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Tue Mar 22, 2022, 09:51 AM

St. Jude Fights Donors' Families in Court for Share of Estates

Most Americans know St. Jude Childrenís Research Hospital through television advertisements featuring Hollywood celebrities asking for contributions or the millions of fundraising appeals that regularly arrive in mailboxes across the country.

But a select group of potential donors is targeted in a more intimate way. Representatives of the hospitalís fundraising arm visit their homes; dine with them at local restaurants; send them personal notes and birthday cards; and schedule them for ďlove calls.Ē

What makes these potential donors so special? They told St. Jude they were considering leaving the hospital a substantial amount in their wills. Once the suggestion was made, specialized fundraisers set a singular goal: build relationships with the donors to make sure the money flows to the hospital after their deaths.

The intense cultivation of these donors is part of a strategy that has helped St. Jude establish what may be the most successful charitable bequest program in the country. In the most recent five-year period of reported financial results, bequests constituted $1.5 billion, or 20%, of the $7.5 billion St. Jude raised in those years. That amount, both in terms of dollars and as a percentage of fundraising, far outpaces that raised by other leading childrenís hospitals and charities generally.

While a financial boon to St. Jude, the hospitalís pursuit has led to fraught disputes with donorsí family members and allegations that it goes too far in its quest for bequests.

https://www.propublica.org/article/st.-jude-fights-donors-families-in-court-for-share-of-estates
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Why I no longer donate to St. Jude

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Reply St. Jude Fights Donors' Families in Court for Share of Estates (Original post)
Jilly_in_VA Mar 2022 OP
snowybirdie Mar 2022 #1
Jilly_in_VA Mar 2022 #3
dalton99a Mar 2022 #4
Moosepoop Mar 2022 #5
obamanut2012 Mar 2022 #6
Jilly_in_VA Mar 2022 #8
Moosepoop Mar 2022 #10
snowybirdie Mar 2022 #2
Jacson6 Mar 2022 #7
Jilly_in_VA Mar 2022 #9
Doremus Mar 2022 #11
unitedwethrive Mar 2022 #12
GoodRaisin Mar 2022 #13
hunter Mar 2022 #14
4catsmom Mar 2022 #15
XanaDUer2 Mar 2022 #16

Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2022, 10:25 AM

1. Hey folks

I'm betting the heirs probably ignored their rich old relatives until it was time to read the wills. St Jude was nice to them and kept in touch. I'm old too and if my own children ignored me I'd be more than happy to give my funds to children with cancer and cancer research. At this level of wealth, its very different. But that'll likely not be my problem. Intend into spend it all having fun!

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Response to snowybirdie (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 22, 2022, 10:28 AM

3. Have you read

any of the other articles on St. Jude? Only about 40% of their money goes to the kids and research. An awfully hefty amount goes into fundraising and this kind of thing.

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 22, 2022, 10:39 AM

4. +1

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 22, 2022, 11:08 AM

5. Not according to Charity Navigator

CN gives them a 4-star, "Exceptional" rating:

https://www.charitynavigator.org/ein/351044585

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 22, 2022, 11:14 AM

6. Either you or Charity Navigator is incorrect

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 22, 2022, 11:26 AM

8. Read the other articles from Pro Publica

It may change your mind. Like how they treat the families of patients. I don't deny they save kids, but at what cost to families?

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Reply #8)

Tue Mar 22, 2022, 11:44 AM

10. Yes, Pro Publica seems to have a problem with St. Jude

Their first article, dated last November, carried on mostly about how St. Jude doesn't cover mortgage/rent costs or loss of income for parents of their patients while the kids are undergoing treatment. Well, duh!! Who expects them to? Oh, and garment-rending over the notion that St. Jude takes payments from medical insurance -- again, who would expect otherwise?? Of course they take whatever insurance will pay! They would be grossly negligent not to.

St. Jude does cover the medical expenses NOT covered by insurance, and all medical expenses for those without insurance. Plus travel and lodging for the kids and families.

It's a good organization. I'm perfectly happy with the $19 a month I contribute going to them.

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)


Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2022, 11:20 AM

7. My childhood friend who had leukemia was saved by St. Jude.

The money donated to St. Jude isn't going into a fat executives pocket. The money is going for research to keep children alive.


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Response to Jacson6 (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 22, 2022, 11:27 AM

9. Not all of it

Read other articles on Pro Publica.

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2022, 12:08 PM

11. Hit piece.

Truly a shame when one of the few good things left is attacked like this.

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2022, 12:20 PM

12. As a pediatrician for over 30 years, I have referred several patients to St. Jude's

Without exception, I have heard nothing but good things from the families about how they were treated there and the care that their child received. As a primary physician, I have been kept apprised of my patientís progress, and have been impressed with the attention to all aspects of care.

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2022, 12:51 PM

13. The thing is, old people can give their money to who they damn well please.

If itís saving a kid from dying of cancer, all the better.

I think the underlying message here is if the sons and daughters want their fatherís money, then they better start visiting him more often.

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2022, 12:57 PM

14. We could live in a world where affluent-to-wealthy people paid their fair share of taxes...

... which would support universal health care and cutting edge medical research that would be shared freely with everyone.

"Charity" is a huge industry in the U.S.A. and most of it is ineffective and unnecessary bullshit.

It also seems to me we should be putting more effort into finding the causes of various diseases. But maybe we don't want to know the causes. The results of that kind of research might be bad for business...

I don't have any well researched opinion about St. Jude but I'm not interested in contributing to any charity that advertises on television. This kind of advertising is just one of the reasons I quit traditional television entirely.

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2022, 02:36 PM

15. Any charity can do this

and can litigate into perpetuity if they stand to gain enough money in a will. And the will doesn't have to say specifically that they are giving them money. If the will says something like 'if my husband dies before me and the SPCA has to take my pets, I'll leave them a million dollars' and the SPCA can go after that money even if the husband is alive and well and the pets are well cared for.

If you want to give money but don't want the will provisions being fought over donate to charity while you're still alive. Or if you just want to enjoy the drama...

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2022, 02:57 PM

16. St. Jude helps kids with cancer

Whether or not they can pay. That's amazing in this country

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