Create Your Legacy

Your legacy captures your values, dreams and hopes for the future, and creating it is a rewarding process. You may have a sense for what you’d like your legacy to be based on actions that you are taking today. This may include volunteering with organizations you care about, attending events at those organizations and supporting them with annual gifts.

You may also be thinking about how to extend the expression of your values into the future by creating a legacy gift. A legacy gift is usually planned during one’s life and given to charitable organizations through one’s estate. With a legacy gift to Bishop O’Dowd High School, you would express your values through the school by supporting scholarships, student life, capital developments or another area that is meaningful to you.

Legacy gifts are often made in conjunction with retirement and estate planning. They take time to plan and usually involve conversations with our office, your family and your personal advisors. As a starting point, we invite you to explore this website and contact us to start a conversation.

There are many combinations of areas to support at O’Dowd, types of assets to give, and ways to give those assets. We’re here to listen carefully to your thoughts on the impact that you would like to have at O’Dowd, and evaluate your particular situation to help you find the gift option that fits best with your financial and philanthropic goals.

Overall, the legacy gift planning process generally consists of these steps:

• Gather information from us and your advisors
• Discuss that information with us and your advisors
• Document your gift in your estate plan and with O’Dowd

After your gift plan is in place, we invite you to join 1951 Heritage Society, a growing group of alumni, parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, and friends. We thank you for your consideration, and look forward to partnering with you on your journey to create your legacy at O’Dowd.

What You Can Give

One of the most common ways to give to O’Dowd is to make a gift of cash by writing a check or using a credit card. An outright gift of cash has an immediate impact at O’Dowd and is tax-deductible. A gift of cash also may be set up to provide income for life.

Stock or Appreciated Securities
If your investment portfolio includes low-yielding, highly appreciated stock or securities that have held for more than one year you may want to consider gifting them to the O’Dowd. It creates several tax benefits including an income tax charitable deduction, elimination of capital gains tax and reduction of exposure to estate taxes. A gift of stock or securities can be arranged via electronic transfer or by receipt of stock certificates. You can download transfer instructions here »

Real Estate
Real estate gifts may be made to O’Dowd in a variety of ways, preserving your cash assets and providing income, capital gains, and possibly estate tax advantages. The real estate gift that’s right for you may give you income for life, a lump sum, or the use of your home for the rest of your life.

Retirement Assets
Donating part or all of your unused retirement assets, such as your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), pension or other tax-deferred plan, is an excellent way to make a gift to O’Dowd. By naming O’Dowd as a beneficiary of all or a portion of a retirement plan, you avoid both the estate tax and income tax due on these tax-deferred plans if distributed to your heirs.

Life Insurance
If you have life insurance that you no longer need, you actually have a valuable asset for making a charitable gift. A gift of life insurance is an easy way for you to provide generous current or future support to O’Dowd. You can give your paid-up policy, or keep your policy and make your gift later by naming O’Dowd a beneficiary.

The material presented here is not offered as legal or tax advice. We recommend you seek the advice of your tax advisor, attorney, and/or financial planner to make certain your considered gift fits well with your overall circumstances and planning.

How You Can Give

A future gift to O’Dowd from your will or trust – a bequest gift – is a favored method of giving that enables you to achieve your financial goals, maintain control of your assets during your lifetime, and benefit O’Dowd. A bequest gift is simple to include in your plans and easy to change if needed.

We offer sample bequest gift language for you and your attorney’s consideration in preparing your will or trust. You can download sample bequest language here »

Beneficiary Designation Gifts
If you have assets like retirement plans, financial accounts, commercial annuities, and life insurance policies, a document called a beneficiary designation controls their distribution. A beneficiary designation is one of the simplest ways to make a gift to O’Dowd. It’s literally as easy as filling out a form. To make a gift of retirement assets or life insurance, please contact your provider, request a beneficiary designation form and include Bishop O’Dowd High School as a beneficiary of your account or policy.

