From Co-Operative Housing to a $1,000,000 Charitable Gift

From Co-Operative Housing to a $1,000,000 Charitable Gift

When I started at Stewart Financial I was told early and often by Duncan that I needed to find a niche that would differentiate me from other professionals in the financial planning industry. 

I found it.

I can’t remember how I found it but I did… it just… happened.  Actually, for months I tried so hard to find my niche.. to no avail. 

It kind of reminds me of that adage about wanting desperately to be in a relationship… the harder you look the less likely it’ll happen sort of thing.

My niche involves working with philanthropic organizations and their donors to show them how to leave magnified gifts they never thought possible.

The size of the gifts I work on are amazing but what I enjoy the most is learning about the donors.

Hearing where they come from, what they do and why they donate to the organizations they choose

The why… the why is the best part – no two stories are the same and each donor has a strong passion behind their motivation to give.

Here’s one of my favourite stories:

Growing up John’s family did not have much, he grew up in co-operative housing in the GTA.

On weekends he would play sports at the campus of one of the best independent schools in Ontario.

He and his teammates were always in awe of the campus, jealous they did not have the opportunity to attend such a prestigious school.

Fast forward 30 years and John is an extremely successful business owner. He has a family of his own and one of his children attends the very same school described above, the school John was not fortunate enough to attend.

Last year John donated a $1,000,000 legacy gift to the school. After we set the gift up I asked John why he did it.

He told me the gift will be used to provide scholarships to kids who are less fortunate so they can have the opportunity he didn’t.

How lucky am I that I get to meet people like this? It’s awesome.

I’ve spoken to many fundraisers from many charities and almost every single one of them have this in common…

They never planned to work in fundraising. They fell into it, loved it and never left.

After hearing stories like John’s I’m not surprised.

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