Harold Wainwright was not one for the spotlight. He took great pride in being active, whether through his 35-years of work at Michelin Bridgewater, his time in the Canadian military or conquering Nova Scotia’s ski hills.

Giving to healthcare on the South Shore became an annual tradition of Mr. Wainwright, beginning in 1988 with a $20 donation to the development of South Shore Regional Hospital. His desire to give more to his regional hospital grew over the years, as did his want to honour his mother, Ruth, with his philanthropy.

Medical professionals having the equipment they need in their hospital was very important to Mr. Wainwright. As he pondered his long-term philanthropic giving, his financial advisor introduced him to donor advised funds.

A donor advised fund is a personal charitable account established and named by an individual or family. The fund receives donations from its founder (or founders), often made both in their lifetime and by their estate. Essentially, it is like starting a personal foundation, minus the expensive overhead of managing it.

In 2015, Mr. Wainwright created a donor advised fund to honour his mother: the Ruth Salter Memorial Fund. This fund gives to two charities annually, one being the Health Services Foundation for its area of greatest need.

Donor advised funds not only allow the donor setting up the fund to benefit from a sizeable tax receipt during the creation of the fund, but also allows the donor to plan their future charitable donations, instead of making a one-time large donation.

While Mr. Wainwright has passed away, his legacy (and that of his mother) continues to enhance healthcare at South Shore Regional Hospital. He set up the donor advised fund so it will continue to invest in important healthcare projects on the South Shore over the next ten years, all in Ruth’s name.

“Mr. Wainwright was a private and thoughtful man who wanted to make his hospital the best it could be for himself, his neighbours and his communities,” notes Arleen Stevens, Executive Director of the Health Services Foundation. “In all of our meetings and tours of the hospital he was always clear that he never wanted to be recognized during his lifetime even though he gave consistently for 23 years. He often used tax efficient methods like a DAF or gifts of stocks and with these donations he helped to buy many pieces of equipment especially in diagnostic Imaging and cardiology. He did accomplish what he had intended and that was making his hospital better for those around him.”  

As of Summer 2023, the Ruth Salter Memorial Fund has given $292,168 towards various projects at South Shore Regional Hospital.

If you are considering your philanthropic future and your finances, consider asking your financial advisor about donor advised funds. Or reached out to the Health Services Foundation to learn more about how your gift can make a positive impact to your community.