Around 40 people gathered at the Ormstown Golf Club on November 17 for the joint launch of planned giving programs by three area community organizations, Les Aidants du Haut-Saint-Laurent, the Services d’Accompagnement Bénévole Et Communautaires (SABEC), and ESPACE SUROÎT.
The event was organized in collaboration with the Corporation de développement communautaire (CDC) du Haut-Saint-Laurent and the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Beauharnois-Valleyfield-Haut-Saint-Laurent (CCIBVHSL), and with the support of campaign partners including financial advisor Éric Leblanc and insurance brokers Serge and Karine Gosselin of Gosselin Courtiers d’Assurances. Representatives from local community organizations, including the new business association in Ormstown, as well as Huntingdon MNA Carole Mallette, and Charles Gascon, an attaché for Salaberry-Suroît MP Claude DeBellefeuille, were also in attendance for the innovative campaign launch.
According to a press release issued by the CDC du Haut-Saint-Laurent, the philanthropic market has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, and it is becoming more important for charities to adapt their fundraising approaches. Planned giving, also known as legacy giving or gift planning, refers to donations that are designated for an organization at a later date, most often through a will.
“There are preconceptions about planned giving,” said Rémi Pelletier, the executive director of the CDC. “People believe, for example, that they must have a lot of money; but planned giving can take place at any level,” he explained, noting donors do not have to choose between their families and causes they care about, as even a small percentage of their estate can make a big difference to the organizations they are supporting. A planned gift to a registered charity also comes with certain benefits, including a tax credit for the estate.
Planned giving is becoming more popular in Canada, but it is still a relatively unknown or taboo subject. This is the main reason the three regional organizations decided to break ground together. “We are always looking for volunteers and donations,” said Isabelle Woods, the executive director for SABEC, which provides medical transportation services. She, along with president Alain Castagnier, explained the organization started looking into planned giving over a year ago. Castagnier admitted that as a community-based organization, they are often focused on the short term, “but we are trying to learn to work in the long term as well.” Planned donations would provide the organization with more stability.
This sentiment was echoed by representatives from Les Aidants du Haut-Saint-Laurent and ESPACE SUROÎT. “Planned donations would allow us to better respond to the needs,” said ESPACE SUROÎT’s Maude Lemieux of her organization’s dedication to preventing all forms of violence against children.
Together, the three organizations hope to start a conversation within the community around legacy giving and the benefits of planning ahead, both for donors and for the longevity of these important services within the region.