By Whitney Meiners

Everyone wants to leave a mark on the world and be remembered. Perhaps a charitable donation through a planned gift to Catholic Charities is how you will make an impact on the world (or at least in your community).

Charitable donations made through a bequest, life insurance policy, or unused retirement account are often larger than any gift you could make during your lifetime and will have a huge impact on Catholic Charities.


Are planned gifts complicated?

Not necessarily! Here are a few simple ways to make a planned gift:

Bequest – Name Catholic Charities as a beneficiary in your will. A bequest is a great option because it will not cost you anything during your lifetime.

Life Insurance – Name Catholic Charities as a “paid in full” beneficiary. Or, to make an immediate gift using a life insurance policy, you can name Catholic Charities as both owner and beneficiary of the policy.

Retirement Accounts (IRA, 401(k), 403(b), pensions) – Name Catholic Charities as a beneficiary on unused accounts.

There are other planned giving instruments like charitable gift annuities and charitable lead/remainder trusts that may fit your situation – your attorney or financial advisor will be able to advise you about those options. You can also learn more about planned giving by visiting our website at


Are you subject to a minimum distribution for a retirement account?

This year required minimum distributions (RMDs) for retirement plan accounts are back. RMDs are amounts you are required to withdraw from certain tax-advantaged accounts when you reach age 72. If you are subject to the RMD, it might be to your tax advantage to transfer the RMD to Catholic Charities. Please talk to your tax advisor to understand how this might work to your advantage and keep in mind that the transfer must be made by December 31. For more information about making a planned gift to Catholic Charities, please contact Whitney Meiners at or 816-659-8292.

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