Did you know that you can make an impact on generations to come by planning a future gift to the charity that you are passionate about?

One example is SickKids. Charitable gifts have helped the hospital with research breakthroughs of the kind that have made it a leader in children's health. ''Every year, more than 100,000 children come to our hospital with hopes that we can solve their health issues with life-saving care,” says Ted Garrard, President and CEO of SickKids Foundation.

By planning a future gift (planforsickkids.com) the hospital says you can make a major impact on the lives of the more than 100,000 children treated annually at the facility.

Here are 10 easy steps to leave a legacy and support a cause that matters to you:

1. Residual Bequest: A gift in your will allows you to make a tax-effective donation, and often eliminates the taxable impact on your beneficiaries. Residual gifts often have the largest impact by allowing you to gift a portion or percentage of your estate which is often much higher than would be possible during your lifetime.

2. Specific Bequest: You can also choose to leave a specific amount to a charity in your will. These beneficiaries are the first to receive funds once your estate is being administered.

3. Gifts of Securities: By donating appreciated stocks, mutual funds, stock options or flow-through shares, you pay no tax on the capital gains, receive a tax receipt for the fair market value of the securities and you can reduce your taxes.

4. Gifts of Life Insurance: This allows you to make a large donation at a relatively low cost. You can: designate your charity of choice as owner and beneficiary of a new or existing policy to claim each future premium paid as a tax deductible donation; give the charity a paid-up life insurance policy to receive an immediate tax receipt for its fair market value; or simply designate a charity as a beneficiary.

5. Gifts of RRSPs/RRIFs: Retirement funds are one of the best ways to grow wealth during your lifetime, but one of the worst ways to transfer wealth to the next generation since they are among your most heavily taxed assets. By naming a charity as a beneficiary of your registered plans, you can make a gift which will benefit your charity-of-choice and other beneficiaries in your estate – and a receipt will reduce the taxes.

6. Gifts of Real Estate: Many charities accept gifts of property. You can donate the property outright by transferring ownership, place it in trust where you retain use for your lifetime, or you can gift it in your will. Charitable tax receipts are given for established fair market value at the time of the transfer of the property. Currently primary residences are exempt from capital gains tax and beginning in 2017, secondary residences, such as cottages or income properties will be exempt from capital gains tax.

7. Set up an Endowment Fund: An endowment fund is a perfect gift option for those who wish to have more control, flexibility and involvement with their donation. It will be permanently invested and the income may support a specific area of focus – whatever you believe should be long supported into the future. This gift creates a permanent, predictable source of revenue for the charity and the fund can be established in your own name or to honour a loved one.

8. Gifts of Shares from a Private Corporation: Benefits to the charity include that donated shares may pay dividends and the charity may be able to sell the shares in the near term, or may hold some or all of them for an indefinite period. The donor receives an immediate donation receipt for the fair market value of the shares. This process will become easier with new legislation in 2017.

9. Stock Options: This is a common form of employee compensation, and also happens to be one of the most cost effective and tax efficient ways to make a donation. By donating stock options donors receive a tax receipt for the market value of the donation, and eliminate the capital gains tax.

10. Other assets: Items such as jewelry or artwork can also be a sound way to support your cause. You receive the satisfaction of seeing the gift at work now or in the future and you receive a receipt for the fair market value, as determined by a qualified appraisal.

To learn more, please visit www.planforsickkids.com.

Author's Bio: 

Doing good is all that matters