December, 2021

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Leaving a gift to charity in your will is a powerful way to create change in the world. Yet only 5% of Canadians choose to do so.


"I’d never heard of people like me doing something like that."

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From her early days as Health Education Director to her current volunteer position on the Board of Directors, Arlene Draffin-Jones has always believed The Lung Association, Manitoba was doing important work – but she’d never thought about leaving a gift to the organization in her will.

“Of course, you hear that mega-rich people leave gifts and things,” she says, “but I’d never heard of people like me doing something like that.” But Arlene learned about legacy giving through her other volunteer work and realized it was a way she could support the organizations she believed in. She doesn’t have a lot of money but knows there will be some left in her RRSP. Feeling that her family was getting what they needed already, she decided to put The Lung Association, Manitoba into her will.

Arlene has always been passionate about public health education. One of the founders of Manitoba’s Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) program for tuberculosis (TB), she was instrumental in the theory of teaching patients to take their TB medication consistently, which is very important for complete recovery. Her work in health education led to a passion for preventative medicine and advocacy. She lobbied successfully to make the Goldeyes stadium the first smoke-free stadium in Winnipeg and was proud to see so many other stadiums and arenas quickly follow suit.

“Traditionally, we wait for people to get sick and then we make them better,” she says, “but if we can stop them getting sick in the first place that’s even better.” She believes The Lung Association, Manitoba has a vital role to play in advocating for public health and keeping governments on track. “I feel very, very strongly about lung health, and about The Lung Association,” she says. “We need to give money to places that are doing good work and strengthen them. I don’t have much, but there are things these organizations can do that we can’t as individuals. We need their advocacy, and they need our support to do that.”

I’m interested in learning more about legacy giving

What will your legacy be?

There are 5 common myths that typically get in the way of people exercising their Will power:

1. I can’t support both my loved ones and my favourite causes.

Most people can leave a small percentage of their estate to charity and still have enough to support their loved ones. The Will Power Legacy Calculator can help you estimate the effects of a potential gift.  

2. I need to be wealthy to make a gift to charity in my Will.

The majority of charitable gifts in Wills are left by Canadians of average means. You may be surprised to find that when all of your assets are realized, you too will have the means to support both your loved ones and your favourite causes. 

3. Leaving a gift in a Will is complicated.

Leaving a gift to charity in your estate can be as easy as adding a clause to your Will. Notify your lawyer, and they can take care of adding it in. In fact, there is an online intention form that will help you get the process started quickly. 

4. I’ve already written my Will and there is no going back.

The truth is you can amend your Will at any time. Adding a gift is as simple as letting your intentions be known to those who drafted your documents in the first place. 

5. I will never see the impact of the gift I make in my Will. 

For most, you will never be able to make as big a gift while you are alive as you can through your Will (when the value of your estate is realized). Planning your gift now can be a comfort, knowing your loved ones will have a meaningful way to remain connected with you – seeing and experiencing your contribution after you are gone.

Learn more about leaving a gift in your will
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