Planned giving is a way to leave a legacy

Each year, as the weather gets warmer and we are reminded that new life is upon us, we are also reminded of the importance of philanthropy, making a difference in the community and considering planned giving.

Leave a legacy month is a community-based awareness campaign that encourages donations through a will, an estate or through another method of planned giving. First established more than 10 years ago, the campaign works to connect donors with charitable organizations.

But with the arrival of this philanthropic month, comes the realization that there are many ways to give and many organizations that have a demonstrated need. So where do you start?

Typically planned giving involves a donation or a gift made during lifetime or death that is part of the donor’s financial or estate planning. There are many ways to leave a gift for an organization, including allocating money, securities or stocks, real estate or even items such as artwork or automobiles. 

Donors can give an outright gift that uses appreciated assets as a substitute for cash, a gift that returns income or other financial benefits to the donor in return for their contribution, or gifts that are payable upon the donor’s death.

In addition to receiving tax receipts, there are other benefits associated with planned giving. For details specific to a donation you are considering, consult with a financial planner or tax specialist.

Start your search by considering organizations that do work that is aligned with your personal values. Are you a service minded individual? An animal enthusiast? There is a non-profit organization to match every interest. Once you have completed your search on the organization you would like to work with, the next step is to reach out to the organization and to your financial planner. Figure out what type of gift you are looking to leave and learn the steps that will need to be completed on your end and what is required from the organization. As every group is different, make sure to put some research time into it.

Below are a few organizations to help you start your search:

The Salvation Army

Providing compassionate services to men, women and children in your community. Your gift helps The Salvation Army to help those in need overcome poverty, homelessness, addiction and mental illness across Canada and around the world by providing the necessities of life.  For more information contact or contact Ricky Piedrahita, senior gift planner at

The War Amps

Since its founding in 1918, The War Amps programs have grown from assisting war amputees – whom we still serve – to all amputees, including children. A charitable estate donation in your will honours the legacy of war amputees and makes a difference in the lives of amputees through programs like CHAMP for child amputees. CHAMP provides comprehensive support including financial assistance for artificial limbs to allow children to lead independent and active lives. With your help, our vital programs will carry on long into the future. The War Amps does not receive government grants. For more information about leaving an estate donation to The War Amps, visit or contact

Ontario SPCA

Each year, tens of thousands of animals in desperate need of shelter, care and compassion are brought to Ontario SPCA branches and affiliated humane societies. In addition to providing animal sheltering, rehabilitation and adoption services, the society is responsible for enforcing the province’s animal cruelty laws. The Ontario SPCA relies on the kindness of its donors to keep the shelters open and investigators on the street – creating kinder communities. For information visit