Following my Father’s Plan
Laurie Ball feels a deep sense of responsibility when it comes to charitable giving. Her father suffers from dementia, so she has taken on managing his legacy of generosity in addition to her own donations. “To me, it’s a big responsibility [managing] my dad’s money,” she says. However, it is a task for which he prepared his daughter well. In addition to working as a professional engineer, he invested in the stock market. “I always had really open communication with my parents, talking about investing,” says Laurie. “A lot of people don’t feel comfortable investing in stocks, so I feel really lucky my dad got me interested early on.”
Giving back was always important to the Ball family, and Laurie’s father often discussed the benefits of donating publicly-traded securities to charity.
“My dad always talked about donating shares. He said what a brilliant program the government had set up and that I should be looking into this,” says Laurie. As a young teacher, she did not immediately follow her father’s recommendation, but as time went by she saw firsthand the wisdom of his advice.
When Laurie was made her father’s Power of Attorney, he walked her through all his finances, including investments and charitable contributions. At tax time, she worked with an accountant to help prepare her father’s income tax return. His capital gains were significant, and the accountant recommended donating publicly traded securities to not only save on taxes but continue her father’s tradition of charitable giving.
Making a Generosity Plan
“That was how I found Abundance Canada,” she says. “I needed some support donating the stock.” Laurie worked with Abundance Canada to create a Generosity Plan™ that was in keeping with her father’s wishes and previous patterns of generosity. “Everyone I worked with at Abundance Canada was very professional and supportive,” says Laurie. “I almost feel like they held my hand through the whole thing, and that’s exactly what I needed.”
Working on her father’s behalf, Laurie recommended his Generosity Plan support charities with which he had personal connections. For example, the Alzheimer’s Society had been especially important after her father’s diagnosis, while an autistic family member inspired ongoing support for charities that help families with special needs. Laurie and her dad even got to see firsthand the impact of their donations when a new program opened-up at their local Alzheimer’s Society branch office.
After seeing how the Generosity Plan was helping her father give more effectively, Laurie got in touch with Abundance Canada and set one up for herself as well. “In the beginning, I was just trying to follow my dad’s philosophy, but it has worked really well for me [too],” she says.
Having a Plan Makes a Difference to Those We are Supporting
While Laurie still gives her time volunteering with the hospital auxiliary and happily responds to various charity appeals and pledge drives, having a structured Generosity Plan has changed how she thinks about giving.
She says, “I’m used to writing cheques, but those are small amounts and they’re so irregular. I really feel that when we can donate stocks and have a plan for giving, it makes a lot of difference to charities.” She goes on to explain how giving her favourite charities predictable funding allows them to plan programs more effectively and run more efficiently.
“I would really encourage people to look at their charitable giving, think about planning forward, and see what they can do to help other people.”
When asked if she thinks her generosity will change the world, Laurie says humbly, “I don’t even feel that what I give is all that generous. To me, this is just sharing what I have. It’s being grateful… I just want to see the money put to good use helping people, and I think that’s how my dad feels, too.”
This story comes from our recent Annual Report: A World Where Everyone Lives Generously. Read more stories like Laurie’s here.