Planned Giving

Planned gifts help sustain the Cathedral through difficult times and ensure that the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine remains the centerpiece for spiritual, emotional, and artistic life for all New Yorkers, regardless of faith and background. You can fulfill your financial goals and help the Cathedral by including a charitable gift in your estate plans and becoming a member of the Ralph Adams Cram Society.

Named for the Cathedral’s visionary architect, the Ralph Adams Cram Society is comprised of a special group of supporters who have included the Cathedral in their will or estate plans. Their generosity ensures that the Cathedral will thrive in the future and continue to play a critical role in the fabric of New York and life of the community. Join the Ralph Adams Cram Society today by contacting Priscilla Bayley at (212) 316-7570 or [email protected].

Getting Started

  • Bequests
  • Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust
  • IRA, Life Insurance and Retirement Fund Donations


The Cathedral transcends generations, carrying forward the values we hold most dear. Providing for the Cathedral and its programs through your will is a profound demonstration of your commitment to all that the Cathedral stands for.

The gift you establish through your will is fully tax-deductible and will help the Cathedral to sustain its mission and programs for future generations.

There are several ways to include the Cathedral in your will. You may leave a specific dollar amount or a particular property as a bequest. You may also specify a predetermined percentage of your estate or designate the remainder of your estate after providing for your heirs. All these options will reduce your estate taxes. If you choose to include the Cathedral in your will or have additional questions, please let us know by contacting Priscilla Bayley, Director of Development, at (212) 316-7570 or [email protected]. The Bequest Intention form can be found here.

A Gift that Gives Back

Another way to provide support for the Cathedral’s mission and programs is to establish a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust. Assets transferred to a trust pay a set amount each year to non-charitable beneficiaries (for example, to you or a loved one). These payments can be made for a fixed term or for the life of the beneficiaries, after which the remaining assets are contributed to the Cathedral.

A Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust provides four benefits:

  1. You will receive an immediate income tax deduction for the value of the remainder that will be transferred to the Cathedral upon the trust's termination;
  2. You and/or your beneficiaries will collect income from the assets for a specified period of time;
  3. There will be a significant reduction in your estate taxes when the trust remainder is transferred to the Cathedral;
  4. You will support the Cathedral and its social services through your generous donation.

To establish a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust, you will need the assistance of your financial advisor or attorney.

Insurance and Retirement Fund Donation

Many of our generous donors find that they are in a position to contribute from assets they no longer need but which can be deeply helpful to support the social services of the Cathedral. Gifts of life insurance and retirement funds are fully tax-deductible.

Life Insurance

Do you have a life insurance policy that has outlived its original purpose? By reassigning the Cathedral as a beneficiary, proceeds from the policy will support the Cathedral in the future while providing immediate tax benefits to you.

Retirement Plans

When no longer needed, an IRA or other assets can be transferred to various types of charitable remainder trusts. A trust will provide income to a beneficiary of your choice and, later, a gift to the Cathedral. This type of gift can offer an immediate tax deduction as well as deferred income at retirement.


We are here to answer any questions you may have about the various ways to support the Cathedral with a planned gift. Please contact Priscilla Bayley, Director of Development, at (212) 316-7570 or [email protected]. Any information you provide will be held in strict confidence.

Thank you for considering the Cathedral in your estate plans!