It’s Good to Be Blessed; It’s Better to Be a Blessing
By Leo Gallegos, CFP®
Associate Director of Planned Giving, The Catholic University of America
"Charity wins souls and draws them to virtue," wrote Saint Angela Merici.
Of the Church's three theological virtues—faith, hope, and charity—the greatest is charity. Charity animates and inspires the other virtues.
Years ago, I was a member of a small "faith and finances" discussion group led by the parish priest. In seeking to illustrate this very principle on charity's virtue, the priest shared details of his personal financial situation with the group. Despite a modest $30,000 annual salary, he had made a number of charitable contributions, including a 3-year pledge of more than $10,000 to a scholarship fund. After a period of inner struggle with and worry over the decision, he was filled with peace and satisfaction as a result of making the commitment to give. Stressing the personal growth and redemptive element of charity, the priest told us, "We don't need your money as much as you need to give."
Through giving generously, the donor reaps benefits along with the recipient. The tax and financial incentives of charity are well documented, but less often considered is that giving offers donors a pathway in opposition to the money-centric focus of our culture and an opportunity for personal growth. Charity is also an invitation to partner in a common purpose with a charitable organization to confront important needs and welcome change. As St. Francis of Assisi put it, "it is in giving that we receive."
Planning what happens to your assets and property after you are gone is a vital financial step, but in the context of the virtue of charity, estate planning can take on another level of meaning. Reflecting on one's own mortality and considering what happens to loved ones and the charitable causes one supports now is often a thought-provoking and transformative experience. There is never a guarantee that we will have time to finalize such planning later.
As a financial advisor, I have helped numerous clients design and craft their estate plans. Although people react to planning in their own way, rarely have I experienced a reaction to the process that didn't cause clients to pause, reflect, and reevaluate what's most important.
At The Catholic University of America, we are available to partner with you to help you identify, plan, and implement your unique philanthropic, financial, and estate planning goals. Planned gifts, such as bequests and charitable gift annuities, are an easy way to make an impact and are vital to our mission. We count on your generosity. We want to hear your stories, understand your goals, and help you identify a unique and meaningful way to give back.
Visit our site to learn more about how a planned gift may help you accomplish your financial and charitable goals. Please contact Isabel de la Puente at 202-319-6914 or Leo Gallegos at 202-319-6926, or send us an email at email@example.com to request a confidential gift planning discussion.