Planned Giving Advisory Council

THE GOAL of the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Planned Giving Advisory Council is to develop and strengthen relationships between Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and planned giving professionals in the region, to increase the understanding of the mission of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and its need for philanthropic support, and to foster legacy gifts to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Planned Giving Advisory Council will assist Brattleboro Memorial Hospital in achieving its goal of increasing the number of planned gifts to the hospital. Council members, individually and collectively, can accomplish this mission by:

LEARNING about and experiencing the programs of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and serving as an ambassador for the hospital in the community.

RECOGNIZING charitable planning opportunities to benefit the hospital.

SHARING experience and expertise in planned giving matters with the Development staff of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

Planned Giving Advisory Council Comprehensive

Members shall be chosen from the following groups, taking into consideration the geographic make-up of the committee:

  • Estate Planning Attorneys
  • Tax Attorneys
  • Financial Planners
  • Trust Officers
  • Certified Public Accountants
  • Investment Managers
  • Insurance Professionals
  • Other Interested Allied Professionals

Membership benefits:

  • Referral Network
  • Professional Exposure
  • Professional Networking Opportunities
  • Inside View of BMH and its Strategic Priorities

Members should be willing to meet the following criteria:

  • Attend the twice yearly Planned Giving

Advisory Council meetings.

  • Assist in identifying and nurturing those individuals capable of making a planned gift to BMH.
  • Assist BMH in successfully implementing its planned giving program.
  • Provide occasional consultation to BMH.
  • Give personal philanthropic support to the Annual Fund, become a member of The 1904 Legacy Society, or support a special event.

The Planned Giving Advisory Council is a self-perpetuating body. The Chairman of the Council is chosen by a committee composed of the current Chair of the Planned Giving Advisory Council, the Director of Development, the Vice President of Finance at BMH, and the Chair of the Development Committee.

Legacy of Support and How a Generous Gift Started BMH

You can not talk about Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, particularly its founding, without talking about the Thompson Trust.

In 1840, Vermont-born Elizabeth Rowell met a wealthy Bostonian, Thomas Thompson, on one of his carriage trips through the state. The daughter of a farmer, she was just 19 years old and, according to the Vermont Peoples National Bank publication “With Interest” (published in 1926), “No Mona Lisa on canvas could rival successfully Elizabeth Rowell in her prime.”

Thompson, a Harvard graduate and a middle-aged bachelor who had inherited a fair amount of money for the time, was smitten by the Green Mountain girl. For three years, he thought about her as the type of girl he wanted for a wife and in December, 1843 Elizabeth Rowell and Thomas Thompson were married.

The second chapter of this romance happened in 1861, a year that Brattleboro was a beehive of sewing women making garments for Civil War soldiers. That summer, during one of the Thompsons many Brattleboro visits, Thomas asked Elizabeth to whom she would like to bequeath the money he would be leaving her (as a considerably older husband) |when he died. She is reported to have said, “Perhaps I can use the money for the benefit of humanity…it shall go to the sewing women of Brattleboro and of Rhinebeck, New York, where we have so often stayed.” Eight years later, Thomas died, leaving Elizabeth with a million dollar trust.When Elizabeth died in 1899, her will decreed two-thirds of the income from the estate was to go to Brattleboro, and one-third to Rhinebeck, and although the sewing women were (indeed) named as beneficiaries, the court ruled that the phrase “kindred charitable purposes” would permit other activities, including the building of a hospital in Brattleboro.

At the turn of the 20th Century, Brattleboro did not have a resident nurse, let alone a hospital, so in 1901, the fund known as the Thompson Trust became available to the town. Richards M. Bradley, one of the two trustees, obtained the court’s sanction to spend $100,000 of the accumulated income of the trust to build a hospital in Brattleboro. In 1904, acting for the trust, Bradley bought the estate known as The Hemlocks – the site where Brattleboro Memorial Hospital stands today.

Think what a gift can do! One person’s generous gift allowed Brattleboro, Vermont to have an excellent hospital for the benefit of millions of patients throughout its more than a century of service.

Click Here to view the Advisory Council Members
Click Here to view the Estate Intention Information