Are you ready? How can you tell if your organization is ready for a proactive legacy giving program?

Legacy giving, or planned giving, is a particular kind of fundraising: inviting your existing donors to consider leaving a gift to your organization in their will or estate plans. This kind of giving is a way for a donor to take what is important to them now and extend that far into the future, leaving a legacy that matters.

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

A gift in the will is one of the largest gifts most Canadians will ever make. (TRUE)

Want to be on the receiving end?

Make legacy giving part of your development plan and be transformed.

Here at Tiny Frog Strategies, we believe that organization of all sizes should be ready to tap into the intergenerational transfer of wealth, and our Legacy Jump Start program is designed to make it easy for you to incorporate legacy giving into your fundraising tool box. But we know that not every organization is ready and that’s okay too. Let’s find out where your organization stands.

Answer the following questions to find out if your organization is ready for legacy giving:

1. My organization is a registered charity. TRUE or FALSE?

2. Legacy giving is only for the big charities. We are too small and don’t have enough staff. TRUE or FALSE?

3. My organization has a long term vision. TRUE or FALSE?

4.. Legacy giving involves lots of cups of tea with little old ladies. TRUE or FALSE?


1. My organization is a registered charity. TRUE or FALSE?

You are ready if you answered: TRUE.

There are a few exceptions to the rule, but legacy giving works best if your vision or cause lives within a formal nonprofit structure. Preferably as an organization registered as a charity in Canada. (Non-charities, projects of other organizations and groups of interested concerned citizens are great, but legacy giving, particularly the tax benefits to a donor, works best in the case of registered charity in Canada.)

If the word “fundraising” got you all excited here, calm down. This is definitely not the place for free cash tomorrow – that would be your grant writer, I think…

2. Legacy giving is only for the big charities. We are too small and don’t have enough staff.

You are ready if you answered: FALSE.

We work with organizations of all sizes. None of our clients have staff that are dedicated full time to legacy giving activities. If you’re really worried, contact us and we can talk through your specific circumstances.

3. Your organization has a long term vision.

You are ready if you answered: TRUE.

Bonus points if your organization has a current strategic plan. Again, this may not be all worked out in exact details, but legacy giving works best if your organization is planning to be in existence for the next 25 years and beyond.

After all, one of the critical elements of people leaving gifts in their estate plans is that you don’t know when the gift will be realized. (That’s fancy industry talk to say that you don’t know when the donor will die and how long it will take for the lawyers to sort the will out and when your organization will actually get the money.)

If your organization’s sole purpose is an immediate short-term need, for example, raising funds to purchase and preserve a specific building in your neighbourhood, then legacy giving isn’t the right fundraising approach for you.

4. Legacy giving involves lots of cups of tea with little old ladies. I don’t like tea or coffee, especially with little old ladies, so legacy giving isn’t for me.

You are ready if you answered: False.

Well, the part about you not liking hot beverages might be true, but I once had a friend who didn’t drink any hot beverages (true story) and she got through life OK. Legacy Jump Start is a different process then you may have heard about before. No hot beverages required.


How did you do? If you think you might be close, check out Legacy Jump Start and visit Part 2 of our quiz.

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