Donor Advised Funds
The donor-advised fund (DAF) has become an increasingly popular way to make a charitable gift. DAFs provide immediate tax benefits along with a centralized way to manage current and future charitable giving. Many O’Dowd donors have established their own donor-advised fund accounts at community foundations, public charities with a DAF program or investment companies that sponsor DAFs. Donors can use these accounts to recommend one-time or recurring grants to qualified charitable organizations such as O’Dowd.

The material presented here is not offered as legal or tax advice. We recommend you seek the advice of your tax advisor, attorney, and/or financial planner to make certain your considered gift fits well with your overall circumstances and planning.

1951 Heritage Society

What is the Heritage Society?
Many of our most loyal alumni, parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, and friends have chosen to leave a legacy impacting future generations of students by remembering O’Dowd in their estate plans. Anyone who has supported O’Dowd in this way is invited to join the 1951 Heritage Society, a group established to honor and thank these generous supporters.

Why should I join the Heritage Society?
You probably already know the difference an O’Dowd education can make in a young person’s life. You may have experienced it yourself by meeting lifelong friends, or even a spouse, while at O’Dowd. Or perhaps an amazing teacher or coach inspired and challenged you to do better. Maybe you witnessed your children and loved ones graduate from O’Dowd and grow into men and women committed to faith, justice, leadership, service, academic excellence and compassion.

Remembering O’Dowd in your estate plan can cost nothing during your life and yet, it is such a powerful way to give. The Heritage Society includes those of all ages and financial backgrounds. There is no minimum gift amount necessary to join. It is a fantastic, diverse group of people connected by their generosity, vision and support of future leaders who will use their gifts to create a more just, joyful, and sustainable world for all.

With their permission, members of the Heritage Society are recognized in O’Dowd publications, and also receive invitations to special receptions and events at O’Dowd. We hope you will join us.

How can I join the Heritage Society?
Anyone who has made a gift to O’Dowd in his or her estate plan (regardless of the size of the gift) is invited to join. You may become a member of the Heritage Society by letting us know that you have:

• Made a planned gift to O’Dowd in your will or trust
• Participated in a life income arrangement for the benefit of the O’Dowd, such as a charitable remainder trust
• Created a charitable lead trust for the benefit of the O’Dowd
• Named O’Dowd as a beneficiary of a retirement plan or life insurance policy
• Promised a gift of land or real estate that O’Dowd has agreed to accept

Can I join the Heritage Society while remaining anonymous?
Yes. Just let us know and your name will not appear publicly, but informing us of your gift will allow us to privately thank you and plan for the future. Further, your example can encourage the same commitment from others, strengthening your gift’s impact.

Do I have to give a copy of my estate plan to O’Dowd?
No, but it can be helpful so that we can make sure your gift is used as you intend. You can download sample bequest language here »

Who should I contact for more information?
If you have, or intend to, name O’Dowd in your estate plan, or would simply like more information, please contact:

Nicole Ferdinando
Director of Annual Giving
[email protected]
(510) 553-8669

Meet our Donors

O’Dowd’s generous legacy gift donors have thoughtfully expressed their values, dreams, and hopes for the future by going through the gift planning process, and we greatly appreciate all of them. The donors on this page have graciously allowed us to share their stories.

Here is a listing of 1951 Heritage Society members as of June 30, 2020.

Jim Bill '55
Jim Bill ’55
Coach Dale Isaacs
Coach Dale Isaacs
Mike Cusortelli ’75
Nancy Negri '70
Nancy Negri ’70

Contact Us

If you intend to name O’Dowd in your estate plan, or would simply like more information, please contact Nicole Ferdinando, Director of Annual Giving at [email protected] or (510) 553-8669. We would be happy to assist you and answer any questions that you have.

If you have already included O’Dowd in your estate plans, please contact us to let us know. We would like to thank you and recognize you for your gift.

The material presented here is not offered as legal or tax advice. We recommend you seek the advice of your tax advisor, attorney, and/or financial planner to make certain your considered gift fits well with your overall circumstances and planning.

For tax deduction purposes, Bishop O’Dowd High School is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Our Tax ID is 94-1547088.