The power of legacy – plan today to make a future impact

Sharon Harrington discusses the profound impact of planned giving

When Sharon Harrington is asked to speak about her role at Novant Health Foundation her face lights up as she speaks instead about the philanthropists with whom she interacts. One memorable story of helping connect donors to the impact they hope to make in their community was of a couple she worked with on their investment through Novant Health Foundation. As retired educators, “They care deeply about ensuring that quality healthcare is available to all members of the community, particularly underserved communities,” Harrington said. “In additional to current gifts, they have supported multiple community engagement programs including our Hope for Remarkable Team Aubergine Fund (COVID-19 Disaster Relief Fund). Their most impactful gift will be through legacy giving where they will provide healthcare access for underserved minority women and families across the Charlotte region. They have selected Novant Health to extend their legacy and deep commitment to improving the health of our communities, one person at a time.”

The mission of promoting health equity is an important one for these donors, both of whom are ordained ministers and academic leaders.

Harrington loves that her position as chief of staff enables her to serve donors in exploring strategic gift options, including those involving estate and retirement planning. She is passionate about matching an individual’s philanthropy with the right program, gaining support for Novant Health’s patients, families, care team, and service lines through creative, flexible tools such as bequests, charitable income gifts, gift of life insurance, gifts through retirement plans, and other vehicles.

Harrington works to honor those donor’s values, traditions, and interests so that their investment is represented accurately. These gifts enable a family to create a meaningful, personalized impact for generations to come forming truly inspirational partnerships.

Harrington comes to this work after a lengthy career in philanthropy, one she came to by way of the law as an alumna of Duke University School of Law. An attorney with more than 25+ years of fundraising and nonprofit experience, Harrington who joined the not-for-profit healthcare system in 2018 says, “this role provides me with an incredible opportunity to combine my values, experience in non-profit management and strong interest in transformational philanthropy.”

“I was immediately drawn to Novant Health’s commitment to building healthier communities, advocating for those who are vulnerable and need care, and innovating how and where healing can happen—both inside our hospitals and out in the community.”

Harrington is grateful for the generations of donors who have helped to ensure the highest quality healthcare which has enabled Novant Health to be recognized nationally as a leader in health care.

“Because of philanthropy, we can speed up the advancement in care for our patients. We can build and expand the state-of-the-art Heart & Vascular Institute and Cancer Institute to serve more patients and provide more personalized approaches through adding better and more services” Harrington said. “It really is about increasing the societal impact or making major changes in healthcare. It allows us to dream big and achieve those dreams. I am immensely proud to serve and partner with our generous donors.”

“Our donors are investing to improve the health of our communities, and whether the gifts come in today or in the future through planned giving, they help us expand services, enhance programs and ensure access to affordable care to everyone in our community,” Harrington said. “I love this work. I particularly enjoy partnering with families. Our donors are generous, forward-thinking, investors and partners in what we do, and when we match their passions with initiatives or programs, we save lives and improve the health of the communities we serve.”

To learn more about legacy giving at Novant Health Foundation, contact Sharon at 704-618-4398 or

Leave a legacy. Give today.

Looking for a way to leave your own remarkable legacy? Consider a gift to Novant Health Foundation — either today or in the future. As Sharon Harrington said, donors make our healthcare organization great. Do your part and give today.

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