A young couple plants a honeycrisp tree and dreams of their children swinging from its branches. A family plants a backyard crabapple looking forward to jars of jelly. A retired couple landscapes the lawn of their third home with a stand of Goodland saplings. They all know they’ll have to wait several years before they can enjoy fresh fruit from the trees they’ve planted, but they trust that eventually they will enjoy an enduring apple harvest. We all know that money doesn’t grow on trees, but what would happen if we started giving as if it could?
Now or Later?
Many charities have already started ramping up their holiday campaigns, and it’s easy to feel torn between wanting to respond to these immediate requests and the knowledge that their need persists long after the radio stops playing Christmas ads. Of course, charities honestly need immediate funds to achieve their mission, but they also require a steady stream of annual income to support and implement long-term programs. By planting “financial apple trees,” we can help them meet both these goals.
Plant a Giving Tree
Abundance Canada is helping Canadians provide charities with ongoing donations for years to come through the financial “apple trees” of endowment funds. These long-term funds are set up a little differently than a one-time donation. Instead of using the initial gift to meet a charity’s current needs, the monies are invested. It’s kind of like planting an apple tree. Then, the investment produces annual earnings, like a tree producing apples. Each year, the charity receives these earnings for its programs, while the initial investment continues to grow stronger. Think of the enormous benefit and encouragement this might be for the charities you want to help. An endowment fund is a gift that will keep on giving.
A Legacy of Hope
For the young couple, the family, and the retired couple, planting the apple trees in their yards spoke to their hope for the future. In the same way, our financial “giving trees” testify to our desire to benefit others for years to come, our wish to leave behind a better world. If we each plant a financial sapling, we can create an orchard of generosity that will stand for generations.
Adapted from “Fruit Trees and Vegetable Gardens” (Giving Your First Fruits) by Edwin Friesen