By writing your will, you can decide to help with projects and causes that are close to your heart. (Photo: 123RF)
Guest Blog. By writing your will, you can decide to help with projects and causes that are close to your heart.
In Ontario, November is Will Month. I really like the idea of having dedicated moments to educate the public about the importance of keeping a valid will.
And by sheer coincidence, I am writing this blog on November 15th, the day designated as National Philanthropy Day across Canada. The purpose of this day is to celebrate individuals, businesses and other organizations that are committed to the well-being of others.
But is there a connection between bequests and benevolence? Absolutely! There is also a national public education campaign called Will to Do. It is actually a national movement to “encourage Canadians to adopt a different way of giving to charity and thus give them the opportunity to make beneficial social change through their will”, in which many charities and philanthropic partners participate. including experts in finance and law.
The movement was started by CAPDP, the Canadian Association of Planned Giving Professionals. The organization works to promote charitable giving to the Canadian public and educate Canadians about the power of charitable giving to form a new social norm.
At the launch of the campaign, CAPDP CEO Ms. Ruth Mackenzie expressed a desire that “ordinary” Canadians become extraordinary philanthropists by planning a bequest. Willingness to attempt to standardize testamentary donations is the largest effort ever made.
The campaign website offers simple tools, both to help you better understand the impact of your wish donation and to guide you through the process!
A 2019 study by CAPDP found that 86% of Canadians would be aware that donations could be part of an estate plan, but only 5% of them and they would actually leave the charity through their will. Many Canadians (63% according to the same study) have a hard time imagining that it is possible to both leave an inheritance and donate to a family. In fact, many are reluctant to “deprive” their loved ones of a portion of an inheritance to support a cause.
Yet the values of estates are often so significant that a meaningful gift can be made. For example, someone who bequeaths an estate of $75,000 and who decides to donate 1% to his will: That would be $750 to anyone dear. It is not only an important gift for a person, it also helps in reducing the taxes payable on the property! This CAPDP campaign then finds its full meaning: Such donations are accessible to “Mr. Mrs. Everyone” and will be powerful tools of change for society.
Charities offering all kinds of services in our communities have been in demand for over 20 years, while the number of bequest donations has stagnated, according to CAPDP. So CAPDP wants to reach, within 10 years, the goal of 8.5% of Canadians who do. A similar campaign has flourished in the UK, where around 17% of citizens make a will. In Canada, reaching the 8.5% target could represent an amount of $40 billion intended for advance causes.
Who would have believed! Our wishes that can be used for causes close to our hearts and that can inspire charity. Think about it, I’m sure you’ll find an accessible idea that inspires you to take action!
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