Getting Started with Legacy Giving

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Getting Started with Legacy Giving

Legacy giving, also known as planned giving, is a meaningful way to leave a lasting impact by supporting causes that are close to your heart even after you're gone. Planned giving ensures that you leave a lasting legacy and make a big difference for generations to come, while guaranteeing your loved ones are comfortably cared for. 

Here are some steps to help you get started on your legacy giving journey:

1. Reflect on Your Values

group of children holding soilTake some time to consider the causes and issues that are most important to you. Reflecting on your values will help you identify the organizations you want to support through your lasting legacy gift. Identifying the change you want to see in the world are great first steps when planning this meaningful gift. 

Here are some key questions to ask yourself:

  • What values have guided your life? List the principles and beliefs that are most important to you.
  • Which causes are you passionate about? Think about the health, social, environmental, or cultural issues that resonate heavily with you and your family.
  • What are your hopes for the future? Consider the kind of world you want to help create for future generations.

2. Research Organizations

Once you have an understanding of your values, research organizations that align with them. Look for reputable charities with a great track record of making a positive impact. Here are some tips to guide your research:

  • Visit their websites: Read about their mission, vision, and values to see if they align with yours.
  • Review their financial transparency: Check if the organization publishes its financial reports and how much of its funds go directly to programs versus administrative costs.
  • Read their annual reports: These often provide detailed information about the organization's accomplishments and goals.
  • Check their ratings: Use charity watchdog organizations like Charity Intelligence Canada, Imagine Canada, or the BBB Wise Giving Alliance to see how they rate the charity's performance and accountability.
  • Look for testimonials and case studies: See what others have said about their experiences with the charity and read stories of those who have benefited from their work.
  • Contact the organization: Don't hesitate to reach out directly with any questions you may have about their work and impact.

3. Explore Giving Options

There are various ways to leave a legacy gift, and it's important to explore which one best suits your financial situation and philanthropic goals. Some options include:

  • Charitable Will Bequests: Include a bequest in your Will, specifying a certain amount or percentage of your estate to go to a charity.
  • Donating Life Insurance: Designate a charity as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy.
  • Donating Stocks and Shares: Transfer ownership of appreciated stocks and shares to a charity.
  • Endowment Funds: Establish an endowment fund that provides ongoing support to a charity.
  • Donating Retirement Funds: Name a charity as the beneficiary of your retirement plan.
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts: Set up a trust that provides income to you or your beneficiaries for a period of time, with the remainder going to a charity.

4. Have a Conversation with Loved Ones

Discussing your legacy giving plans with your loved ones is crucial. It ensures they understand and support your intentions and can help address any questions or concerns they may have. For tips on how to have this conversation, check out our guide on starting the planned giving conversation with loved ones.

By following these steps, you can create a legacy that reflects your values and makes a lasting difference. Legacy giving not only supports the causes you care about but also inspires future generations to continue the work you began.

Canadian Feed The Children has an easy-to-use Leaving a Legacy Planning Kit that is a great first-step resource to review for detailed information on how to leave a legacy gift.


For more information and personalized guidance on legacy giving, feel free to connect with
Fawad Iqbal, our Planned Giving Expert.