Pastoral theologian Andrew Lester uses the term “future stories” in his book Hope in Pastoral Care and Counseling to describe how our self-identity is formed not just by recollecting our past but also by projecting into the future what we possibly can become. Creating a future story that encompasses who we are and what we value is important. This will help you develop your charitable gift plan. These future stories are the result of reflecting, envisioning, and implementing.

Reflecting on Our Past

A charitable plan begins with reflecting on the people, places, and events that have shaped us. This reflection may fill us with generosity, compassion, and concern for others, and determine where we direct our charitable gifts.  

Research doctor working with young boy and showing him the benefits that come from philanthropy and a charitable plan.

Envisioning A Better World

Behind every gift is a vision of how this gift will make a difference in someone else’s life.

  • A talented student who will have the chance for quality education
  • An inspired researcher who will have resources to make a discovery that will improve lives
  • A compassionate doctor will have the knowledge and tools to care for her patients
  • A sick patient will be healed to enjoy many more years with family

Implementing our Vision Through a Charitable Plan

Future stories become reality through implementing a charitable plan. Every charitable plan conversation has the goal of defining how we can use our resources for good. This plan often involves designing a fund that addresses a specific area of interest and working with a representative of Southwestern Medical Foundation to decide the best path forward. 

The charitable plan conversation includes asking questions like:

  • “Would I like to begin this future story with a gift now?”
  • “Can I complete the story with a gift in my will or trust or through a beneficiary designation?”
  • “Would setting up a life-income gift with the Foundation be a way to advance my future story?”
Couple discussing the secure act 2.0 with their tax advisor.

Charitable Giving

Start the Conversation

You are continuously creating your life story and we hope that you will entrust us to assist you in that. Through our expertise, we can help you create the “value-ending” to your future story.

To contact Randy Daugherty, please call (214) 648-3069 or email him at

This information is not tax, legal or financial advice. Consult your tax advisor for information specific to your situation.

About the Author

Since 2000, Randy Daugherty has served as Director of Planned Giving for Southwestern Medical Foundation and UT Southwestern Medical Center. He works with donors to suggest bequest language to share with attorneys, establish charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts, utilize beneficiary designations for retirement plan accounts and explore gifts of other non-cash assets like real estate and life insurance. After receiving a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University, Randy began a career in development, working in higher education, the arts and in academic medicine. He received the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation (CAP) through the American College of Financial Services.