What matters most in my life? How do I want to be remembered when I’m gone? Has this Pandemic caused you to think about these questions?
They have for me. I don’t think I ever imagined at my age – I’m not even 60 – I’d experience something this unsettling. This pandemic has really given me time to think about what I can be doing to get ready for life down the road.
I have a Will; I have three grandchildren and I know that my legacy can help my family in the future. But I also want my legacy to help others, which is why I have a small Community Fund at The Foundation. My Community Fund got me started on my legacy plans, but what more can I do?
This isn’t a personal blog – it’s a blog to help you and others see ways to set the stage now for the future, and be in a position to help the community more when emergencies like COVID-19 are on our doorsteps.
The Foundation is a place you can consider both your personal future and the future of our community. Between the technological capability, knowledge of the community and national network, it’s a great place to plan your legacy.
Since the state of emergency was declared in March 2020, The Foundation has granted more than $600,000 as part of the Oakville Resiliency Fund with help and support from our family of Fundholders and donors.
Within weeks The Foundation was able to pivot, survey our local charities and announce our first initial grants to charities continuing to work and support the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our stable and strong technological foundation meant a seamless transition to both give funds and receive donations, all to support our community in need.
We work within Community Foundations of Canada (CFC), the national leadership organization for the more than 190 community foundations across the country. With their help, we’re able to access and take part in national giving opportunities at a local level.
In the last year alone we have been able to take part in three major granting opportunities: the Pilot Fund for Gender Equality, the Investment Readiness Program and the most recent Emergency Community Support Fund. Though these granting opportunities may have been set up at a national and overarching level, The Foundation has been able to bring these back to our community to make a local difference.
These opportunities have increased our capacity to support our community, but also continue to open our eyes to the highest needs in Oakville, increasing our status as knowledge brokers.
It’s just as important to give later as it is to give now, and community foundations are proof of that. I’m so glad I started my Community Fund four years ago – while still a small fund, my contributions today are making a difference, and I know in the long-run they will make a perpetual and positive impact. I’ll also be happy to hand over the reins of my Fund to my family and let them take part in my legacy. Your funds could continue to support your favourite charities, highest needs and your community even after you’re gone.
Be sure to check out the rest of our Estate Planning Series.
Blog written by: Sarah McPherson, Director – Philanthropy & Communications