Gift Planning: From Vision to Endowment Legacy



By Colleen Cowman, Director of Planned Giving, KGH Foundation
KGH Foundation donors John and Monica Shantz formed a clear idea of their philanthropic legacy. It grew from their belief that the best health care possible, close to home, is vital to our whole community.

To achieve their vision of supporting health care for the Interior, John and Monica decided to establish an enduring, named endowed fund.

Creating this fund rests on a “blended giving” strategy. By using regular annual donations, they began funding The John and Monica Shantz Endowed Fund in 2021. It will achieve full funding with their last gift – a charitable bequest to fulfill their commitment. Once fully funded and after a year of investment, the Shantzes fund will enable KGH to purchase new equipment for diagnostics, medicine, labs, and surgery – priorities our community will require for years to come.

Every donation makes a difference, but making a gift beyond your lifetime takes reflection and shows the special care you take when considering the future.

By blending your current donations with a bequest, you can craft your personal legacy for future generations. One way is to establish an endowed fund to ensure your lasting support for critical medical advancements and patient care.

We are grateful for donors like the Shantzes who have thoughtfully included the foundation in their philanthropic legacy.

The Endowment Wall at Kelowna General Hospital.

Endowments Support Urgent & Primary Care

Kelowna has grown a lot over the years, and with this growth, more residents and visitors whose first language is not English are experiencing barriers when accessing health care services.

Every day, the Kelowna, Rutland Aurora and West Kelowna Urgent & Primary Care Centres (UPCC) found these barriers a big challenge while caring for numerous patients.

“We see between 50-80 patients daily,” says Chauntal Skemer, Manager of the Rutland Aurora Primary Care Clinic. “Many are non-English speaking or not proficient in English. With the current health care crisis in primary care, and urgent and emergent care, accurate communication and understanding between patient and clinician is imperative.”

Thanks to two endowments with the KGH Foundation, the UPCCs now have translation services for patients after purchasing clinical iPads with rolling medical-grade stands and specialized software.

“This equipment enables stronger communication with our patients every day,” says Stephanie Paulson, Manager, Kelowna UPCC. “Before the iPads, we used a landline telephone translation service. It was challenging: set up took a long time; calls got dropped; and ASL (American Sign Language) was unavailable.”

“This equipment enables stronger communication with our patients every day.”

These iPads are portable and easy to use, with video and audio options, plus ASL. Patients can now access health care and feel heard and understood, resulting in increased dignity and respect.

“We serve diverse people,” Stephanie explains. “New immigrants, refugee populations, and tourists visiting Canada whose first language is not English come to us for various treatments. With language barriers and errors in information sharing, not receiving safe care is a risk. Now we can ensure accurate medical visits because we understand one another, and they receive safe, appropriate care.”

“We are grateful for this gift,” says Chauntal. “It makes translation service more accessible, personal, and efficient. Both patients are providers are benefiting! Thank you.”

Inspiring Advances in Care

Creating a plan for a unique mix of charitable contributions can leave a lasting imprint of generosity.

Estate planning is fundamental to philanthropic planning. Deciding how to distribute your estate demonstrates how you want to take care of loved ones. With each tangible memento or asset given, you share a memory, build future potential, and provide a form of support and hope for others.

Charitable giving amplifies what you leave others AND helps to leave the world a better place.

If there is one place that everyone needs, now or in the future, it’s our hospital. Access to excellence in health care doesn’t matter…until it does. And then, it is the only thing that matters.

Donating a portion of your estate to the KGH Foundation allows you to continue to inspire advances in care at KGH. No matter how you choose to give, by planning a blended approach for current and legacy giving, you’re contributing to a thriving health care system, close to home for future generations.

A donation in someone’s honour is a gift that will have lasting impact. A commemorative donation in memory or celebration of a loved one is a special way to share your acknowledgements. Learn more at

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