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Three powerful ways to support your favourite charity

This article first appeared in the spring 2021 issue of Renaissance Magazine

Planned giving, monthly giving and tribute donations are significant ways you can contribute to your favourite charitable organization and support its financial stability.

Planned giving

Planned giving — also called legacy giving — leaves a gift in the future, most often through your will, and is generally much more than you could afford to donate while you’re living. Your legacy gift can be cash, of course, but it can also come in the form of stocks or funds transferred to the charity’s portfolio. It can also be done any time before your death to create a living legacy. Planned giving can have tax benefits too, so you’ll want to talk to your family, your lawyer and your financial planner to maximize the impact.

“Your heirs won’t be shortchanged when you leave a legacy gift to charity,” explains Lesley-Anne Scorgie, founder of MeVest and money columnist for Renaissance. “Your estate will receive a tax receipt for the amount of your gift, which reduces the amount of tax owing on your estate. In other words, taxes that would have otherwise been paid can go to help the community, and, because of Canada’s tax regulations, charitable gifts can result in tax savings on the estate.”

Building awareness around planned giving is a new focus for the RTOERO Foundation, and is the result of members asking how to make this kind of gift.

“It’s really the donor’s story,” says Tammy Gonsalves, manager of philanthropy at the RTOERO Foundation. “It’s their way of saying, ‘I trust the work you do. I also believe in a better future for all of us as we age, and I’m going to make sure that happens whether I’m here or not.’”

For the foundation, planned giving can make a major difference. “It helps build the sustainability of the foundation, potentially for decades to come,” explains Gonsalves.

Monthly giving

The name says it all—this is simply a scheduled monthly donation. This reliable form of revenue can reduce administrative and fundraising costs for a charity, which helps your donation go further. Setting up a monthly gift helps you strategically align your philanthropy efforts to causes that matter to you.

Monthly giving made up 11 per cent of the RTOERO Foundation’s annual revenue from individuals in 2019.

Tribute donation

A tribute, or memorial, donation is a gift made in honour of someone. You might contribute to a hospital foundation in the name a loved one who received life-saving treatment. Or you might make a donation to celebrate a birth or wedding, or to honour a life.

District 17 Simcoe County is one of several RTOERO districts that makes tribute donations to the RTOERO Foundation in memory of members who have died, in cases where their families haven’t asked for memorial contributions to another specific charity.

“Our executive members believe that the foundation’s efforts best match the goals of the RTOERO organization; namely, to help improve the lives of members and seniors,” says Paul Healy, president of District 17 Simcoe County. “We appreciate the support the foundation continues to provide to other organizations to enhance research in the field of geriatrics and to make a difference in the lives of all seniors.”

In 2019, RTOERO districts donated $10,875 to the foundation through tribute gifts.

To discuss planned giving to the RTOERO Foundation, call Mike Prentice, executive director, at 416-962-9463 ext. 285. To set up a monthly or tribute gift, call Deanna Byrtus, manager of donor relations, at 416-962-9463 ext. 271.