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There’s a story behind each planned gift


As someone who works in philanthropy and knows the heartwarming and rewarding feeling that comes with connecting a donor with the impact they’ve had in our communities, it’s my wish that everyone could be a part of this incredible experience.  

Every gift notification is a reason to celebrate, but when it comes to planned giving, it’s often bittersweet. A realized planned gift means the loss of a member of our community, someone’s family member, and most often, a lost chance to honour the generosity of an individual who’s chosen to make United Way East Ontario a part of their legacy. 

Approximately five per cent of Canadians make the incredible decision to name charitable organizations in their wills. A legacy gift is a celebration of their life and a reflection of the values they held dear. However, so few people who make this decision share their intentions with their charity of choice.

There are many reasons for this, and we need to be respectful of those reasons. But as someone who is consistently inspired by the generosity of individuals in our region, if you’re considering or have already named United Way East Ontario in your will or legacy plans, I’d encourage you to share your intentions not only with your family, but also with us. Give people like me the chance to say thank you! 

If leaving a legacy gift is an ice cream sundae, letting us know is the cherry on top. Here are some reasons why:

  1. It gives us a chance to say thank you: We believe that donors who make a planned gift are true partners in our work—people who understand the importance of investing in long-term impact and keeping the social service sector strong. We’d love the chance to recognize and thank you for your generosity. By informing us of your bequest, you allow us to acknowledge your gift, provide recognition, and steward your legacy in a meaningful way.

  2. It Inspires others: When letting United Way know about your planned gift, you become a part of a group of thoughtful, forward-thinking donors who are making a lasting impact in their communities. We’d love to hear about your motivations and give you the opportunity to lead by example. If you’d let us, we’d love to share your story with the community, inspiring others to follow in your footsteps. 

  3. We can honour your intentions: By informing us of your planned gift, we can align your donation to the causes you care about most and connect you to the impact we’re having, thanks to donors like you. You can feel assured that your future donation is in good hands.

  4. It allows us to better plan for the future: Knowing when a bequest has been made allows United Way the opportunity to make strategic decisions about how to best allocate future resources to support our mission, vision, and promise.   

Giving to charity is one of the most selfless and rewarding acts you can do in your lifetime. When choosing to leave a gift in your will—a planned giftit’s a powerful and meaningful show of support for United Way East Ontario’s work. 

When you make this decision, you become an important member of the United Way family. Let us welcome you the best way we know how.  

With gratitude,
Melissa Somers  

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