Donating To Charity In Your Will – How To Change Your World And Make A Difference

Donating to charity in your will is an action that can make a tremendous difference to your community and the world. But often, people don’t take action even though they can have a significant impact on their own lives and the lives of others.

Why is that? What are the barriers to taking action?

When we look around, we see so many problems that could use our help. This can be discouraging and overwhelming, leading us to give up the idea and do nothing for many reasons.

The Challenge With Donating In Your Will

To begin with, we may not know where to start. We look around and see the need to help families with challenging disabilities, refugees who are new to our country, cancer patients and their families who need coaching, Alzheimer’s patients who need to remain independent as long as possible, teenagers experiencing mental health challenges, young students in disadvantaged neighbourhoods who need access to school supplies and sports equipment, community hospitals badly in need of equipment, and so many other worthwhile causes. How do we choose between them?

We may also assume that this is the job of the charitable sector. But the truth is that many charities are suffering due to a reduction in donor support while the demand for their services has been increasing. So it is up to us to take action and make a difference in the world.

As Gandhi said, “For things to change, first I must change.” We all need to have hope and believe that we can make a difference – but it takes a great deal of courage to have hope.

So, where do we start? Can we inspire hope within ourselves and others?

I believe we can! The more I learn and interact with charities, their donors, and our clients, the more I see the powerful impact of donating in wills, and the more I want to get involved.

I’ve learned firsthand that engaging in this process ultimately changes me, my mindset, and my perspective in positive ways. The more I open up the discussion with my clients and ask specific questions from an appreciative inquiry point of view, the more I see increased gifts in wills and the awareness of and desire to impact the world and the lives of others.

Beginning our transformation to change the world is a great starting point; however, we have also found that many people get stopped in their desire to give back by some genuine and complex challenges and barriers.

We believe that together we can overcome these hurdles.

To begin, we often ask our clients, “who and what has made a difference in your life and how did they make a difference?” This leads us to hear stores such as these:

“Ronald Mcdonald House provided us with a comforting place to stay while our newborn child received life-saving surgery at CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) in Ottawa”.

“The YMCA of Eastern Ontario provided our disabled child with the support and resources to compete in the Special Olympics, which gave them a reason to feel proud.

“Donations made to The Almonte Hospital and Fairview Manor provided the medical emergency equipment used to diagnose our acute condition so that the treatment could save our lives.”

“The March of Dimes provided our disabled child with the support they needed to be and work as independently as possible.”

“Friends of the Earth Canada is helping to protect our environment, and our biodiversity needs to thrive and survive on our beautiful planet.”

These stories provide us with inspiration and hope, which is a great place to begin when thinking about leaving a gift in your will. But we need to go further and address the major challenges and problems people face when thinking about their legacy.

If you’re interested in learning more about the issues many people face when thinking about donating in their will (and some solutions!) I invite you to read the full article here:

As we begin to explore further and develop our legacy values and the corresponding impact we want to have, we experience pleasure in knowing our lives have had significant meaning. What that meaning ultimately becomes for you is a very personal journey.

We know and understand that money is a tool that we can use to enhance our own lives, the lives of others and use it to build a world we can all be proud of. Donating a gift in your will is a part of that journey.


Betty-Anne Howard

M.S.W., B.A. (Hon.), CLU, CHS, CEA, Certified Financial Planner, Master Financial Advisor, Philanthropy

Betty-Anne Howard is an award-winning Financial Planner, Author and Speaker who specializes in helping women make their dreams a reality through financial literacy and charitable giving. Betty-Anne’s goal is to raise an additional 50M for charities in her lifetime.