Cancer Centre's Bequest Society
5 July 2004 at 1:07 pm
Bequest Societies are relatively new to Australia but the Peter Mac Cancer Centre in Melbourne is finding the concept a winner for donors and the organisation.
Peter Mac recently established the Friend For Life Society to recognise confirmed bequestors during their lifetime as well as providing an opportunity to thank donors and keep them informed of the continuing work of the Centre.
Donor Liaison Co-ordinator, Kristine Ash says society members are invited to Peter Mac events and are kept up to date with cancer research and patient care initiatives.
Ash says the aim is to give members a real sense of affiliation with Peter Mac while they are alive as well as understanding how valuable their bequest is.
Strategically, the Bequest Society is a relatively new concept in Australia while it is highly evolved in the US.
The Manager of Community Relations and Fundraising at Peter Mac Cancer Centre Michelle Trevorrow says her organisation receives 70% of its income from bequests.
Trevorrow says like many other organisations it is very difficult to plan ahead based on often-unexpected bequest donations or in many cases it is not possible to thank those who have left valuable gifts.
Just recently Peter Mac received an incredible $2.5 million bequest from the estate of a Miss Bingham who was not known to them and who had no family who could be contacted or thanked. Another donor, a Riverina farmer who was not a former patient or even known to Peter Mac left his entire $2million estate to the cancer centre.
Michelle Trevorrow says it’s instances like these that encouraged her to consider the Bequest Society, which she investigated during a recent study tour to the US, to get to know bequestors in their lifetime.
She says from a mail out to 15,000 long time Peter Mac supporters, they confirmed 80 existing bequestors and established 63 previously unknown ones. Another 189 people expressed their interest in including Peter Mac in their wills.
She says through the work of Kristine Ash, the Friend for Life Society members will be regularly contacted and invited to be part of Peter Mac events and offered assistance with estate planning.
Also there are plans for professional development courses for solicitors wanting to help clients to include Peter Mac in the wills.
For more information about the Friend For Life Society check out the web site at www.petermac.org.
If you would like a copy of the Peter Mac bequest brochure in PDF format, just send us an email with Peter Mac in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.