Planned Giving

Planned giving is a method of philanthropy that enables you to make a charitable gift initially thought to be beyond your means. Depending on your circumstances, gift planning may also provide federal and state tax advantages.

You can make a planned gift by:

  • Preparing or updating your will and leaving a bequest gift to Catholic Charities
  • Naming Catholic Charities as the owner or beneficiary of a new or existing life insurance policy
  • Naming Catholic Charities as a beneficiary of your pension plan, IRA or 401(k) retirement plan

Designating Your Beneficiaries

Naming individuals and charities that will receive your assets after your death can be a simple process. Most assets can pass to your intended beneficiaries by the terms of your will. However, other assets, such as life insurance and retirement plans, are not controlled by the terms of your will. These assets require separate beneficiary forms. The beneficiaries of these assets can be easily modified at any time to meet your changing needs.

Making a Bequest 

A bequest is one of the simplest gifts to make.  With the help of an advisor, you can include language in your will or trust specifying a gift to Catholic Charities as part of your estate plan.

How to Complete a Bequest Gift in Your Will:

  • Choose what to give a specific dollar amount or asset, a percentage of your estate, or the balance of your estate
  • Decide how you would like Catholic Charities to use your gift.
  • An unrestricted bequest allows us to use the assets in the most beneficial way.
  • A restricted bequest allows you to specify how we are to use the funds.  Contact us prior to completing your will to be certain your intent can be fulfilled.
  • An endowment bequest is invested with and becomes part of our endowment. A distribution is made each year to support our operations. Because the principal remains intact, the fund will support our mission in perpetuity. Contact our Development Office for more information about endowment funds.
  • Meet with your estate planning attorney Whether you are creating a new will or trust, or updating an older version, you will want to seek the advice of an estate planning attorney. Catholic Charities can suggest appropriate wording to ensure your wishes are carried out.

Gifts by Life Insurance 

Life insurance is a popular method of providing much-needed funds to a beneficiary upon your death. It is also a low-cost way to provide a large benefit for someone in need. Life insurance proceeds are almost always tax free to the beneficiary. The beneficiary designation in your life insurance policy determines where the proceeds will be distributed. Life insurance can be distributed to a charitable organization, such as Catholic Charities, if the organization is named as a beneficiary at the time of your death.

Changing Life Insurance Policy Beneficiaries

Contact your insurance company for its change of beneficiary form.  If you would like to name Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Harrisburg as a beneficiary, simply decide what percentage of the policy value you would like us to receive (1-100 percent) and name us, along with the percentage, on the beneficiary form and return the form to your insurance company.

Gifts by Retirement Plan 

Most retirement plans, including 401(k) and IRA plans, are income tax deferred. This means that income tax is not paid until the funds are distributed. This taxation makes retirement assets among the most costly assets to distribute to loved ones.

Because they are subject to income taxes, retirement assets make ideal gifts to tax-exempt organizations such as Catholic Charities. We’re eligible to receive the full amount without deducting income taxes.

Changing Retirement Plan Beneficiaries

Contact the administrator of the retirement plan for a change of beneficiary form. If you would like to name Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Harrisburg as a beneficiary, simply decide what percentage of the plan value you would like us to receive (1-100 percent) and name us, along with the percentage, on the beneficiary form and return it to the plan administrator.

Learn More

Download our Planned Giving Brochure

For more information, contact:


Imagine your dream student - someone who is bright, inquisitive, kind to others, and comes to class eager to learn. Well, that is Koffi. He first came to my ESL class in May of 2014. He had only been in the United States for about 6 months at that time.

For many people, those first 6 months can be overwhelming and hectic, but Koffi’s spirit is indomitable. He came to class every night ready to learn and in a short time he found a job. Even after a long day of working hard, Koffi would come into class with a smile on his face. He greeted his fellow students with a smile and was ready to learn.

After being in the country for a little over a year, Koffi decided he would like to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). He took the initiative and researched his options before deciding on the program at HACC.
Koffi continued with his English studies right up to the time his CNA class started at HACC. I was sorry to see him leave, but so happy for him.

