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Will Power: Create a lasting legacy for family AND your community

The Victoria Foundation works with donors to direct their legacy gift in meaningful ways
While a Will is often seen as a way of sharing our legacy with loved ones, it can also provide a gift to our favourite causes. Assigning part of your estate to an organization like the Victoria Foundation, for example, is a way to leave a lasting legacy in your community.

Your Will is a powerful thing. Not only because it ensures your estate is distributed according to your wishes, but because it also has the power to create lasting change in your community.

While a Will is often seen as a way of sharing our legacy with loved ones, it can also provide a gift to our favourite causes. Rather than an either / or option, it’s easy to do both. Initiatives like the national Will Power campaign underscore how your Will can let you continue supporting causes that are important to you, while also leaving funds to your loved ones.

Here’s a look at what’s possible: With an average Canadian estate of $845,000, for example, you’ll likely leave most to loved ones. However, if you left just 5 per cent of that estate to your charity of choice, that amounts to a $42,000 donation – enough to make a significant difference to your community!

“Everyone’s legacy will look different, and your Will lets you direct your support in the way that’s most meaningful to you,” says Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation. “Some may want to share their estate among their family and a single charity, others may want to support their community or area of interest more generally.”

Through the Foundation, where those who designate a specific gift or a portion of their estate also become members of the Victoria Circle, your gift can reflect your values and interests, whether your passion is to support the arts, health­-related programs, the environment, social justice or other cause areas.

“From a vital, local organization in your own neighbourhood to a registered charity anywhere in Canada, we can help you plan your gift for the greatest and most lasting impact,” Richardson notes. “You can choose to assign your gift to a personal or family fund or direct it to one of our granting programs to help address some of the community’s most urgent needs – you have complete flexibility to leave a legacy that meets your philanthropic goals.”

Beyond your legacy, charitable gifts made via a Will also generate a donation receipt that can be used to offset the taxes payable on the death of the donor – another potential benefit to review with your financial advisor.

To learn more about legacy giving with the Victoria Foundation, visit

Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second oldest community foundation and the sixth largest of nearly 200 nation-wide. To date the Victoria Foundation has invested more than $259 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities in BC and throughout Canada.