About LEAVE A LEGACY™ What is LEAVE A LEGACY™
LEAVE A LEGACY™ is a national public awareness program designed to encourage people to leave a gift through their will or any other gift planning instrument to a charity or non-profit organization of their choice. LEAVE A LEGACY™ does not solicit gifts for any particular organization. LEAVE A LEGACY™ is a donor-oriented education campaign to raise awareness of the importance of including a charitable gift in the estate planning process. A legacy gift can benefit all not-for-profit groups large or small.
The LEAVE A LEGACY™ program represents:
- A seed sown today
- A Network of local initiatives in your community
- A rich history of giving
- A tax friendly legislation
- A potential for our future
Through the generous corporate support from Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life, the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP-ACPDP™) has been able to advance this community-based initiative. The LEAVE A LEGACY™ program allows supporters to become involved in a philanthropic movement and raises awareness of the importance of planned charitable gifts in our society. Leaving a planned gift in your will is like sowing a seed. The Canada-wide program involves the collaborative teamwork of goal driven volunteers and communities who all recognize that a seed sown today reaps a harvest tomorrow.
LEAVE A LEGACY™ was first established in the United States by the Central Ohio Planners, there are now over 120 local LEAVE A LEGACY™ programs across North America. Currently there are 21 local LEAVE A LEGACY™ programs across Canada operating under the guidance of the CAGP-ACPDP Roundtables. Each program is exclusive in its organization, and together they provide innovative, unique and consistent public awareness initiatives within their communities. LEAVE A LEGACY™ is a “grassroots” collaborative effort. Supporters of the LEAVE A LEGACY™ programs include: local charitable organizations, professional estate and financial organizations, financial institutions, community foundations, other funders and the media. All who have embraced underlying principles of philanthropy and altruism.
Canada’s rich history of philanthropy dates back to the earliest settlers in Quebec City. In the mid -1600s, the first shelters for women and children were established marking one of the first steps towards charitable giving. Till this day Canada demonstrates a true philanthropic spirit in each of our communities exhibited through daily acts of kindness and compassion towards those in need.
The LEAVE A LEGACY™ goal of advancing philanthropy is supported by federal government legislation. By implementing a legislation that allows Canadians to claim donations and other benefits in their taxes, the federal government encourages an increase of gifts to charities from individuals and corporations. Statistics Canada reports that, in 2006, 25% of Canadians filling tax returns claimed a charitable donation. These claims totaled $8.5 billion. Significant tax incentives make gift planning even more attractive, particularly for those gifts left in a will. By making it easier to leave a gift, the federal government through its beneficiary legislation helps to promote the LEAVE A LEGACY™ program message, and allows Canada to continue its rich history of giving.
81% of Canadians contribute to charitable organizations throughout their lifetime. However, research shows that only 7% continue this support through a gift in their will or estate plan. The intended result of LEAVE A LEGACY™ is to increase the number of planned gifts from donors to charitable organizations. By making a charitable gift as part of an overall estate plan, individuals can continue to help organizations that are making an important difference in their community. When we leave a gift, we ensure that help continues to be there for those who need it.