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Stefani Volunteers and Encourages Giving Back

Stefani Volunteers and Encourages Giving Back

Many people know that Mercy utilizes a large number of volunteers to help make the patient experience remarkable. However, Nancy Stefani, will tell you that being a volunteer is as fulfilling for her as it is for the patients she assists in the surgery waiting area.

What many do not know, is that Nancy also volunteers to help Mercy and many other nonprofits in the community by sharing her knowledge of estate gift planning. Early in her career, she was the first Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) in the state of Iowa and still today is one of the most well-known estate gift planners in central Iowa.

Now retired after spending more than three decades in development at Catholic Charities and Drake University, Stefani is considering gifts from the other side of the table - as a donor.

Nancy is open about her planned gift to Mercy Foundation, and encourages others who have included a bequest in their will to visit with the designated charity about it.

"Informing a charity of your planned gift is helpful in their future planning," Nancy says. "You need to work with the charity to ensure that the need you are addressing will still be a need 10, or 20, or 30 years from now.

"By working with the charity, you can be sure your gift is guided in a direction that will have the most impact."

Nancy recommends you consider the "Four P's" when drawing up your will: The people you want to remember, the property you own, the plans you have for impacting others, and the planners who can assist you in drawing up legal documents to ensure your wishes are carried out. She also says after drawing up your will, it is important to revisit the document on a regular basis to ensure it is up-to-date and continues to carry out your wishes.

"Your objectives and goals and wishes change naturally over time," Nancy says. "And as you lose family members that also changes how you draw up your plan. I drew up my first will when I was about 20 years old. I have probably revised it seven or eight times since then."

And while financial gifts are a wonderful way to leave a legacy, Nancy has had an impact on Mercy initiatives in other ways as well, including serving as a member of the Mercy Auxiliary Board for 9 years.

"After retiring, I was thinking about where I would offer my community service," she says. "I was asked to serve on the Mercy Auxiliary Board and said I would love to be a part of it. I truly enjoyed my time on the board immensely simply because it's a great organization and all the money that is raised flows back to address the unmet needs of Mercy and Mercy affiliates."

Her service also makes her part of a notable group.

"We grant up to a third of a million dollars a year at the Mercy Auxiliary," Nancy says with a smile. "That makes the Auxiliary the single largest donor to Mercy. And since I can't be the single largest donor, it's wonderful to be a part of the largest donor. That gives me great satisfaction."

Popular Planned Giving Options

Looking for a planned giving vehicle that will work for you? Consider this analysis from retired development professional Nancy Stefani:

"Right now, the most popular charitable vehicles for the individual are bequests because with a bequest, you don't have to take a check out of the checkbook today. Rather, you make a decision to include a charity in your will.

In addition, Nancy says that charitable trusts offer another option that works well for some. The key, though, is visiting with those with knowledge of the various options and making a choice based on what is best for the individual.

For more information on your options for making a planned gift, please contact Joan Bindel, CFRE, at (515) 643-8020 or jbindel@mercydesmoines.org.


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