable gifts.  While the increase in the standard deduction diminished the prior benefit of itemized deductions, effective strategies remain that offer tax advantages.

  • Consider front-loading your support with a lump sum gift, with instructions that the gift should be credited to multiple years.  (Example:  if you habitually donate $5,000 per year, consider a gift of $15,000 in year one, with the understanding that the charity will apportion the gift to years one, two and three.). The donor can then continue to utilize the standard deduction under the tax laws to its maximum advantage.
  • If you are 70 ½ or older, use our IRA’s RMD (required minimum distribution) for charitable gifts.  A gift made from your IRA is entirely tax free and serves to reduce your taxable income in the year that the gift is made.  The benefits apply whether or not you itemize deductions or use the standard deduction on your tax return, so the strategy is a win-win: you pay NO tax on the income that you are gifting (using the qualified charitable donation from your IRA) and your income is reduced, dollar-for-dollar, by the total amount of all gifts made from your IRA.
  • Increased performance in the stock market makes it possible to gift appreciated stock, which offers a two-part benefit to the donor:  the gift may be deducted to offset income and reduce tax obligations, and the donor will be relieved of any obligation to pay capital gains tax on the appreciation of the cost basis of the stock.
  • If your plan is to make charitable gifts now and for the foreseeable future, consider a donor-advised fund, created with a lump-sum gift in year one.  Future charitable gifts may be made from the fund in the current year or in future years, and in year one, you may deduct the entire amount used to establish the fund, thus using the tax laws to your greatest advantage.

Planned Gifts:  how to reduce the tax consequences to your heirs while making a planned gift

There are no limits to the amount that can be left to non-profit organizations and with the increased ceiling on estates ($11.2 million for a single and $22.4 million for a couple), 99.9% of estates will be free from federal taxes.  But some strategies are especially useful to help your heirs avoid unintended tax consequences.

  • Name a nonprofit organization such as the Hartford Symphony Orchestra as beneficiary of your traditional IRA. Since a traditional IRA is funded with pre-tax dollars, if your heirs are the beneficiaries, they will be required to pay taxes on the funds distributed.  Charitable organizations, however, pay no tax on the distribution from an IRA or other retirement vehicles.
  • A smart tax strategy would be to gift real estate and stock (or other appreciated assets) to your heirs, who will inherit the assets with a “date of death” value, and thus pay no tax on the gains in those assets amassed during your lifetime.
  • Consider naming a charity as beneficiary of your life insurance policy, which will not trigger a taxable event.

And last – but never least:  The Hartford Symphony Orchestra would not exist without the incredible community of patrons and donors, who recognize that it takes a personal investment to create the community we desire.  It is our donors who make all the difference – individuals who care deeply and passionately about our impact on the community, the music we play, and our learning and social impact programs which inspire and uplift thousands of children each year who would never otherwise have the experiences we offer.  You make all of this possible – and together, we make beautiful music.

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra offers this information to provide general gift, estate and financial planning information.  It is not intended as legal, accounting, tax or other advice.  For assistance in planning charitable gifts, the services of appropriate advisors should be consulted to determine tax and legal implications.  Always consult an attorney if your plans require the revision of a will or other legal document.