The NOW Generation is comprised of young adults (ages 21-40) who find value and meaning in promoting the CHQ experience and devote their time, energy and resources to ensuring its longevity and continued relevance.

The NOW Generation is a valuable resource for every young Chautauquan to deepen her or his social and civic engagement. Designed to encourage a more vibrant, diverse and robust community, the NOW Generation seeks to cultivate current assets, and to strengthen and develop new networks of individuals and partnering organizations that will build a stronger CHQ… a CHQ that will continue to welcome and nourish young professionals, families and artists for generations to come.

For more information on additional programs, volunteer opportunities or more, please “like” the NOW Generation at To sign up for the NOW Generation e-newsletter and receive invitations to upcoming events, please contact Megan Sorenson at or 716.357.6243.

Objectives of the NOW Generation Initiative

  • Create a network of young Chautauquans who connect year-round and more fully explore the texture and dimension CHQ adds to their lives
  • Encourage creativity and fresh ways of thinking and learning, and share knowledge of emerging interests within the CHQ community
  • Provide organic, grassroots philanthropy at CHQ that is both intimate and far-reaching
  • Provide ways to match young people’s values, social vision, educational pursuits and spiritual ideals with CHQ’s evolving needs and opportunities
  • Prepare and empower young adults for leadership roles

Creating a more vibrant, diverse and robust community, members of the NOW Generation are building upon the rich tradition of volunteerism at CHQ. NOW Generation volunteer activities encompass a variety of capacities that best suit each member’s desires and are aligned with their interests, skills and talents, including:

  • Serving as a community ambassador
  • Assisting with events during the summer season
  • Organizing regional events during the off-season
  • Developing NOW Generation initiatives as a member of the Advisory Council
  • Marketing & public relations
  • Fundraising & development
  • Community planning & design
  • Networking & strategic collaborations

The strength of the NOW Generation lies in its members whose collective intelligence, wisdom and passion for excellence forms a vast network of peers to help each other become informed leaders and engaged citizens both at CHQ and in their home communities.

Benefits of Membership in the NOW Generation

  • Invitation to an annual President's Reception and other summer activities
  • Opportunities to attend regional events in various cities

Gifts to the annual Chautauqua Fund provide the main source of philanthropy toward the Institution’s operating budget. Every gift contributes to increasing the quality of programs while keeping ticket prices affordable for families and visitors. The Bell Tower Society has been established to recognize those who make a monthly recurring gift to the Chautauqua Fund, providing consistent and sustainable support. Convenient monthly giving is budget friendly, saves time and resources, and is a testament to one’s enduring commitment to CHQ.

Benefits of Bell Tower Society Membership

  • Invitation to special tour and/or events hosted by artistic directors and program leadership
  • Complimentary subscription to PILLARS, our semi-annual publication for community leaders

To start your monthly commitment today, please select the “Monthly Recurring Donation” option on the secure, online form at or call 716.357.6404.

The Miller Bell Tower

The Bell Tower was dedicated on August 1, 1911 as a memorial to Lewis Miller, one of the founders of Chautauqua Institution. In an address to commemorate him, co-founder John Heyl Vincent provided an overview of Lewis Miller’s life and accomplishments, concluding with:

Let us therefore, as we dedicate this tower to the memory of the generous and honored Lewis Miller, our friend and brother, make it a tribute to his work, a recognition of his invaluable contribution of the Chautauqua Institution; and let us personally resolve that we will sustain to the utmost of our ability the great work to which he devoted himself.

Through this historical lens and symbol of enduring commitment, the society which recognizes those who provide consistent support to CHQ with a monthly gift is named named the Bell Tower Society. These generous, ongoing investments will sustain the future of CHQ and honor the loyal commitments of those who have come before us.

Named after the year of the Institution's founding, The 1874 Society recognizes donors who generously honor CHQ's legacy with leadership gifts to the annual fund in the amount of $1,874 - $3,499. Gifts of this level are critical to supporting the depth and quality of programming that are enjoyed each season and help to close the gap between earned revenues and that which must be subsidized by philanthropy. With ticket sales covering approximately 60% of the cost of underwriting the CHQ experience, this Society applauds the value in keeping prices affordable for families. The collective giving of the philanthropic leaders who make up The 1874 Society inspires other Chautauquans to similar acts of generosity, and enriches the experiences of every member of this beloved community.

