May is Leave a Legacy Month, a nationwide campaign that brings awareness to the impact of planned giving as a way of leaving a lasting mark on your community for generations to come.
A legacy or planned gift is a donation you make now – whether it’s cash, property or other assets such as stocks – that is designated for your chosen charity at a future date, often through your will at the time of your death.
Why does leaving a legacy for our foundation matter? We sat down with April Grindheim, our philanthropy officer who works with legacy donors, to talk about the power of planned gifts and her passion for helping donors leave their own legacies to support transforming health care in Alberta. Get to know April below!
Meet April Grindheim, philanthropy officer and Covenant Foundation donor
How do you help planned givers and their families?
As a philanthropy officer, it’s my honour to work with individual donors, grateful patients and families, and foundations and businesses that share a passion for supporting Covenant hospitals and continuing care sites across Alberta. In a typical week, I work with donors across our province to help them choose the best way to not only support our foundation’s work but also get the best tax benefit from their planned gift.
What does planned giving mean to you?
When I think of planned giving, I think of gifts that require a step or two more than writing a cheque or donating online, and have such a big impact on our community. Planned giving provides more options. With more options, you can make more impactful gifts! It’s so exciting for me to work with donors – whether they have a personal connection to Covenant Health or not – to help impact the areas of health care that are most important to them and their families.
What expert tips can you share about planned giving?
Did you know gifts of transfers of stocks, public securities or mutual funds allow you to make a gift with a greater tax benefit than cash? And that gifts of life insurance won’t impact your current disposable income? When I was younger, I thought the only people who could leave a gift to a charity in their wills were the very wealthy. That’s not the case. I have seen gifts of all sizes left in wills and they all have an impact.
What kind of legacy do planned givers leave in their community?
When you choose to make a planned gift, you demonstrate your commitment to health care in Alberta and your love for your community. In 2021, we received a planned gift designated through Joseph Switzer's will in support of Covenant's Banff Mineral Springs Hospital. Joe was a beloved long-time Banff resident who left a legacy that will support emergency and palliative care medicine in Banff for many years to come. His generosity truly lives on in his community through his gift.
How does planned giving impact Covenant's patients, residents, families and healthcare teams?
You can choose to designate your gift to a Covenant facility in your community, a specific need (such as leading-edge equipment, specialized programs or enhanced care spaces) or give in support of the greatest needs in hospital and continuing care across Alberta. And if you've experienced Covenant's compassionate care firsthand, making a planned gift not only allows you to support the facility that matters most to you, it also gives you an impactful way to thank the staff who provided exceptional care when you or your loved one needed it most.
What advice do you have for someone considering planned giving?
Talk to us! We’re here to help make the process as simple as possible for you. You may also want to talk to your accountant, lawyer or estate advisor to find out what method of giving would be best for you. If you’re considering a gift in your will, talk to your family — sharing with them why you love our foundation enough to make us part of your estate planning gets them excited about the gift, too.
What's your favourite part of your role?
Meeting and connecting with people! As an Alberta girl, I've always loved chatting with people in my community, learning their stories and helping them leave the gift of a lifetime. Showing donors the impact of their generosity is also so fun! Hearing from donors who have received excellent care at Covenant hospitals and continuing care sites and who now want to give back is a really moving experience. At its core, it shows the good in people — people wanting to help people. And hearing from hospital, long-term and hospice care staff about the impact our donors make keeps me motivated.
Tell us about you as a person. What does your life look like outside of work?
I was raised in a northern-ish small town in Alberta, went to university in southern Alberta and after a couple of years abroad settled in Edmonton. I’m lucky to live close to Edmonton’s river valley and spend time on the trails with my husband and two dogs. In the winter, we cross-country ski and curl. I started my curling career five years ago. I love our club and it’s another way for me to connect with people outside of my day-to-day bubble. In the summer, I love gardening and trying to keep up with the retirees in our neighbourhood — I have so much to learn!
|If you’re considering making a planned gift to Covenant Foundation: thank you. I’m excited to work with you to ensure we're using your gift how you intend. Your decision to support our foundation shows your dedication to health care and your fellow Albertans. I'm a foundation donor, too, so I appreciate how important this decision is to you. Thank you!|
Interviewer and editor: Tara Joyce
Your legacy gift would represent a significant contribution to our mission and would provide you and your loved ones with tax and estate planning benefits.