In June of this year Koffi graduated from the CNA Program at HACC. We are all so proud of Koffi. He has been such a positive influence on all of us, staff and students alike. It is impossible to look at Koffi’s smiling face and not want to smile right back, he is that full of kindness and hope. I am so glad he was my student and I feel certain that he will do even more amazing things in the future.

- ESL Instructor

Tiffany starts her story by openly stating that the first 39 years of her life were a waste. She spent all of her time drinking, which was her way of coping with the many let downs in her life.

Fearing for her life, a friend convinced Tiffany to check herself into a 30-day detox program. Upon completion she entered the Evergreen House program. While this was not her first choice, Tiffany ended up residing at Evergreen House for seven and one-half months.

Tiffany credits Evergreen’s staff and their patience with her eventual success in the program. Evergreen’s staff understood what she was going through and eventually became like her family. The Evergreen House program provided the structure and support she needed to maintain her sobriety.

Tiffany credits Evergreen House for a second chance at life and she is determined to have a positive impact on others.

- anonymous

Catholic Charities Adoption Services and Specialized Foster Care not only provides foster care and adoption services, but it also helps adoptees and their birth families to connect with one other through Search services. Nearly 50 years ago, Tina was an accomplished athlete who found herself pregnant while pursuing an advanced degree. With housing and supportive services from Catholic Charities, Tina made the difficult decision to place her daughter for adoption. Following the adoption, Tina pursued her career as an athlete, coach, and business administrator. While she was confident that she had made the right decision, Tina constantly thought about the daughter she had placed for adoption and wondered about her well-being. She eventually made attempts to find her daughter through various sources and by updating her online information in the event that her only child might someday want to meet her. After several years, Tina had come to the conclusion that meeting her daughter was just not meant to be.
This past year, Tina’s daughter, Beth, contacted Catholic Charities with a request for information about her birth parents. After talking with Beth and encouraging her to pursue the search, Catholic Charities was able to connect Beth with her birth mother. The two later traveled to meet each other, and Tina was given the opportunity to meet Beth’s husband and daughters. Tina was thrilled to learn that she was a grandmother, but she was most happy to hear that her daughter had loving adoptive parents who had given her a good life. Tina later wrote to Catholic Charities that “I think someone did a lot of praying and the prayers were answered.”

- Anonymous

A native of Puerto Rico, Maria* moved to Harrisburg with the dream of building a bright future for herself and her baby. While working to gain her bearing, Maria was kicked out of the house in which she had been staying, rendering Maria and her son homeless. Maria had very few options, as she had not yet secured a job, childcare, or private housing. In March 2017, Maria and her two year old son were welcomed into the Interfaith Shelter.
Upon entering the Interfaith Shelter, Maria immediately began building the skills needed to obtain self-sufficiency. The first challenge to overcome was Maria’s limited English proficiency. Determined to improve her English, Maria enrolled in ESL classes at the Tri-County Adult Learning Center, and she began practicing her growing language skills with residents and staff at the shelter. Maria also enrolled in a workforce development program offered through the PA Department of Human Services, working to develop marketable skills and gain permanent employment. Although many of the area’s transitional housing programs were completely full and had long wait lists, Maria eagerly applied to the YWCA Transitional Housing program. She knew that, with determination and hard work, she could build a better life for her family.
As she was nearing the end of her stay with the Interfaith Shelter, Maria was accepted into the YWCA Transitional Housing program and was assured that a room would soon be available. In order to keep Maria on the path towards success, the Interfaith Shelter granted Maria an extension until she was able to move into the YWCA. During her stay at Interfaith, Maria successfully obtained childcare, enrolled in a cash assistance program, improved her English proficiency, and began developing employment skills leading to a new job. Maria has served as an inspiration to others at the shelter that any barrier can be overcome.

- Anonymous
Council on Accrediation Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations United Way

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