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Dedicated to Granting Wishes: Jeff's Story

Jeff Ikler has dedicated his career to helping others – as an educator, executive and career coach. Today, Jeff helps others gain insight about themselves to develop engaging, satisfying and rewarding lives. This commitment to helping others, he said, is rooted in his childhood.  

Jeff’s first experience with philanthropy came from his father. Growing up in a suburb of Chicago, Jeff saw that even though it was a challenge to raise five children, his dad always gave back to society in a number of ways.  

“I remember that my dad gave consistently to a number of charities, but I specifically remember his work with the Shriners organization,” said Jeff. “That obligation to support kids in need always stayed with me.” 

Jeff first learned about Make-A-Wish while working as an executive at Pearson, a global educational publishing company. At that time, he supported a few organizations, but two factors encouraged him to support Make-A-Wish®.  

“In terms of mission, I think it’s amazing that Make-A-Wish works to grant every child’s wish,” said Jeff. “And I was also very impressed with how Make-A-Wish operates. I know when I make a financial contribution to Make-A-Wish that most of it goes directly to the effort to grant kids their wishes.” 

For nearly 15 years, Jeff has demonstrated his commitment to Make-A-Wish with monthly donations – contributing to many transformational wishes. He does so knowing he is helping improve children’s quality of life, giving them a better chance of recovering.  


Recently, Jeff, who has no children of his own, saw firsthand the impact of a wish on a family. His nephew Graham, who was then fighting cancer, was granted his wish to visit the Specialized Cycling factory in California and receive his own specially-designed bike. “That was an amazing experience for him,” Jeff noted, “and I have to believe it positively impacted his recovery.” 

This year, Jeff broadened his support to include Make-A-Wish in his estate plan. Through that plan, he will have an everlasting impact on the lives of wish kids and their families.  

“We have an obligation as a society to support people in need and the organizations who support those in need,” said Jeff. “It’s part of the covenant we have as a society. I personally believe that Make-A-Wish is doing great work.” 

Leave a Legacy of Hope 

A planned gift, left through a bequest, retirement plan, life insurance policy or other means, ensures your legacy, like Jeff, lives on through wishes – granting life-changing wishes in perpetuity. There is nothing more powerful than leaving a lasting gift of hope. 

To learn more about the benefits of planned giving, please contact Make-A-Wish Office of Planned Giving at 602-792-3260 or [email protected].