Lifestyle

Volunteer: What legacy are you planning to leave behind you?

May is Legacy Giving month. It is time for us to think about our financial donations to charities. Consider these facts.

• At least one in 10 working Canadians works for a not-for-profit organization.

According to key research findings on the Imagine Canada website, Canada’s non-profit sector is the second largest in the world, contributing $79.1 billion or 7.8 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product. This is larger than the entire retail trade in Canada.

Add to this the fact that more than half of the estimated 161,000 nonprofits and charities in Canada are run entirely by volunteers.

• Every other person you pass on any street in B.C. volunteers.

This makes perfect sense when you think about how a nonprofit organization gets started. A group of people bands together around an activity or a cause to meet human need.

More residents in B.C. got involved in 2010 by volunteering and donating than they did in 2007, states the Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating.

• Eight people out of every 10 that you pass on any street in B.C. donate money.

British Columbians received the equivalent of a bronze medal for giving an average of $1,685 annually, according to the 2011 Generosity Index compiled by the Fraser Institute.

Research also tells us that people who plan their giving give more in terms of dollars, give more consistently and give to more than one organization.

Planning makes a difference.

Planning gets you thinking about different ways to give your money, both today and tomorrow. You can leave a legacy that keeps on giving.

• Seven per cent of Canadians name a charity in their will.

If you are looking for a charity here in the Central Okanagan start by doing a Community Info Search at www.kcr.ca. You will find brief descriptions about programs and services for more than 400 nonprofit organizations with links to their websites.

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