Born and raised in a small Montana town as the second oldest in a family of 15, Nicholas Degel, 72, moved to Orlando 33 years ago. Now retired, Nick has been blessed with three children and keeps busy by volunteering; he has been a board member, volunteer, and treasurer of several nonprofit and for profit corporations.

Nick’s Catholic faith has always been an essential part of his life, and he credits his parents who sacrificed in order to send their children to Catholic schools. He was an altar boy for many years and attended a Benedictine Monastery Boarding School.  “These experiences strengthened my faith, and I am blessed and thankful for that,” he says.

While a planned gift and endowment was something Nick wanted to do, he had not decided on a designated purpose until The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida invited him to visit the St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary with Bishop Noonan and a group of fellow Corpus Christi Society members. The seminarians joined them for Mass, lunch, afternoon prayers and a tour of the seminary with small groups guided by the seminarians.

“During the visit with the seminarians, I was touched by their dedication to Christ and His church, their sincere friendliness, and generosity with their visitors,” he recalls. “These seminarians and new priests are vital to Christ’s Church on earth and, as Catholics, we are blessed with their commitment to His priesthood.” Shortly after his visit, Nick decided to dedicate his endowment to providing support for the Diocese of Orlando seminarians.

Making a planned gift signaled a way of life for Nick and provided a sense of comfort. In his words, “It is comforting to know that when I am no longer here, I will have left an inheritance that will continue to benefit a ministry that is close to my heart,” he highlights. “I would encourage everyone to consider a planned gift that will continue beyond themselves to bear witness to a generous purpose that is dear to them.”

Nick’s original plan was to fund his endowment through his estate plan. However, he realized that there were some tax advantages to pre-funding the endowment and has followed that plan through annual gifts from an IRA.

“I encourage others to consider this pre-funding strategy after consulting with The Foundation and their tax advisor. I can attest to the joy of seeing donations fulfill their intended purpose during one’s lifetime.”

If you are interested in learning more about how you can make a lasting impact on your favorite ministry through an Endowment Fund, please contact Madelyn Weed at or (407) 246-7188.


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