Benefits of Membership in The 1874 Society

  • Invitation to luncheon with select lecturer
  • Invitations to special tours and/or events hosted by CHQ's artistic directors or leadership
  • Opportunity to attend select events with program leadership during season
  • Complimentary subscription to PILLARS, a semi-annual publication for community leaders

By making a planned gift to Chautauqua Foundation, Inc., you are entitled to become a member of the Eleanor B. Daugherty Society, a group of Chautauquans who have included Chautauqua Foundation in their will or other estate plans. There are over 300 individuals in the Society, ranging in age from 38 to over 100. Society members receive many benefits and most important, as a member we are pleased to thank and recognize you for your generosity in helping to ensure CHQ’s future.

To view a list of members of the Eleanor B. Daugherty Society (as of publication on 4/20/18), please click here.

Benefits of Membership

  • Invitation to the annual “Daugherty Society” luncheon with a selected lecturer
  • Invitations to special tours and/or events hosted by CHQ's artistic directors or leadership 
  • Complimentary subscription to PILLARS, a semi-annual publication for community leaders
  • Invitation to the annual Scholar-in-Residence Program
  • Recognition in The Chautauquan Daily and off-season Chautauquan, as well as the Foundation's annual report (note: a member’s wish to remain anonymous is respected)

Eleanor B. Daugherty

The Society is named in honor of the late Eleanor B. Daugherty, a Chautauquan and retired music teacher from Buffalo, New York. Her major bequest to CHQ's piano and religion departments created an enduring legacy and an indelible mark on the Institution, far in excess of her lifetime giving capabilities. The Eleanor B. Daugherty Society is composed of individuals who have chosen to support CHQ's mission through charitable bequests, life-income gifts and trusts.

If you have already included CHQ in your plans, please let us know so we can recognize and thank you, and welcome you into the Eleanor B. Daugherty Society. (Requests for anonymity are respected.)

Enriching Lives, Deepening Conversations

The Bestor Society is a community of Chautauqua's closest friends whose generous leadership support plays an instrumental role in advancing the work of Chautauqua Institution. Members enjoy unparalleled access to Institution programs, most notably exclusive receptions and luncheons with program leadership, the multi-day Scholar in Residence intensive, and other gatherings during the season and throughout the year. Those who wish to engage deeper in Chautauqua's work are encouraged to join.

Bestor Society members are committed to active engagement in Chautauqua's programs, serve as advocates and ambassadors, and help sustain the Institution's mission by amplifying our work for greater impact in shaping a better tomorrow. 

Membership provides important, unrestricted support that advances all facets of the Institution's work. Members understand the importance of curating artistic expression, the value of assembly to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and the engagement with others to convene probing conversations on important issues of the day.

Join the Bestor Society to advance and expand the work of Chautauqua Institution. Your support is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Benefits of Bestor Society Membership

  • Invitation to the annual President's Address
  • Invitation to the Scholar-in-Residence Program
  • Opportunity for invitation to select event(s) at the President's Cottage
  • Invitations to special tours and/or events hosted by CHQ's artistic directors or leadership 
  • Complimentary subscription to PILLARS, a semi-annual publication for community leaders
  • Invitation to luncheon with select lecturer ($5,000+)

Arthur E. Bestor

Arthur E. Bestor's presidency of Chautauqua from 1915 to 1944 saw the Institution through an astonishing period of achievement and growth. Under his leadership the Institution surmounted difficulties experienced by a country during two world wars and a great depression. He realized that while persistence may have achieved his dreams, only passion would sustain them. Maintaining Chautauqua's programming, which had achieved world acclaim, would require ongoing devotion and support. More than 70 years later, the society that bears his name also shares his passion for maintaining Chautauqua's greatness. Today's builders... today's visionaries... those who care deeply about furthering the Institution's stability... form Chautauqua's Bestor Society.

Leadership Giving

While gifts of any amount are most welcome and deeply appreciated, leadership giving is a wonderful way to help sustain the delivery of the Chautauqua experience at the highest quality.


 bestor society logo with words

Presidents Club $3,500+ 
Sponsor Club $5,000+
Patron Club $10,000+
Benefactor Club $25,000+

1874society logo web

$1,874 to $3,499