By Gene R. Wurth, OREF President/CEO
As OREF continues to build for the future, having an endowment large enough to fund its most important research awards is critical. By the end of 2002, the OREF endowment had grown to about $13.5 million in cash (assets invested in a variety of classes) and about $24 million in insurance, trust and estate gifts that will be realized by OREF in the years ahead. The Alfred R. Shands Jr. Circle has been a significant factor in the creation and growth of that endowment.
The Shands Circle is the highest level of donor recognition offered by OREF. Its membership includes individuals (and their spouses) who commit either $20,000 or more in cash or securities (which can be paid over a period of years) or $50,000 or more in a financial planning tool, such as life insurance, a charitable trust or a commitment by will. These gifts are important indicators of the type of support we get from interested individuals, and they help to guarantee the future health of OREF.
The Shands Circle began in 1994 with 30 members and has grown dramatically over the past nine years. As of May 1, 2003, Shands Circle membership stood at 305-a more than 10-fold increase in less than 10 years. This is the result of the energy and effort of the nearly 30 members of the committee who have made their own gifts and encourage others to do so. The committee contacts prospects one-on-one or helps to arrange special dinner meetings to provide prospects with a global view of steps toward financial health while educating them about the ways financial planning can help them support OREF.
The Shands Circle arranges between six and 12 such meetings each year at various locations across the country, and the results have been impressive. The Shands Circle includes 17 commitments of $500,000 or more, including nine of $1 million or more, in addition to about 175 commitments at the basic level, plus many more at amounts in between. The number of options to joincash, securities, life insurance, charitable remainder or lead trusts and gifts by willmeans that we can work with donors to create a plan to fit almost any circumstances.
Benefits of membership
The primary benefit of joining the Shands Circle is the knowledge that you are helping discover the future of orthopaedics through OREF. In addition, members enjoy:
The OREF has come a long way since its creation in 1955, and a great deal of that progress has come in the nearly 10 years since the Shands Circle was established. We extend our sincere thanks to all of our Shands Circle members.
If you would like to learn more about the Shands Circle, please contact Mark Malone, vice president of development at OREF, (847) 384-4355 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.