"When you reach that third stage of your life, you start thinking about what you want to leave behind as your legacy," explains Dream Builder Jan Cady, a Sarasota-based philanthropy and fundraising consultant.
"My career experience has largely involved working with children's hospitals throughout the country and, although I don't have any children of my own, I have stepchildren and now a granddaughter that I love dearly. You start thinking, who do I most want to help? Where will my giving make the most difference, not just immediately after I'm gone, but for generations?"
Passionate about children's health care and a longtime donor to several children's hospitals including Johns Hopkins All Children's, Cady started thinking about a gift that would keep on giving: a legacy gift. An endowed fund.
Cady and her husband, Phil, had just become year-round Florida residents and were updating their estate planning when the idea came up. "I hope people realize how important it is to update your will or trust when you move to another state. You need to work with an attorney to make sure you are following all the statutes," Cady adds. "It is also a wonderful time to consider all your beneficiaries. Are they current? Is this still what you really want?
For my husband, Phil, and me, it was time for a few changes."
Cady realized during her years working with children's hospitals that super-busy physicians and other caregivers don't always have the time or funding for conferences or even to think of new ideas. "I knew those minds could benefit from inspiration and learning. I wanted to create a fund that would offer these dedicated clinicians and scientists the opportunity to build and grow their talents and lead them to wonderful ideas, innovation and cures. This kind of gift keeps giving and giving to future generations."
Cady established the Janet B. Cady Endowed Fund for Leadership and Innovation, which will be held in perpetuity by the Johns Hopkins All Children's Foundation. The income from the fund will be used to support a caregiver or scientist who has shown notable leadership of a program or project to advance the hospital's mission, or to fund a caregiver or scientist who has demonstrated remarkable innovation to change children's lives for the better.
An endowed fund isn't the only way to become a Dream Builder, but it was, in Cady's mind, the most effective way to put her funds to good use.
"Phil is also a big fan of Johns Hopkins All Children's, and he supports this decision," she says. "Johns Hopkins All Children's is exactly the type of organization that works best for an endowment. You want to choose an institution that will be doing great work forever. Johns Hopkins isn't going anywhere so you know this money will continue to benefit children for a long time. That's a wonderful thought."
Cady is thrilled with her decision to help the hospital she loves. She is pleased to be part of a fund that will lead to innovation and change that will ultimately help find cures and meet the vision of improving pediatric health at Johns Hopkins All Children's through the Dream Builder program.