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Legacy Giving

Legacy giving is an empowering form of philanthropy. By planning a future gift to Film Forum, you ensure that your values, passion, and commitment to independent and classic movies will continue to have a presence and impact — in perpetuity. Legacy gifts (also known as estate or planned gifts) bolster our annual operations and endowment, and often exceed what donors are able to give during their lifetimes.

Following is an overview that may be helpful as you consider including Film Forum in your legacy plans. Your legacy gift to Film Forum will keep our movies playing and sustain a cinematic haven for ideas and stories from across cultures and generations — year after year.

Financial vehicles for making a legacy gift:

  • Name Film Forum as a gift recipient in your will.
  • Designate Film Forum as a beneficiary of your retirement fund or life insurance plan. (Note that retirement plans carry a heavy income tax burden for individual beneficiaries, while nonprofit organizations like Film Forum do not pay taxes on these gifts.)

Options for directing your gift:

  • At any level of giving, your gift may be put toward Film Forum’s general operations. General operating support (GOS) is perhaps the most difficult kind of funds for nonprofits to secure and is put towards our most crucial operational expenses. For this reason, we are particularly grateful for commitments to GOS.
  • Gifts of $100,000 or more may be used to establish an endowed fund in support of specific film interests, themes, or genres. For examples, please see our current endowed funds.
  • For larger gifts, endowed funds, or naming opportunities, please consult with the Director of Development.

If we are already in your plans:
If you have already designated a legacy gift to Film Forum, please let us know so we may honor your wishes and plan accordingly. A legacy gift notification form is available here, or you may be in touch by email.

Acknowledging your gift:

  • Legacy gifts to GOS will be acknowledged on our website, digital screen, and lobby plaque.
  • Legacy gifts creating an endowed fund are acknowledged in all of the above ways, as well as onscreen prior to the films they are supporting.

If you are considering a legacy gift, we are happy to arrange a tour of our cinema with a senior member of the staff.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your gift or recognition, please contact Mary Ellen Obias, Director of Development, at 646-829-3975 or

Film Forum, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Federal Tax ID: 51-0175953
209 West Houston St., New York, NY 10014

Many thanks for considering this important form of support.

Film Forum