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A group holding coins in their hands, inspired by Jan De Hartog's start their philanthropy, even if small.

Redefining Success in Philanthropy: Insights from Jan de Hartog

Written for Philanthropists

“Do not commit the error, common among the young, of assuming that if you cannot save the whole of mankind you have failed.”

Jan de Hartog

Jan de Hartog’s quote beautifully captures the spirit of charitable estate planning. Though we may not have the means to save all of humanity, we can still leave a meaningful legacy through philanthropy. With thoughtful planning, Canadians can provide for their loved ones while supporting the charitable causes closest to their hearts.

About the Author: Jan de Hartog

Jan de Hartog was a Dutch playwright and novelist, born in 1914 and passing away in 2002 at 88. 

De Hartog lived through World War II and was heavily influenced by his experiences. His literary works dealt with morality, redemption, and human rights. He was passionate about fighting injustice through writing and activism.

The quote on leaving a charitable legacy reflects de Hartog’s spirit of wanting to make a difference, even in small ways. He encourages us not to let perfection be the enemy of good – we can still do good in the world, even if we cannot solve every problem.

How Jan de Hartog’s Words Can Motivate Philanthropic Planning

Jan de Hartog’s sentiment should resonate with those thinking about the impact they want to have through charitable giving. His words inspire us to take action, however big or small.

Some key motivations from de Hartog’s quote:

  • Think beyond our lifetimes – A Will allows us to support causes beyond our lifetimes. The impact of our giving can ripple for years to come.
  • Achieve meaning and fulfillment – Giving provides a sense of purpose and meaning. Supporting cherished causes through our estate can be deeply fulfilling.
  • Create a legacy – Charitable bequests allow us to leave a personal legacy aligned with our values. This action is a lasting way to role model generosity for younger generations.

Jan de Hartog compels us to give in ways that are meaningful for each of us as individuals. His words are a timely reminder as we reflect on the charitable impact we want to have through our estate plans.

Canadians Have Enough Wealth to Give Back

Research shows Canadians have significant personal wealth that could support charitable estate planning and providing for loved ones.

  • The average Canadian family currently has a net worth of over $940,000. Much of this is tied up in real estate equity. [Source: Statistics Canada, 2022]
  • Canadians aged 55-64 have average net assets of almost $1.3 million. [Statistics Canada, 2020]
  • “A seismic quantity of wealth to the tune of $1 trillion is set to move from Canadian baby boomers to their GenX and millennial heirs between now and 2026” [Source: CPA Canada, 2023]

With prudent planning, many Canadian families could dedicate a portion of their wealth to charitable causes they care about deeply while still providing for heirs. Any size of gift can make a real difference to registered charities.

Life Insurance Can Fund Charitable Giving

Life insurance can be a strategic tool for Canadians looking to make a sizable charitable gift. Here are some of the key benefits of using life insurance for philanthropy:

  • Creates wealth transfer – A life insurance policy creates an asset you can donate by making a charity a beneficiary. This wealth transfer may not otherwise have been possible.
  • Provides tax-effective legacy – Insurance proceeds received by a registered charity are non-taxable. This means 100% of the funds go to the cause.
  • Replaces the value of donated assets – Life insurance can replace the value of assets donated to charity, ensuring your heirs are not shortchanged.
  • Makes large future gifts possible – Even small insurance premiums today can create a significant estate gift later.
  • Gives peace of mind – Knowing your philanthropic wishes will be fulfilled as you planned can provide comfort.

Life insurance offers flexibility for charitable estate planning. Those inspired by Jan de Hartog’s message can use life insurance to create their desired legacy.

Tax Rewards for Charitable Estate Donations

There are also tax incentives in Canada for leaving a charitable legacy. Here are some key ways donors and estates can benefit:

  • Estate tax credits – Estates leaving gifts to registered charities can claim estate donation tax credits. This reduces taxes owed.
  • Bypass capital gains – Appreciated securities or real estate donated through a Will do not trigger capital gains taxes. This minimizes taxes for estates.
  • Donation receipts for premiums – Donation receipts may be available for life insurance premiums if the charity is the owner and beneficiary.

The tax rewards provide additional motivation for incorporating charitable giving into an estate plan. Financial benefits and the desire to do good can make charitable planning appealing.

Take Inspiration from Jan de Hartog’s Words on Leaving a Legacy

De Hartog’s message is to contribute what we can, however modest. For those who can give more significantly, strategic tools like life insurance can help fulfill your philanthropy. Receiving tax rewards provides extra motivation to donate.

Explore philanthropic planning options tailored to your unique goals. At Taxevity Insurance, we’re here to help

Learn how the Will Power campaign helps you include a gift to charity in your Will and about the pros and cons of donating life insurance.

Tags: quotations, will power