Planned Giving Opportunities

Planned giving is an easy way to (1) make a charitable gift and (2) save on taxes. The following is information on some of the most common types of planned gifts. Remember to consult your attorney, accountant, or other tax advisor for additional information on how these general rules apply to your situation. To discuss opportunities please contact the Executive Director, Lorraine Gibbons at or 203.336.4468

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Gifts of Cash

If you itemize, you can lower your income taxes simply by writing us a check. Gifts of cash are fully deductible up to a maximum of 50% of your adjusted gross income.

Gifts of Stock

If you own stock, it is often more tax-wise to contribute stock than cash. This is because a gift of appreciated stock generally offers a two fold tax saving. First, you avoid paying any capital gains on the increase in value of the stock. Second, you receive an income tax deduction for the full fair market value of the stock at the time of the gift. This form of gift works best when you have owned your stock for more then one year. Gifts of appreciated stock are fully deductible up to a maximum of 30% of your adjusted gross income.

Gifts of Real Estate

A gift of real estate can also be tax-wise. A residence, vacation home, farm, acreage, or vacant lot may have so appreciated in value through the years that its sale would mean a sizeable capital gains tax. By making a gift of this property instead, you would avoid the capital gains tax, and, at the same time, receive a charitable deduction for the full fair market value of the property. It is also possible to make a gift of your property so that you and your spouse can continue to use it for your lifetimes while you receive a current income tax deduction.

Gifts of Life Insurance

A gift of life insurance can provide a significant charitable deduction. You could purchase a new policy or donate a policy that you currently own but no longer need. To receive a deduction, designate us as both the owner and beneficiary of the life insurance policy.

Life Income Gifts

(How to increase your income, receive a charitable contribution deduction and avoid capital gains taxes) If you own stock that is paying you low dividends, maybe 2% or 3%, a life-income gift may be an appropriate gift. You could transfer the stock to us and establish a charitable remainder unitrust or charitable remainder annuity trust that would provide you with a 5% or greater annual return. This income would be paid to you and/or a loved one for life, after which the assets would be distributed outright to us. Through such an arrangement, you would be increasing your income and making a meaningful and tax-deductible contribution to us at the same time.

Charitable Lead Trusts

Charitable lead trusts are essentially the reverse of the life income gifts described above. The income from the trust is first paid to us; the charity’s interest leads the way (hence the name of the trust). Under this arrangement, you transfer assets to a trustee who make payments to the Center for a specified number of years, after which time the assets are transferred to your heirs. The charitable lead trust allow you to pass assets on to our children either completely free or substantially free of all estate and gift taxes. It can make good sense for anyone in the top estate and gift tax brackets.


The Cardinal Shehan Center can be named as a beneficiary in your will in any one of a number of simple ways. An outright gift can be specified or you could also name the Center as a remainder beneficiary to receive funds only after specific sums have been paid to individual beneficiaries. It is important to know that the Cardinal Shehan Center can easily be added to your will through an amendment to your will called a codicil; thus your entire will does not have to be redrafted.