It has been said, “There are two types of organizations, those that are dying and those that are endowed.” As you look at nonprofits, the same can be said about them. The tendency is to raise money for the current year and hope those donors will be there for you in the following year. This is a viable option, but it is also an option which comes with the highest amount of risk.

Many of the mature nonprofits, including colleges and universities, have embraced the use of endowments for their long term needs. What commonly happens when someone passes is a large sum of money is transferred to a local nonprofit through the donor’s estate. This gift is received, and immediately capital projects are identified for the money to be used for. Because remember, most of our organizations are built to raise money for the current year.

At the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation, we made a decision several years ago that would change the way we handled these types of gifts. Our Board of Trustees adopted an Estate Gift Policy, which states every estate gift received by the Foundation will establish an endowment to benefit the organization of the deceased's choosing. This will insure the donor will be remembered, not only today, but forever.

West Tennessee Healthcare (WTH) does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, Limited English Proficiency or sex, including discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, sex stereotyping or pregnancy in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities, whether carried out by WTH directly or through a contractor or any other entity with which WTH arranges to carry out its programs and activities.