“My friends and family joke that if we have the apocalypse, my arugula is going to live”
from giving online and leaving a gift in your will to creating a fundraising website and giving stocks and securities. “The point is, everyone has the capacity to make a difference,” says Sodowsky. “Your donation ensures that women have a place in healthcare to call their own.”
Fighting The Good Fight
One of the most necessary beneficiaries of legacy giving are those dedicated to fighting diseases, and in its more than 100 forms, arthritis is the most costly ($33 billion annually) chronic disease in Canada, affecting more than 5.2 million Canadians (including 700,000 British Columbians).
However, arthritis research receives only three per cent of the available research funding in this country. Fortunately, Arthritis Research Canada is the largest clinical arthritis research organization in North America, with a diversely disciplined scientific team whose 75-plus studies cover the breadth of this disease.
Dr. John Esdaile, scientific director for Arthritis Research Canada, says:
“With donor support and as a world leader in patient-focused research, our organization is making major strides in changing the trajectory of arthritis by reducing its impact on both disability and job loss and by preventing its development.”
Would-be legacy-givers take note: the number of people, both young and old, with arthritis is expected to rise dramatically in the next 20 years; a gift to Arthritis Research Canada ensures lifesaving research continues and that patients triumph over the pain and disability of this disease.
Cancer statistics are undeniable: nearly one in two Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with some form of the disease in their lifetime, and 206,200 Canadians are expected to be diagnosed this year alone.
But other statistics reinforce the importance of giving to organizations such as the Canadian Cancer Society (which recently merged with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to pool resources and improve efficiencies): since 1988, more than 179,000 deaths have been avoided as a result of cancer prevention and control efforts. Also, the five-year cancer survival rate has increased from 25 per cent in the 1940s to 60 per cent today.
These successes can be attributed in a large part to advances in research and prevention funded through the generosity of Canadian Cancer Society donors, including legacy donors.
Janice Williams, manager, estate and gift planning, for the Canadian Cancer Society BC & Yukon, says: “A legacy gift is an opportunity to change the future of cancer. Donors want to make a difference and I have the opportunity to work with them to fulfill that wish through a charitable bequest. The strides we're making towards eradicating cancer and the support programs we offer to those living with cancer wouldn't be possible without their generosity.”
What could be more universally recognized as a philanthropic cause than The Salvation Army? The 152-year-old organization operates in 127 countries and 51 B.C. communities, providing programs and services that live up to its famous moniker, Giving Hope Today.
Vicki Raw, charitable gift advisor, planned and major giving for the organization, says: “Even the average citizen knows we offer food, clothing, and shelter to those in need, but we also transform lives by helping people escape domestic abuse and human trafficking, as well as get on the path to recovery from addiction.” Most recently, the organization is active in everything from the B.C. wildfires to Africa famine relief.
The Salvation Army's mission is simple: to be a transforming influence in the communities it serves. Becoming involved is equally simple: the organization's website lists no less than 19 different ways you can help, from becoming a monthly donor and making a gift in your will, to corporate partnerships and active volunteer work.
Raw concludes: “I've worked in the philanthropic field for 22 years and never seen such generosity in legacy giving as with The Salvation Army. People know we do good work—and that their gifts truly make a difference.”