The Providence Athenæum is one of Providence’s enduring cultural treasures, and we are committed to keeping our wide-ranging programs free and open to the public.
Our priceless collections and historic building depend upon your generosity. Like you, we believe that a great city deserves and invests in great culture – and we are so grateful for your support!
If you prefer to send your gift in the mail, please make a check payable to the Providence Athenæum and send to: 251 Benefit Street, Attn: Development, Providence, RI 02903. If you’d like to donate with a credit card over the phone, please call Director of Membership & Development Danielle Kemsley at 401-421-6970 x15.
Ways to Give:
We are so grateful for all gifts, and they will be acknowledged in the Annual Report by the giving circles below. Please note that all benefits are cumulative.
Daniel Cushing Circle ($1 – $99)
Providence Athenæum librarian from 1832 to 1836.
Elizabeth B. Patten Circle ($100 – $249)
As a teenager, volunteer Lizzie Patten raised money for the purchase of Malbone’s painting, The Hours.
Sarah Helen Whitman Circle ($250 – $499)
Poet Sarah Helen Whitman’s romance with Edgar Allan Poe was born at the Athenæum.
Major Donor Levels
William Strickland Circle ($500 – $999)
William Strickland, renowned Philadelphia architect, designed the Athenæum’s Greek Revival-style building.
At this level and above, you will receive an invite to our Major Donors’ Brunch.
Zachariah Allen Circle ($1,000 – $2,499)
Zachariah Allen is credited with managing the process of founding the Athenæum in 1836; its progenitors were the Providence Library Company and the Providence Athenæum.
Grace Leonard Circle ($2,500 – $4,999)
The Athenæum’s first female Head Librarian from 1912 to 1941, Grace Leonard converted the library’s catalog to the Dewey decimal system and also coauthored The Providence Athenæum: A Brief History 1753-1939.
Leadership Donor Levels
MOSES BROWN CIRCLE ($5,000 – $9,999)
Moses Brown was one of the founders and benefactors of the Providence Library Company, later serving as Board President from 1801 to 1807.
At this level and above, you are invited to lunch with the Executive Director and for a private tour of the Philbrick Rare Book Room.
STEPHEN HOPKINS CIRCLE ($10,000 – $24,999)
Instrumental in the founding of the Providence Library Company, Stephen Hopkins served as Rhode Island governor from 1755 to 1768. He was also one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
At this level and above, enjoy the use of the Athenæum’s Reading Room for a private event or celebration.
FRANCIS WAYLAND CIRCLE ($25,000+)
Brown President Rev. Francis Wayland was a champion for the humanities and gave the inspiring address at the opening of the Athenæum in 1838.
Become a founding member of this giving circle honoring the Athenæum’s public mission! Enjoy a catered reception and private tour of the library for you and up to 20 guests, prominent billing in all publications for the year, and permanent recognition on a plaque in the building.
Memorial and honor gifts are a wonderful way to pay tribute to a friend or family member. You may wish to consider a gift in memory of someone who cherished the library and the humanities during their lifetime, or in honor of someone who is a loyal member or supporter, perhaps to mark a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion. When you make your gift, we will inform the person being honored or the family of the person you are remembering of your thoughtfulness. Memorial and honor gifts are also specially acknowledged in our Annual Report.
Planned gifts are a wonderful way to ensure that the Athenæum will continue to thrive as it serves and inspires future generations. By including the Athenæum in your estate plans, you are contributing to the ongoing legacy and long-term financial stability of our historic library. Options include a bequest gift or naming the Athenæum as a beneficiary of a retirement plan or life insurance policy. Discussions with your financial or legal advisors will inform you of the potential tax benefits associated with the different giving options.
All those who inform us of the Athenæum’s inclusion in their estate plans will become founding members of our legacy group, the Athena Society. Benefits include recognition on our website and in publications including the Annual Report and newsletter, as well as invitations to special Athena Society events.
To join the Athena Society or to discuss making a legacy gift, please contact Danielle Kemsley, Director of Membership & Development, at 401-421-6970 x15 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eastside Marketplace Receipts
If you shop at Eastside Marketplace, please save your receipts and submit them to the Athenæum (by dropping off at the circulation desk, or mailing them to The Providence Athenæum, 251 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903). When we pass them on to Eastside Marketplace, they generously donate 1% of the total of the receipts to the Athenæum through their Friendship Fund.
Services: If you are a consultant or expert in a relevant field who would be interested in providing your services as an in-kind contribution, please contact Danielle Kemsley, Director of Membership & Development, at email@example.com or 401-421-6970 x15.
Rare books: If you are in possession of what you consider to be rare books and would like to see whether they might fit the collection’s areas of focus, please contact Director of Collections & Library Services Kate Wodehouse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-421-6970 x26.
Other books: Limited space restricts us from being able to accept large donations of books. If you have ten or fewer titles, we’ll happily accept your donation for our Book Sale Shelf, the proceeds of which support the library. If you have questions, please contact Circulation Supervisor Mary Brower at email@example.com or 401-421-6970 x16.
If you would like to make a gift of stock to the library, please contact Danielle Kemsley, Director of Membership & Development, at 401-421-6970 x15 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and please advise your broker of the Athenæum’s brokerage account information:
Account Name: The Providence Athenæum
Account Number: 676-152905
Custodian Phone: 877-556-0061
Some companies, especially large corporations, match charitable gifts made by their employees. Please check with your human resources department to see if your employer has a matching gifts program. If so, request a matching gift form, enclose the completed form with your gift, and mail to The Providence Athenæum, Attn. Development, 251 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903.
Ask your human resources department if your company participates in United Way’s Workplace Campaign, which allows employees to make tax-deductible donations to non-profits via payroll deductions. Alternatively, you may wish to support the Athenæum via a United Way Philanthropy Account if you have one.
If you are a business owner, partner, or manager who has a voice in which local non-profits your company supports, and would like to reach an attractive potential client base and gain recognition for your company while supporting one of the oldest cultural organizations in the city, click here to learn more about the Athenæum’s Corporate Catalysts program.