What makes legacy giving so special?
Everyone has their own giving experience, but for many people, a legacy gift transforms them from ‘donors’ to ‘philanthropists’. Most Canadians give a few hundred dollars a year to charity, while some have the ability to give much larger gifts to their favourite causes.
Legacy gifts usually come from a donor’s assets (like a house or cottage) instead of income, so it might be a much bigger donation – and thus, have much more impact. Donors often tell us that they find the experience of making a bequest to charity to be a major life event – one that brings them great joy and deep satisfaction.
Who can leave a gift in a will?
Charitable bequests come from all sorts of people. However, there are certain characteristics that we find are more common among those who make gifts in their wills to CKUA. They tend to be 60 years of age or older (though we have some younger donors who’ve established legacy gifts, too). If they have children, those children are often grown up and financially independent. Our legacy donors often own their own homes and have paid off their mortgages.
How much do people usually give?
There is no rule of thumb here. Some people leave a small percentage of their estates to charity, while others – often with little or no family – may leave their entire estate. It appears that many legacy donors leave about 10% of their estates to charitable causes. The average gift in a Canadian will today is around $25,000. It’s estimated that Canadians who are alive today have made bequests that will someday amount to more than $100 billion to support their most beloved charities and causes.
I’d like to make a gift but I feel I have obligations to my children and grandchildren. What should I do?
We would never suggest to anyone that they shouldn’t provide for family first! However, we know from experience that many people are able to use their wills to provide for family and to make the world a better place. For example, someone might have three children and four grandchildren. She might divide her estate into eight equal portions. She decides to leave one portion to each child and grandchild – and to split the remaining portion between two or three causes that she cares deeply about.
I don’t know how long I’ll live or how big my estate will be at the end of my lifetime? How do I make a gift with that uncertainty?
This is a common concern among people who want to make charitable bequests but haven’t done so yet. There are two options that may appeal to people with this concern. You may leave what’s called ‘the residual of your estate’ to your favourite cause or charity. In effect, the charity receives whatever’s left in your estate after your fixed obligations have been met. Other people choose to leave a percentage of their estate to charity. This way, the ultimate size of the gift will grow or shrink along with the estate’s value over time.
Am I able to have a say in how my legacy gift will be used – even though it will happen well into the future?
Yes you are.
Most bequest donors choose to make a legacy gift and let the charity’s leadership decide how the money will be best used when the time comes. Some donors, however, have clear and definite ideas how they would like their gift to be put to best use. If you have a specific use for your bequest in mind, we URGE you to speak with us prior to formalizing your donation. We want to ensure that your goals and ours are aligned – and that we’ll be able to follow your directions and avoid any disappointment. Please get in touch with us and we’ll talk about how to make your vision for CKUA Radio come true!
Why are gifts in wills so important to charities like CKUA Radio Foundation?
The simple fact is that in today’s philanthropic world, charitable bequests can amount to a lot of income and ensure the future sustainability for the charities that receive them. Perhaps most important, the cost of raising this money is only a couple of pennies on the dollar raised. That means that almost all of the donated money goes to the organization’s mission! A gift in your will can ensure that the generations who follow you will be exposed to and appreciate a diversity of music through CKUA Radio Foundation.