How to Make a Bigger Impact

farmer with corn

There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year, he won the award for the best grown corn. One year, a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about his growing practices. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbours.

“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbours when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“Why sir,” said the farmer, “Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbour grows inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours grow good corn.”

Find the Solution Together

Sharing our resources with others, especially with people in business, may seem counter-intuitive at times. Why would I help my largest competitor? Yet, when you broaden your perspective and think about the bigger picture, it compels us to give freely. Maybe your competitor is working towards the same goal as you, and sharing your resources will help you both get there faster and improve the final product.

The farmer could have insisted that his neighbour use higher quality seed to protect his own interests. Instead, he shared his own valuable seeds with his competitor to improve and protect everyone’s yield.

When you take this concept of sharing and apply it to your charitable giving, it may change your perspective on your own financial plans. Sure, there are practical things we can do to support a cause, such as turning off the lights after leaving a room or trying to reduce the waste on the grocery bill. But by working with the charity that supports that cause, you can help them ‘grow better corn’.

When you are ready to give a significant gift to charity, speak with their fundraising rep to understand the goals of the organization and learn what they need in terms of financial support.

Next, speak with a gift planning consultant at Abundance Canada to review the assets you can donate and how to best use them to benefit that cause. By thinking beyond regular cash donations, you can make a significant impact to that charity.

There are lots of causes that will outlast us and will still require funding after we’re gone. In many cases, you can plan for your own legacy of generosity that will continue well past your death. Options include a gift in your will, setting up a family foundation, or donating publicly traded securities in-kind. Speaking with a gift planning consultant can help you understand what you can give and how to share it with others.

Create a Win-Win-Win

And like the farmer who shares his seed to both improve his neighbour’s crop and protect his own, you can also realize benefits from sharing your resources. Canada has some of the best tax credits in the world for charitable giving. By creatively thinking about your charitable giving, you may be able to offset capital gains, and gain other credits to reduce your income tax bill.

Working with the charity, your financial advisor and a gift planning consultant can help you determine the best route to making an impact with your resources. You will experience peace of mind knowing that you are using your financial resources responsibly. Along with the joy of helping a charity achieve its goals and make a difference to its cause.

Next time there’s an opportunity to show support to a charity or cause, consider thinking outside the box of your charitable giving by coming alongside that charity and creating a plan that provides a win for the charity, its cause and you.

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