By RENEE WEBB
Holy Spirit Retirement Home Foundation in Sioux City recently initiated the Father Meinen Legacy Society.
“Membership is granted to those who include Holy Spirit in their estate plans,” explained Ranee Ehrich, director of marketing and development at Holy Spirit Retirement Home.
About 30 people attended the kickoff luncheon for the Father Meinen Legacy Society (FMLS) that was held Nov. 9.
The society was named after Father Dennis Meinen, a priest of the Diocese of Sioux City, who has served as chaplain at the retirement home since 2003. Because the priest has been such a strong part of the lives of all residents – not only the 60 percent Catholic population – Ehrich said the foundation felt it was fitting to name the society in his honor.
“We’ve been accepting planned gifts for a long time, but this is just a formal society for us to recognize those who do include us,” said Ehrich, who noted it plants the seeds of giving now for gifts to come in the future. “The goal is that by 2025, eight years from now, we will have 20 percent of our operating budget come through these planned gifts.”
The types of estate gifts can vary from a death beneficiary designation on a life insurance policy, 401K, pension or retirement plan to a specific designation of a gift listed in a will or trust.
“We also offer charitable gift annuities through the Diocese of Sioux City. That is a product that they can reap the benefits of while they are living and then Holy Spirit Retirement Home receives the benefit upon death,” said Ehrich, who noted this is the only gift that holds a minimum of $10,000.
Except for the charitable gift annuity, she noted there are no minimum gift amounts or percentages required to be included in the society.
“We have a gift acceptance policy. What we are requesting is either non-cash assets like real estate, stock or investments,” Ehrich explained. “They can also do payable on death with a checking, savings account or investment account.”
A common practice for donors is to give a percentage of their estate. Holy Spirit, she noted, recently received a gift of just one percent of the residual amount of the estate and it still came to about $7,000.
Ehrich said they were unaware they were slated to receive the $7,000 gift.
“By having a formal society, it makes the conversation easier for people to know that we accept these types of gifts and we can recognize them,” she said. “We can also have more knowledge of what to plan for, for the future as well.”
Ehrich mentioned if financial circumstances or wishes of the donor change, the gift can be revocable.
Those who may wish to participate in the FMLS could include employees, past employees, volunteers, current residents, family members or past or current residents as well as anyone who is passionate about Catholic healthcare.
Members of the society are given a prayer cross when they join. The society will host an annual luncheon or similar event.
“If people are interested in learning more about the Father Meinen Legacy Society, I am happy to meet with them one-on-one to discuss some ways we can work together to incorporate their wishes and wants into the gift,” said Ehrich.
For more information, contact Ehrich at (712) 224-9976 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.