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The Essence of Giving

Denise Farrell

Denise Farrell

By Denise Farrell

It was during my years at Cathedral High School that I learned the essence of giving. I was raised with the concept of giving meaning donating money. It is so much more than that!

Over the years, I have learned how important it is that we share with others those talents that God has bestowed on us. During my early years at Cathedral, there were times our enrollment had dipped to the point that we feared we would need to close our doors. Many people donated their time, talents and treasures to ensure that the mission of this special school would continue. Today, we cannot take those efforts for granted. For Cathedral to continue her mission, we need to all pray about what our donation of time, talent and treasure could be.

The past 15 years have been a real education for me about philanthropy. My husband and I have found that we can set aside money for our retirement, our daily bills, an emergency fund, giving to our church and giving to Cathedral High School.

Cathedral benefits from every donation — no matter how large or small. At first, we set up an account where we could give a little out of our paycheck each month. Now that I have retired, I am able to set that amount aside myself and give to Cathedral each year. Whenever we know a Cathedral High School graduate who passes away, we make a donation in his or her name to school. In addition, we have made arrangements for Cathedral to be remembered in our estate planning. A portion of a life insurance policy has been set aside for Cathedral High School. Little amounts here and there add up to helping students attend the school we all love!

In addition to the monetary donations, I try to volunteer at Cathedral on a weekly basis. Helping with mailings, data entry, helping out with Advanced Placement exams — all allow the staff at Cathedral to put money toward providing tuition assistance. I know volunteers who help out daily, weekly or on specific projects like the student fundraiser or ShamrAuction.

Serving on the Board of Directors has been a real education for me — and I hope a benefit to the school!

Finally, Cathedral High School is always included in my daily prayers. With God's help, Cathedral High School will continue to do His work on earth — being living examples of His stewardship.

There is something for everyone to help at Cathedral. I hope sharing my story with you will help you choose your path.

Choose Your Giving Path

If you're inspired by Denise's story and want to learn about ways you can plan a gift to Cathedral, please contact Abbe Ernstes at (317) 968-7348 or

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Cathedral High School a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Cathedral High School, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 5225 East 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46226, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Cathedral or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Cathedral as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Cathedral as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Cathedral where you agree to make a gift to Cathedral and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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