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Smart Giving

Smart giving is simply using different methods of making a donation that offer greater tax benefits or are a part of your overall financial plan. Many of us are unaware of the options until we discuss them with our accountant,  professional advisors or we talk with a friend or family member who has taken advantage of one of the options.

These gifts may be outright cash but many are transfers of stock which provide significant tax savings. Some may choose to make Second Harvest a beneficiary in a will, of a life insurance policy or RRSP/RRIFs. This type of donation is usually gifts of assets as opposed to income and together with the tax benefits to you, they can be transformative to Second Harvest.

While the ways of giving are important, smart giving is really about why you give as opposed to how you give.

The inspiring stories below will help you see how using smart giving techniques can leave a lasting legacy for Second Harvest.

Leaving a Lasting Legacy: Debra’s story

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As I reflected on the things in life that are important to me I thought, "How can I continue to ensure that people have access to good nutritious food long after my life? Who will, or how can we, continue to be responsible?

Everyday, I am honoured to lead this amazing organization called Second Harvest as I continue to see the profound impact donations are making. Everyday, I am filled with gratitude for the Second Harvest team as everyone does their part  – rescuing nutritious food and redistributing it to people facing hunger in our city. From sitting with children at summer camp who have just received a wholesome lunch because of our work, to joining our program director Lori Nikkel as the only Canadian participants at Harvard University’s Reduce & Recover: Save Food for People conference, I know that we cannot do what we do and continue to do everyday without financial support. And as I thought about the future, I started getting very serious about how I could continue to help – many years from now.

Perhaps it was the process of writing my will that caused me to pause and reflect on my life and really think, what really matters to me at the end of the day.  It was only natural that Second Harvest be a part of my future as it has been such an integral part of my past. Nobody may ever know thirty years from now of my gift; but  I know exactly what impact it will mean for someone, for their future.

A Gift of Life Insurance: Debbie story

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Naming charities as beneficiaries of a life insurance policy made me see that I could make a much larger gift using this smart giving option.

As a professional fundraiser I have had the great privilege to work with some amazing philanthropists. I was envious as I watched the pride on their faces as they made transformational charitable donations. You see, I’m not in the position to make a major gift to Second Harvest. I do what I can with a donation that comes off my paycheque but I’ve always wanted to do a little more.  It was actually a friend that told me about naming charities as beneficiaries of a life insurance policy that made me see that I could make a much larger gift using this smart giving option.

I pay small monthly premiums for my charitable policy and included Second Harvest as a beneficiary. Upon my death, my gift will help to feed hungry people while having positive impact on the planet. The tax receipt will go to my estate and help to reduce taxes owing which are usually the highest in your final year. It won’t impact my overall estate which I hope will help my kids and grandkids and it will allow me to leave a far larger gift than I ever could in my lifetime. While Second Harvest hopefully won’t receive this gift anytime soon it will ensure that there is sustainable funding available for the future vision of No Waste, No Hunger. Actually the longer I live the more my gift will be based on the policy I purchased and because I was younger my premiums were much lower.

For me it was an easy and smart way to make my gift. The day I went on a Second Harvest truck run and saw for myself the simple, common sense approach to keeping food out of landfill and helping hungry people, I was convinced and I wanted to help.

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We’re here if you have any questions

For more information about Smart Giving, please contact

Debbie Kesheshian 416.408.2594 x229

Information for Professional Advisors:

CRA Charitable Registration Number: 13386 5477 RR0001

Legal Name: Second Harvest Food Support Committee

Address: 1450 Lodestar Road, Unit 18, Toronto, ON M3J 3C1
Phone: 416.408.2594 x229  Fax: 416.408.2598