An Inspirational Legacy: Secure the Free Library's Tomorrow—Make a Planned Gift Today

The Free Library of Philadelphia has been an integral part of our community for over 100 years. A planned gift to the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation helps to ensure that the Library's engaging programs, in-depth resources, and critical services will be available for future generations to depend on and enjoy. The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation offers many planned giving opportunities, all of which can be tailored to meet your specific financial and estate-planning needs.

Planned gifts help grow the Library's endowment and can be designated to support a specific neighborhood library or program that you value. In addition, planned gifts can be an important tool for individuals who want to minimize estate, gift, and income taxes, and some planned gifts may also provide you and your loved ones with a guaranteed source of future income that you can depend on. In addition to significant tax benefits, planned gifts provide an ideal opportunity for you to support the Free Library more powerfully than you may have thought possible.

Please take a moment and explore the many different planned gift options that can support the Free Library to determine which may be the right one for you.

Thank you for considering such an important commitment.

Planned giving arrangements call for careful consideration and a complete assessment of your financial situation. Please consult with your attorney, tax advisor, or financial advisor about the application of planned gifts to your particular situation.

For more information, please contact The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation at 215-567-7710 or

Donor Profile

Sometimes the most generous gifts come from the most unexpected places.

Raymond Fay was a high school science teacher in North Philadelphia who made a modest salary—never more than $11,400—and led a very private, quiet life. He was a humble man who lived frugally and didn’t own a car or a telephone, but he read more than 16,000 books in his lifetime, most of which he checked out from the Free Library of Philadelphia.

When Raymond passed away at age 92 in 1995, the Free Library learned that he had bequeathed his entire life savings—$1.5 million—to the Library. At the time, this was the biggest private donation in the Library’s history, and it increased the Library’s endowment at the time by a third, from $4.5 million to $6 million. This increased endowment allowed the Free Library to deeply invest in its crucial resources and programs, enriching the lives of more Philadelphians of all ages than ever before.

While Raymond’s gift certainly had an enormous impact on the Free Library system, bequests of any size transform lives and make a lasting difference for the hundreds of thousands of Philadelphians who use and depend on the Free Library every day.