How your legacy to MS Research Australia can make a difference

07 September, 2017

Many of Australia’s greatest medical research institutions have led wonderful discoveries and medical breakthroughs thanks to the support that has eventuated via bequests. Some institutes, such as the St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne were only built in the first place, due to incredibly generous bequests.

In the world of multiple sclerosis, why should you leave a bequest to MS research? When bequestors were asked about their motivations they often said that one of the major factors that compel them to leave a bequest to MS research, is that they ‘don’t want others to go through the same thing that I did’. It is often seen as changing the landscape for people with MS, creating a large impact or ‘significantly moving the dial’.

One of our roles at MS Research Australia is to further develop and maintain mutually beneficial partnerships between ourselves and the MS community. We gain financial support for research projects that are funded now and in the future for the national and international benefits for people living with MS.

Independent research conducted by Galaxy Research in early 2017 highlighted that the vast majority of people with MS in Australia prioritise research as the most important area of need for their philanthropic dollar. Other research conducted by the philanthropic unit at Swinburne University showed that 55% of all bequests given to health- related initiatives, on average, are directed to medical research.

Over the last 14 years, the vast majority of bequest income (over 97%) from people affected by MS has gone to the state based MS societies to primarily provide vital care and services for people with MS. MS Research Australia has received around 4% of the total bequest income. Most recently however MS WA has announced they will allocate 50% of their non-restricted bequests to MS research through MS Research Australia.

MS Research Australia is launching a new bequest initiative to grow the bequest funding that can be allocated to important MS research. This initiative is about leaving a legacy to MS Research Australia and being able to make a significant difference to people with MS now and in the future. These changes will lead us closer to the vision of a “world free of MS”.

The bequest initiative will now encompass 3 main opportunities for anyone wanting to leave a bequest to MS Research Australia:

A general bequest to MS research; to help fund our growing gap in the annual funding of MS research. This year we had over $4 million in high potential MS research projects that remained unfunded.

A priority bequest to MS research; highlight in your Will that you would like to ensure your funds go to one of the top 3 priority categories for people affected by MS in Australia (a) Research in to a cure for MS (b) Research in to the prevention of MS (c) Research to find better ways to treat MS.

A targeted bequest to MS research; you can highlight that you may wish to leave a bequest to an emerging or
targeted area of MS research.

Former investment banker, now corporate advisor, and Chairman of MS Research Australia, Paul Murnane has seen firsthand the desperate need for medical research funding here in Australia after his wife Annie was diagnosed with MS. Paul said ‘My wife Annie and I, along with our two daughters are all in favour of leaving a bequest to MS Research Australia. Medical research is a natural and obvious choice as it is a way to make a tangible difference to the world after you are gone.’

‘Since I first became involved over 20 years ago, the landscape of MS has completely changed, people are now being diagnosed far quicker, there are better and substantially more treatment options available to manage the most common form of MS, the overall quality of life for people living with MS is much better, as well as a universal increase in hope for a cure within our lifetime. This is all a credit to the fantastic medical research that has been done.’ MS Research Australia welcome the opportunity to discuss with you the difference a bequest will make. We also ensure that the families and loved ones of the bequestor are fully updated on where their funds have gone and the impact made.

To start a discussion please call Neil Robertson on 1300 356 467 or visit our bequest page. 

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