How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

What was meaningful to you during your lifetime? How can you best express those values through your giving? By thinking strategically, and with some advance planning, you have the opportunity to maximize your impact on the institutions that matter to you, and serve as a role model to your family, your church, your cathedral, and others.

What is Legacy Giving?

Legacy gifts are types of donations that are planned in advance—for example, a bequest in your will.

Planned giving to Saint Mark's Cathedral is:

  • ...a way to offer thanks to God for the gifts and blessings given to you.
  • affirmation of your values, and the value you attach to your faith community.
  • ...a way to keep Saint Mark's Cathedral strong into the future—providing for the ongoing maintenance of its facilities, and supporting its future mission and ministries.



1. Bequests through your will—the most common form of a legacy gift

Specify a dollar amount, a piece of property, or a percentage or the residual of your estate.

Use resources linked below to provide the wording of a bequest provision. (The wording will vary depending upon the type of gift you wish to leave.)

Consult with a qualified attorney who can review your goals in light of applicable federal and state laws, and ensure that your will accurately reflects your specific wishes.

2. Beneficiary Designations

You can pass your assets directly to an individual or organization outside of probate, simply by designating them as a beneficiary.

For example, you may name Saint Mark's or the Cathedral Foundation as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, pension, retirement fund, commercial annuity contract, bank account, or brokerage account.

Talk with your attorney or financial planner about possible tax benefits from these arrangements.

3. Other Types of Planned Giving 

Charitable Gift Annuities or Trusts:  These provide you with current tax benefits, provide income to you during your lifetime, and then leave the remainder to the Saint Mark's or the Cathedral Foundation.

Qualified Charitable Contributions (QCD): These satisfy your retirement account’s Required Minimum Distribution (RMD), and can provide tax benefits.

Other Gifts: There are easy ways to gift your stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds—contact Saint Mark's or the Cathedral Foundation to learn more.


It is about the people and causes important to you. Leaving a will is an act of love, not only for the beneficiaries of your generosity, but also for your loved ones, by providing them peace of mind that your property is being used as you would have wanted.  In the absence of a will, probate court decides how to distribute your assets, which can be a difficult and painful process for your loved ones. Almost two-thirds of adults in the United States have no will!

What is the difference between giving to Saint Mark's Cathedral and giving to the Cathedral Foundation of the Diocese of Olympia?

Planned Gifts to Saint Mark's Cathedral are typically unrestricted donations in support of cathedral programs and ministries.

Planned Gifts to the Cathedral Foundation of the Diocese of Olympia are used to support the upkeep and improvements of the cathedral's buildings and grounds. Learn more about the Cathedral Foundation here.

To learn more about your options, email, or contact Erik Donner at 206-323-0300 ext. 217 or


How Will Your Gift Be Used?

  • It will honor your expressed intent.
  • In the absence of expressed intent, the Cathedral Vestry or the Foundation Board may direct the funds where most needed.


The Saint Mark's Cathedral Vestry policy:

  • During a capital campaign, the Vestry may direct realized bequests it receives during the campaign toward capital projects.
  • At other times, realized bequests may be added to the general endowment, from which a portion is allocated annually toward the annual budget.


The Cathedral Foundation Board policy:

The Foundation directs all unrestricted, realized bequests to:

  • Capital projects or reserves for use by the cathedral, relating to buildings and grounds.
  • The Foundation’s Buildings and Grounds Endowment Fund, from which a portion is allocated annually toward the cathedral’s maintenance budget.


Whether you donate to Saint Mark's Cathedral or the Cathedral Foundation, you will be continuing your stewardship of Saint Mark’s and helping to assure the long-term financial health of the cathedral.


How can I be certain my wishes are carried out?

  • Make a will or other estate plan.
  • Review your will annually (near your birthday or during Lent).
  • Update your will every five years.
  • Update your will whenever your life situation changes (move to another state, new child or grandchild, divorce, remarriage, change in family dynamics, etc.).

Download your Life Planning Manual here, or request a printed copy by calling 206.323.0300 ext. 217, or emailing

Want more information?

  1. Contact Erik Donner at 206-323-0300 ext. 217 or Erik can:
    • Discuss your personal situation and wishes.
    • Recommend the types of legacy gifts that may be best for you to consider.
    • Recommend you consult with your own financial advisor and legal counsel, because some planned gifts can be technical and each person’s circumstances are different.
  2. The Diocese of Olympia Stewardship Office provides a wide variety of information and resources.
  3. The Episcopal Church Foundation in New York City is affiliated with The Episcopal Church, and helps establish and manage many types of income-generating planned gifts, which the donor may direct to any Episcopal church or program. 1-800-697-2858.
  4. The Washington State Bar Association provides information regarding wills and estate planning, including an attorney referral list.
  5. Banks
  6. Community foundations
  7. Other donor-advised funds




Your generosity will change lives daily at Saint Mark's Cathedral, around the Diocese of Olympia, in the broader community of Seattle, and across the nation.