How fundholders are making an impact by leaving gifts in their wills

A will is a powerful tool to help achieve charitable giving goals, yet only 5% of Canadians leave a charitable gift in their will.

Establishing a legacy at Toronto Foundation will help create the change you want to see in the world and enable you for a future that reflects your values. And you don’t have to choose between your loved ones and the causes you care about when it comes to your will—you can do both. We can work with you to identify how to have the greatest impact with your legacy today, tomorrow and forever.

We’re thankful to collaborate with legacy donors working toward tangible and sustainable change. Hear from some of our legacy donors below to learn more about their journeys and how you can get started today.

What made you want to leave a gift in your will?

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An estate gift ensures I’ll be able to continue supporting these and other organizations after I’m gone.

— Zaahir Moolla, Fundholder, Legacy Society Member (1.5 years) 

“We both think it's important to give back to your community and help address inequities. Leaving a legacy donation with the majority of our estate is one way we can help.” - Martin Ship & Don Kinder, Legacy Society Members

“As long as I've had an income, I've also made annual donations to support several organizations. An estate gift ensures I’ll be able to continue supporting these and other organizations after I’m gone. Also, using a life insurance policy as a philanthropic tool will enable me to donate more than a lifetime of annual donations ever could!” - Zaahir Moolla, Fundholder, Legacy society member

What brought you to Toronto Foundation?

“Throughout my working life, I have always donated an affordable portion of my income to charities and non-profits. As I neared retirement, I was worried that my ability to help these groups financially would decrease with my income and would end when I died. It was my accountant who suggested that I look into community foundations. I learned that the amount required by the Toronto Foundation to establish a fund was within my means and that I could add to it over time. And I saw that the Toronto Foundation would provide me with the critical support in investing, research, and administration that would make my philanthropic efforts more effective.” - Eva Swenson, Fundholder, Legacy Society member

“Like many before COVID, I used to have a commute. I worked from Toronto a few days a week, and on my drive home from the train station I would listen to Classical FM. I heard an ad on the radio for estate planning and financial advice, so I reached out to learn more. I was then introduced to my current financial advisor, Daniel Kachani. Daniel asked if I was interested in philanthropy and offered to connect me with The Toronto Foundation. Soon after, I joined the Vision Next program, to learn more about philanthropy.” - Zaahir Moolla, Fundholder, Legacy Society Member

How do you balance between your loved ones and important causes?

“Family has and will also be my priority. The community with which we interact contributed to raising each child, thereby included it in my definition of family. Dad provided a simple formula to budget our resources. Save first, allocate the remainder, allowing for 10% of the remainder to be returned to the community. If cashflow is short, then give your time.” - Greg Deacon, Legacy Society Member

Eva Will Power blog

I would hope that my loved ones would be inspired and encouraged to engage in similar philanthropic practices of their own.

— Eva Swenson, Fundholder, Legacy Society Member (7 years) 

“I believe that my will reflects my life’s priorities. It is important to me that my loved ones are able to share in the assets that I have managed to accumulate. And it is equally important to be able to continue my support for the causes that I care about. I believe that my loved ones know me well enough to understand that these causes are close to my heart and will not begrudge their having to lose a portion of their inheritance to my philanthropic interests. In fact, I would hope that they would be inspired and encouraged to engage in similar philanthropic practices of their own.” - Eva Swenson, Fundholder, Legacy Society Member

What would you tell someone who is starting to think about their legacy? 

Greg Will Power blog

No one eats an apple in a single bite, it takes time and multiple bites. Start small and allow your legacy to accumulate with time.

— Greg Deacon, Legacy Society Member (35 years) 

“Dad used a simple example. No one eats an apple in a single bite, it takes time and multiple bites. Start small and allow your legacy to accumulate with time. The younger the better, but it is never too late to start.” - Greg Deacon, Legacy Society Member

“Think about the positive impact your legacy donation can have on your community. Acting as a catalyst for change is something that will add value to your life.” - Martin Ship & Don Kinder, Legacy Society Members

“It’s never too early to start planning!” - Zaahir Moolla, Fundholder, Legacy Society Member

Martin and Don Will Power blog

Acting as a catalyst for change is something that will add value to your life.

— Martin Ship & Don Kinder, Legacy Society Members (6 years)

What role did Toronto Foundation have in this process?

“The Toronto Foundation made it easy for us to establish a legacy fund and provided us with trusted advice. The process was simple and we feel confident that our plans will be implemented based on our instructions.” - Martin Ship & Don Kinder, Legacy Society Members

What would you like your legacy to say about you? 

“That the income beneficiaries of my legacy mattered to me and my family.” - Greg Deacon, Legacy Society Member

“My legacy should demonstrate that I am deeply grateful for what has been given to me and that I want others to be able to share my fortune.” - Eva Swenson, Fundholder, Legacy Society Member

“I’d like my legacy to show that I made an effort to help those in need, and improve the lives of others.” - Zaahir Moolla, Fundholder, Legacy Society Member

Feeling inspired and ready to get started with your will? Learn more about the Will Power campaign and reach out to Nicola Hives (nhives@torontofoundation.ca) to start a conversation.

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