Peggy Sweeney

Spring is a time of renewal. It is also a time of deep reflection as we prepare to rejoice in Jesus’ Resurrection. The word “Easter” is derived from Old English, simply meaning the “East.” The sun, which rises in the East, bringing light, warmth, and hope, is a symbol of the rising Christ, the true Light of the world.  Easter Sunday is the greatest of all Sundays, marked with the joyous celebration of the Holy Mass and among family, with a joyful feast – and often for the little ones, an egg hunt.

Throughout theEaster season, which lasts until Pentecost, many Catholics find renewed inspiration to celebrate Christ’s resurrection by following in his example of selfless and loving service to others.

At The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia (CFGP), we are blessed to encounter – and be inspired by – so many of our brothers and sisters who are devoted to living out the Corporal Works of Mercy. Our donors do much more than donate funds. They are intimately connected to the causes they support. They volunteer, they ask thoughtful questions about the impact of their gifts, and they are concerned about the long-term sustainability of the ministries throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that help hundreds of thousands of our neighbors in need each year.

In addition to the celebration of Easter, another April event that is upon us is Tax Day. Many donors are asking us about planned giving as it not only benefits charitable causes, but also can provide significant tax benefits.

Legacy giving is trending in the philanthropy world today.Did you know that the greatest transfer of wealth by donors is through planned giving? It makes sense since 90% of individual financial resources are in contained in assets such as real estate, retirement accounts, and appreciated securities as opposed to cash reserves.

At CFGP, we have been listening to our donors and have heard that there is some trepidation in pursuing a planned gift, mostly because people are unaware of how simple the process can be. There is also a perception that planned giving is only for the wealthy. No matter what our resources are, we can all participate, and it’s easy.

The CFGP has recently partnered with FreeWill, an interactive online platform that will enable you to explore the different, user-friendly ways to make a planned gift, from creating a will and including a bequest, to taking advantage of qualified charitable distributions (QCDs), also known as IRA charitable rollovers, which these days are the savviest way for individuals age 70½ or older to use their IRAs to maximize their charitable impact. You can check out our resources at

Those who are interested learning more about planned giving are invited to attend a a “Planned Giving 101” breakfast program on Wednesday, May 17th at St. Katharine of Siena in Wayne (Delaware County), from 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. This informational program will offer the ‘ABC’s of planned giving along with free tools and resources. For more information and to register, please visit

On behalf of CFGP’s Board of Directors and staff, I wish you renewed joy and all of the blessings of the Easter season.


Peggy Sweeney is the Chief Advancement Officer for The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia.