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Garrett Owen

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

As Chief Philanthropy Officer for The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia, I am inspired by those who empower our community’s parishes, schools, ministries, and organizations every day with their thoughtful giving. In particular, there is one (often overlooked) giving method that provides a transformational impact on Catholic charitable causes throughout our region. It is feasible for most donors, regardless of age, status, or background, with little or no effect on their spendable income today.

That’s the power of Planned Giving.

What is Planned Giving?

Planned gifts, also referred to as legacy gifts or estate gifts, are contributions that are arranged for in the present and allocated at a future date. These powerful gifts allow you to support the Catholic organizations and causes that are important to you by making a provision through your will, trust, or estate plan. Gifts can include cash, securities, retirement plan assets, real estate, or other valuables. Moreover, you can designate how your planned gifts will be used for a specific organization, ministry, program, or area of need.

Planned gifts are often simple to complete yet have a tremendous impact on the future of our Catholic community. In fact, estate gifts are often the largest gift that a donor will ever make to their parish or favorite charity.

Building on a Foundation of Catholic Philanthropy

At The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia, our team helps people of all ages and backgrounds invest in the future of our Church through charitable fund management and development consulting. This past year alone, we created funds that support infrastructure and programming in our parishes, promote a culture of Missionary Discipleship in our schools, and support inclusive Catholic education for children with disabilities. Funds like these are just some of the ways we’re ensuring the vitality of our Catholic faith in Greater Philadelphia, now and in the future.

As a partner to so many Catholic organizations in our communities, we offer hands-on support to make a plan that works for your life and puts your priorities first. Planned giving is an accessible, effective, yet often forgotten part of this collaborative process for anyone who wants to make a lasting impact in our Catholic community. We are here to help.

Creating Your Catholic Legacy

In May, we will be bringing greater awareness to the impact of planned giving with the launch of Create Your Catholic Legacy Awareness Month. From donor stories to newsletters to free planned giving workshops, we want everyone to experience and learn about the significant impact that planned giving can have in strengthening our faith.

If you would like to learn more about the ways in which planned giving can support the Catholic causes close to your heart, we would welcome the opportunity to have a confidential conversation with you. In addition, you are invited to join us at one of our free Planned Giving workshops next month. At these events, you’ll learn about effective and tax-advantaged planned giving options and meet others dedicated to sustaining our faith. Please visit to learn more and register today.

Finally, if you have already included a Catholic organization, program, or ministry in your estate plans – thank you! We encourage you to notify us of your intentions so that we may celebrate your generosity and recognize you as part of our Legacy Society.

As we work to preserve Catholic institutions and values in Philadelphia (and beyond), we are blessed by the great diversity of donors in our midst who support the causes they care about through prayerful giving. Together, we will be able to secure the future of our Catholic faith.

The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia can help you ensure that your estate plan truly reflects your wishes and your values. For more information on estate planning and planned giving, please email me at or call 215-587-5650.


Garrett Owen is the Chief Philanthropy Officer The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia.

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