Charitable giving supports many communities directly. Giving locally means a donation can be made to a specific interest that’s important to a donor or that has touched their lives. In this episode, Lesley Heighway, President & CEO of Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation, joins us to share all the ways that donating to a community foundation can have a huge and direct impact on the health and well-being of a community.

Listen in as Lesley explains the direct impact donors have in the healthcare field. You will learn about strategies for charitable planned giving and how your donations can affect real change in the health of your community as well as being beneficial to your own financial planning. It gives to give!

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • The impact of charitable planned giving locally
  • While the government funds a portion of hospital operations, it is donors who help to fund the equipment and technology used in patient care
  • The role donors play in physician recruitment in a community
  • Charitable giving can ensure the very highest calibre of tools and technology
  • Strategies/types of donations in the healthcare sector

Ideas Worth Sharing:

  • “Having care close to home is such an important thing…I’m so thrilled to lead a passionate team of people who work with our donors everyday making such a difference here in the community” – Lesley Heighway
  • “We’ve raised 37 million over the last five years alone. There is not an area of the hospital that I can walk into that donors haven’t touched.” – Lesley Heighway
  • “There’s no such thing as a small gift. All gifts come together to help us move the dial on the level of care that’s available for the entire region.” – Lesley Heighway

Resources In Today’s Episode:

Charitable Giving in Your Community with Lesley Heighway

Lesley Heighway, President, and CEO of Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation shares how charitable giving in your community can have a huge and direct impact on its health and well-being.

Lesley found her way into the role of President and CEO with PRHC after several careers. In one of her previous roles, she led a fundraising effort to build a dental clinic in Cambodia. It was her first experience with fundraising. Ultimately, when the company she worked for relocated, Lesley opted to stay in Peterborough and make a difference in her community.

After some purposeful time to think about what she wanted to do, she joined the not-for-profit sector. When the opportunity arose to interview for the role of CEO at PRHC, she jumped. She is thrilled to lead a passionate team of people who work with donors every day to make a difference in the local community.

How Hospitals Receive Funding

The government funds a portion of hospital operations, but it does not fund the equipment and technology that patients use at the hospital every day.

The PRHC Foundation is an arms-length entity from the hospital. The hospital has its own board of directors charged with the careful stewardship of donor funds. However, the board and the PRHC Foundation do work closely together.

Most importantly, they engage in a capital planning process to identify the top equipment and priorities.  Moreover, this capital planning process forms the basis of the PRHC Foundation’s fundraising and community engagement efforts. It also allows Lesley to let donors know the top fundraising priorities within the hospital.

The Role of Donors in Charitable Giving

In the last five years, the foundation has raised $37 million. Subsequently, there is not an area in the hospital that hasn’t been touched by donors and fundraising efforts.

Importantly, donors also play a role in physician recruitment. When physicians are looking for places to work, they look at equipment and technology. They are looking at whether they will have the tools to deliver the best possible patient care. Therefore, donors play a key role in the hospital’s ability to attract and retain physicians and bring new and life-saving services here.

Types of Donors in Charitable Giving

Firstly, there are many different types of donors. Secondly, donations can vary from a larger lump sum, a monthly donor, or a legacy donor. In short, donations can vary whether it’s from $20 to $1 million.

In an average year, the PRHC Foundation raises somewhere between $7 and $8 million to keep the hospital’s technology current. As they replace equipment, they’re always looking to deliver better care. Whether it’s a donor who makes a $20 gift through the mail or a monthly donor who has confidence in the organization, gifts of publicly traded securities, legacy gifts, and planned gifts through wills are all important. There is no small gift.

Intentional/Strategic Giving

Strategic, or intentional giving, usually comes from working with a financial advisor. They look at how to make the largest possible gift in a way that makes sense for the stage of your life. It allows people to be intentional and maximize their gifts.

An example of this might be a business owner who has a life insurance policy. Many people don’t realize that life insurance is a charitable gift vehicle. Other avenues might be making a gift through your will. This can be a fixed amount or the residual after loved ones have been taken care of through estate planning.

For more about strategic charitable giving, listen to YRPS Episode # 25 HERE.

Strategic Initiatives

Finally, PRHC Foundation’s key priority at present is in interventional radiology. At PRHC they call it medicine’s best-kept secret. Diagnostic imaging uses minimally invasive surgical tools or minimally invasive interventions guided by either CT or ultrasound. This type of intervention can be used to alleviate pain through the injection of cement that goes between vertebrae, treating or removing cancerous tumors, or stopping hemorrhaging. Right now, it is a $6-million investment in reequipping the two suites.

They are also looking to build a step-down suite that can handle the more routine day-to-day procedures. These suites will be available for more challenging circumstances. The biggest benefit will be to seniors because it means less recovery time, less trauma, and less chance of infection. It can mean the difference between a senior going home or needing respite care.

Moreover, donors can also designate their gifts to an area of the hospital that’s important to them. Maybe their family has been touched by heart disease or cancer or had a premature baby born into their family. The PRHC Foundation can make something tailored to the donor so that it becomes even more valuable. Many of our gifts come from grateful patient experiences. It may be from someone who’s had great care at the hospital. It may be that they want to honor a caregiver, make a gift or give back for the great care they’ve received.

All gifts come together to help us move the dial on the level of care that is available for the community and the entire region.

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