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Image of Sereno Peck Fenn

The YMCA is here today in part because of the benevolence of those who came before us. Donors big and small have included the YMCA of Greater Cleveland in their estate planning over the 169-year history of the organization. In gratitude, and to assist those who wish to do the same, we are launching the S.P. Fenn Heritage Society.


The Society is named after Sereno Peck Fenn, who was President of the Cleveland YMCA from 1892 to 1917. Upon Fenn’s death, he left a $100,000 bequest to the YMCA of Greater Cleveland to support educational programs, which led to the creation of The Fenn College of the Cleveland YMCA School of Technology, which many decades later became Cleveland State University in 1965.

The S.P. Fenn Heritage Society honors those individuals and families who either include the YMCA of Greater Cleveland in their estate plans or contribute to the Endowment Fund by creating a named fund. Members of the Society are recognized and invited to opportunities annually that demonstrate the impact of the Endowment’s transformational work. Since its founding in 1854, the YMCA of Greater Cleveland has been responding to changing community needs. The Endowment Fund ensures that the Y remains relevant and accessible to all for generations.


Leaving a Lasting Legacy

Including the YMCA of Greater Cleveland in your estate plan is a simple and powerful way to invest in the Y’s future. When you make a planned gift—no matter the size—you help strengthen the Y experience for future generations of your neighbors.


You can enhance YMCA priorities that have personal meaning to you, such as scholarships and financial assistance, support specific programs, or invest in capital initiatives. You may also choose to make an unrestricted gift that enables the Y to best address future needs. Whatever your commitment, you’ll join a special tradition and leave a lasting legacy.


Help Today Preserve Tomorrow

Endowment growth is the key to a bright tomorrow. When you make a planned gift or a one-time gift to the YMCA of Greater Cleveland’s Endowment Fund, earnings benefit current programming, while the principal ensures support for future organizational needs in perpetuity.


To become a member of the S.P. Fenn Heritage Society, you can:

Include a bequest to the YMCA Endowment Fund in your will.

Name the YMCA Endowment Fund as a beneficiary of an insurance policy.

Give an outright gift of cash, securities, real estate, or insurance policies.

Plan a life income gift such as a gift annuity or charitable remainder trust.

We are pleased to recognize planned gift donors with lifelong membership in the S.P. Fenn Heritage Society.


Have you already included the YMCA of Greater Cleveland in your will or future giving plans?

Please tell us about it! We can celebrate this or keep it quiet if you want to stay anonymous. Either way, understanding your intentions will help us better prepare for a strong future. Your YMCA Heritage Society membership involves no dues or obligations however it does allow the Y to thank you and recognize you for the contribution you have made. It may also inspire generosity in others.

Members of the YMCA Heritage Club will receive benefits such as:

  • An invitation to an annual recognition event hosted by the YMCA's CEO
  • Recognition on the S.P. Fenn Heritage Society webpage
  • Special communications throughout the year with YMCA updates

Other planned giving benefits may include:

  • A charitable tax deduction
  • Reduction of estate settlement costs
  • Reduced capital gains taxes

The YMCA of Greater Cleveland does not provide legal, tax, or financial advice to its donors or their advisors. We encourage you to review your gift plans with your legal and tax advisor to determine the best plan for you.


For more information, please click the button below or contact Megan DeFranco, by email at or call 216-263-6296.

Create your legacy!