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Planned Giving 101: How to include a charity in your will

Close up a person with dark braided hair holding a tabby-and-white colored cat almost nose to nose

We get it. Thinking about your own mortality isn’t exactly a fun way to spend time! But making a will or other estate plans gives you control over your legacy. It can help avoid family conflicts, ensure lifetime care for your pets, and direct your assets to the loved ones and causes you most want to support.

If you’re reading this, you may be considering including Cat Adoption Team in your will. You may be surprised at the level of support you can offer through a legacy gift. And it’s not as complicated as it might seem. Let’s break it down.


A planned gift — or legacy gift — is a charitable donation that is distributed upon your passing. This contribution is prearranged as part of your will or overall estate plan. You have many options when it comes to planned gifts. Your wishes and tax considerations will influence the type of gift you choose.


At Cat Adoption Team, planned giving contributes to the organization’s long-term financial stability. In addition to supporting our core lifesaving operations, legacy gifts help fund the expansion of programs and capital improvements that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

Past legacy gifts have helped fund hospital construction projects and equipment upgrades, as well as kennel replacements and updates, all of which improved the quality of care for cats and kittens at CAT. Recently, a generous six-figure planned gift established the Aleece Runge Fund for Senior Cats, which allows us to provide enhanced medical screening and treatment to cats age 8 and older.

No matter the size or type of your gift, your legacy support will have an impact for cats, kittens, and fellow cat lovers!


When it comes to planned giving, you have a lot of options, including charitable trusts, monetary bequests, and gifts of assets. Did your eyes just glaze over? Don’t worry, an estate planner or tax advisor can help you understand different types of gifts so you can choose the right option to meet your goals and maximize any tax benefits.

Here are a few of the most popular planned giving options:

  1. Name Cat Adoption Team as the beneficiary for a specific gift, such as a certain dollar amount or particular asset (such as stocks, real estate, vehicles, etc.).
  2. Allocate a percentage of your total estate to Cat Adoption Team. Many donors choose to leave 10% or more of their estate to support a charitable cause like CAT.
  3. Name Cat Adoption Team as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan. On your beneficiary forms, list our full organization name, address, and EIN (Federal Tax ID #) to ensure your gift is distributed properly: Cat Adoption Team, 14175 SW Galbreath Drive, Sherwood, Oregon 97140, EIN #20-0773189.


The short answer is yes, and the tax benefits vary widely depending on the type of gift. Your estate attorney or tax advisor can explain the specific tax implications of your gift in detail.

To get started on your will or to make a planned gift, speak with your estate planner or tax advisor about your wishes. If you don’t have an estate attorney, the Oregon State Bar offers a referral service at:

If you arrange a planned gift to CAT, please let us know! We would love the opportunity to thank you for your generosity and welcome you into the Roger H. James Legacy Society.

You can reach our development office at (503) 925-8903 ext. 6 or by email to [email protected].

We wish to thank Jeff Thede of Thede, Culpepper, Moore, Munro & Silliman LLP for his assistance with this article.

About Cat Adoption Team

Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is the largest cat shelter in the Pacific Northwest. We offer adoption, foster care, and veterinary services to homeless cats and kittens.

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