In honor of National Make-A-Will Month, we sat down with Phoenix Children's President and CEO Robert L. Meyer for a conversation about why he and his wife, Diane, decided to make a legacy gift to Phoenix Children's.

Why is philanthropic support so important to Phoenix Children's?

Philanthropy is essential to ensuring that we can provide the best care for every child. It's the most efficient way for Phoenix Children's to create capital. We don’t have stock like publicly traded companies.

Instead, we rely on philanthropic support to help us fill critical gaps and innovate for the future. Right now, philanthropy funds more than 170 programs and services that are not covered by insurance.

Why did you decide to include a gift to Phoenix Children's in your estate plan?

We looked for the ways we could use our money the most effectively, leverage it as much as we could. For us, making Phoenix Children's the beneficiary of my life insurance policy was the best way to do it. The premiums that I pay are donations to Phoenix Children's Foundation, and then you get the leverage on the end result.

Is there a particular area of the hospital that you support?

Our personal area of interest is pediatric cancer. Diane is a childhood cancer survivor. She had osteosarcoma when she was 15. She lost her right leg to it.

When I tell the story to our oncologists here, they're absolutely astounded that she survived. So our philanthropy, when we give to Phoenix Children's, is to the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. It's what we're passionate about.

What advice would you give to others who are considering a legacy gift to Phoenix Children's?

The earlier you start, the more effective you can be at leveraging your money. There are many legacy gift options that may reduce your tax burden and allow you to give a larger gift that costs you less, like making a gift in your will or trust or using a donor-advised fund, stocks, vehicles or your retirement plan.

Leave a Legacy of Your Own

Learn how a gift in your estate plan can change the future for a child.

Related Stories