Winterize Your Giving

Making a generosity plan

Even though we may be in denial, winter is just around the corner and it’s time to winterize! Whether it’s closing your cottage, changing to snow tires, or booking a last-minute vacation down south, we all have fall rituals that prepare us for the winter season ahead.

Now is a wonderful time to take advantage of your planning-mode and think about how much more good you can do to help change the world around you.

Just like you organize and plan out other areas of your life, you should carefully consider how you give to charity. To get you started, we asked our gift planning consultant David Barker for some advice on how to begin your Generosity Plan™:

1. What causes are you passionate about?

Which charities catch your attention? What causes do you care about most? Has an institution positively impacted your life making you want to help others? Perhaps you care deeply about art or education? Maybe your heart aches for people living without access to clean water. Is it important to you that a charity is working in your local community, or do you prefer to respond to the greatest need, even if it’s internationally? Pay attention to where your heart leads.

2. Where have you donated before?

Review your donation history. Do you want to increase your gifts to those charities, or do you want to start supporting a new cause? Consider if there’s a special program or project at your favourite charities that could use your long-term support.

3. What will the charity do with the gift?

Before you give to a charity, take the time to do some research and learn more about them and the work they do. Visit their website, read the latest annual report, or give them a call and ask questions so you feel comfortable about where your donation is going. Darren Pries-Klassen wrote a great article on building healthy relationships between donors and charities. It illustrates this point well.

4. How often should you give?

Giving to a charity can be one-time or part of a regular schedule. For those who want to give to maximize their gifts to charity, it is a good idea to include it in their financial plan. Speak with a professional advisor, such as an accountant, financial advisor, or lawyer, who can help you explore the benefits of long-term charitable giving based on your specific financial scenario.

5. Is your Generosity Plan sustainable?

Once you have met with a professional advisor to determine how you can add charitable giving to your financial plan, speak with a gift planning consultant. Our team of consultants are experts in helping you to create a customized Generosity Plan that allows you to achieve your philanthropic goals in your lifetime and beyond.

So even if you do end up down south this winter, you can ensure your giving remains uninterrupted with some careful planning in place. Consider your options, then begin your generosity journey today. We guarantee that this fall ritual will be one you look forward to year after year.

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