Passion Leads Decision to Make Planned Gift to UW-Eau Claire Foundation

For Joey Bohl, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire was among the organizations she felt most passionate about when she and her husband, Ralph, determined where to focus their charitable giving.

That's no surprise, when you consider that not only did she graduate summa cum laude from UW-Eau Claire with her bachelor's degree in communication arts, she also has worked there for 22 years. Joey currently is an assistant director of Admissions at the university.

Below, Joey discusses how she and Ralph decided to include the UW-Eau Claire Foundation in their giving plans, how they determined which planned giving options were the best fit for them, and what they hope the impact of their gift will be at UW-Eau Claire.

Why did you decide to make a planned gift to the Foundation?
Ralph and I made a conscious decision to look at areas that impacted our lives such as school/organizations/places or areas we felt passionate about and include those in our giving. We wanted to make sure they continued to make an impact on other people even after we are no longer here.

Did your experiences here as a student and now as a university employee come into play in your decision?
Most definitely. I loved my experience at UW-Eau Claire and have lasting lifelong friendships from my time as a student. I also had wonderful professors and mentors through classes, work experiences and organizations — the communications department, Admissions, Honors Program and Periscope, to name a few. Now, as an employee in Admissions, I have the opportunity to help bring in new Blugolds. I had a great time at UW-Eau Claire as a student and want others to have the same experience. I also strongly believe in public higher education and UW-Eau Claire is a great choice for students.

What kind of planned gift did you set up with the Foundation? What was appealing to you about that type of gift?
I included the UW-Eau Claire Foundation as a beneficiary of my 403(b) plan and of our residual estate in our will. By including the Foundation as a beneficiary of my 403(b) plan, I have more control of those dollars to ensure an amount is available. Including the Foundation in our residual estate is kind of like icing on the cake — it should provide additional dollars, but I'm just not sure how much.

What will your planned gift support at UW-Eau Claire, and why did you choose to designate your gift in that way?
I included areas such as scholarships, the Honors Program and the communication and journalism department, as they had significant impact on my experiences. I also mentioned that the gift could be used for the greatest need. Understanding that our needs on campus may drastically change with the times, other areas may be better served by my giving when the time comes.

What was the process like in setting up your planned gift? How did you learn about this giving option and what resources were helpful in setting up your gift?
We worked with a lawyer to set up our will, and he really walked us through the entire process. When we needed to contact the UW-Eau Claire Foundation about a specific name and address to include in the will/beneficiary list, John DeLestry, the Foundation's planned giving coordinator, provided us with this information and additional resources. He also provided us with a form to be used by the Foundation on which we indicated where our gift should be directed.

What impact do you hope your gift will have at UW-Eau Claire?
I hope our gift to UW-Eau Claire will help campus continue to live its vision and mission and provide those same opportunities I had as a student and employee.

What would you say to others considering a planned gift?
You are never too young to make an impact. Even if you've just graduated from UW-Eau Claire, thinking about including the place that was special to you as a beneficiary in anything from a tax-sheltered annuity to a will is important. There were people in the past who were thoughtful enough to give to a scholarship, the Honors Program, etc., so that I could take advantage of them. Now, I get to be that person and give another person that same opportunity — what a wonderful way to pay it forward!

Learn More
You can follow Joey and Ralph's example by remembering the UW-Eau Claire Foundation in your estate plans. Contact Michele Olson at 715-836-3526 or olsonmma@uwec.edu to discover a giving plan that matches your goals.