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New Ulm Medical Center

Making a difference through ‘cashless’ donations

A renovated and expanded surgery department, cancer center and birth center are just three examples of how planned giving made through the New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) Foundation is enhancing local health care services. For donors, these projects will be part of their legacy and a way to make a lasting difference in the lives of their loved ones, neighbors and future generations.

Planned giving refers to a wide variety of ways people of all income levels can give to the NUMC Foundation during their lifetime or after their death.

What many people may not realize is that they don't have to be rich or famous to have a legacy or make a difference. In fact, there are a number of "cashless" ways to give back to the community, according to Carisa Buegler, NUMC Foundation director. For example, the Foundation can be named as the beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of life insurance policies or retirement plans and IRAs.

Charitable gift annuities and charitable trusts are other types of planned gifts that provide donors or another beneficiary with income for life with the eventual distribution to the Foundation. Gifts of securities or real estate are another option.

"A bequest of land you own, including commercial farm land, to the Foundation is another great way that you can benefit the health of our community," said Buegler. "By taking a little time to think about the impact you want to have on the community, you can make a nice lifetime gift to an organization you feel passionate about. People are often surprised and delighted to learn they are able to give a larger amount to an organization through these planned giving vehicles."

All major NUMC departments have have made significant improvements thanks to donations through the Foundation, which regularly talks with the direct care patient staff and management team about the needs within their departments. Often, budgets allow for the replacement of existing equipment, Buegler explained, but not for expansions or new innovative equipment and services.

“That's the role the Foundation can play,” she said. “Planned giving ensures we have the technology and the environment necessary to provide exceptional care and to be really well prepared for the needs of our community."

Benefits for donors

In addition to benefitting the health of the community, certain types of planned gifts can also help donors or their heirs avoid or minimize capital gains, estate and other taxes. Although they often make economic sense because of these tax advantages, Buegler pointed out that planned gifts are first and foremost a reflection of donor’s passion and the changes they want to see for their community.

"When most people think of leaving a legacy, they search for a cause that is close to their heart, and where they know they can truly make a difference," she said.

Some donors choose to give to the NUMC in an unrestricted donation. In these cases, the donation will be used to address the organization’s most urgent needs. Planned gifts can also be directed towards a specific program or department.

"Some people may have had a life experience that lends itself to a restricted gift to a certain department they feel strongly about, such as the cancer center or birth center," Buegler said. "It's called planned giving for a reason. Donors often want to ensure that someone else's journey is easier than their own or to make the journey better for someone who is walking behind them. That is how a lot of us are stirred."

To learn more about planned giving, call the NUMC Foundation at 507-217-5188.