Through Mary Harriman Society, NYJL Members Leave a Legacy for the League’s Future

For nearly two decades, the NYJL has been my ‘second home’ and many of my fellow volunteers are like family,” said NYJL Mary Harriman Society member Leah Wenger, expressing a sentiment many NYJL Members echo. “Because of all the League has meant to me,” she added, “I wanted to do something meaningful in return that might help others enjoy a similar experience. So I included the NYJL in my estate planning.”

Through the New York Junior League’s Mary Harriman Society planned giving program, members (like Leah) who feel deep emotional ties to the League’s mission and membership are able to provide for the continued excellence of the League through a will, trust or other planned gift of any size. These planned gifts help to ensure the continued leadership of the NYJL in training young women for volunteer service and developing innovative solutions to the social and economic challenges of our New York community. 

It is worth noting that The Mary Harriman Society was formerly known as the “Legacy Partners” giving program until it was renamed in 2023. This rebranding of the program was conducted in order to honor Mary Harriman’s mission and ask our members and friends to help ensure that what Mary started, we can continue.

Susan Fisher, another Mary Harriman Society member, expounded on all the League has meant to her, adding, “The Junior League was a wonderful place for me as a young woman, fresh out of college and new to New York city. I learned skills, had leadership opportunities, made lifelong friends and most importantly, felt that my volunteer efforts were worthwhile and meaningful during my time with the League. I included the League in my will because my respect and enjoyment of this nonprofit has grown over the decades. I am often in awe of the younger women —their dedication to do good in the world, their energy, their intelligence and their ability to have fun with each other.” 

There are several types of planned gifts through which members can become a member of the Mary Harriman Society community. These include bequests, gifts of appreciated securities, life insurance policies, retirement plan benefits, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, and more. When considering avenues for making a Mary Harriman Society gift, the most important aspect to remember is that the League recommends prospective donors consult with their professional advisors before making decisions on ways to include the New York Junior League in their estate planning. 

With strategic financial planning, your planned gift to the NYJL may inure to the tax benefit of your estate and heirs while furthering your personal philanthropic goals and belief in the mission of the NYJL. As Mary Harriman Society member Shari Aser explains, “Leaving a gift to the NYJL is a way to ensure this organization continues to thrive and be a place for other women to impact the lives of future generations of New Yorkers.” Suzanne Manning further explained how a desire to promote the longevity of the NYJL is a common key motivation for Mary Harriman Society givers by adding, “I partnered with the Mary Harriman Society to ensure that the New York Junior League has the means to carry on the legacy Mary Harriman started over 120 years ago to improve the lives of women and children in New York City for decades to come.”

You too can help ensure that the New York Junior League continues to have a positive impact for generations to come through planned giving. If the NYJLis  already in your will, trust, or other estate plans, please let us know so we can celebrate you through membership in the Mary Harriman Legacy Society and support your plans. Otherwise, for more information, please reach out to, and we can help you determine what giving plan might be best for you and your goals.