WINCHESTER – It’s out of the online dark ages for the Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) Foundation.

Gone is the out-of-date and frumpy online portal long used by the village hospital’s fundraising arm, and in its place is a streamlined web presence.

“We have been working on the new website for several months,” managing director Kristen Casselman said. “It provides us with a new way to connect with our donors and local communities… The new site is user friendly, and we hope that visitors can easily find the information they are looking for.”

Beyond organizational updates, the new site features key information on the hospital’s greatest equipment needs, which the foundation generates funds for.

One critical update incorporated in the new portal is a robust section on gift planning, complete with printable resources, including a fact sheet that a prospective donor can use with their lawyer when planning a financial allotment from an estate.

There’s also a “frequently asked questions” listing related to gift planning, and an executor’s guide.

“We’ve never been able to accept online donations, and you don’t know what you don’t measure,” Chelsea McIntyre, manager of major, planned and sponsorship giving, said. “Now we can hopefully better measure this activity, and see who is utilizing the online tool.”

She added that it is crucial for donors to now know that their gifts can be processed online. More than that, the WDMH Foundation has never expressly marketed the ability to plan for gifts to be made to the organization posthumously.

“It’s just something we’ve never delved into in [the foundation’s] 20 plus years,” McIntyre said.

Beyond the ample information associated with that aspect of donation making, the new website also features an illustrative online tool, similar to a calculator. The feature allows donors to get a clearer picture of their financial situation and the gift being considered, and determines an approximate tax credit and the resulting cost of the donation made.

“That’s something we hope will be enlightening to people… the ability to guesstimate,” McIntyre said. “We want people to see the most affordable ways for them to leave an incredible legacy.”    

Site users looking to handle the process “old school” will also find printable donation forms.

“In both cases, donors can choose what type of gift they would like to make such as a one-time or monthly gift, a donation to honour a caregiver, or a gift in memory or honour of a friend or loved one,” Casselman said.

The new site can be found at www.wdmhfoundation.ca.