Summertime and the Givin’ Is Easy

Enjoying time with family and friends, busying yourself in the garden and working on home projects, visiting farmers markets, dining outdoors, hiking and biking, the season can feel like an endless stream of blessings! But for charities and non-profits, summer can be difficult. There’s no big push for donations, regular supporters are away, churches may not meet weekly; it’s a drought for many organizations.

Unfortunately, need for the services they provide does not take a vacation. How can you help? Make this a summer of generosity by doing what you can to spread kindness, compassion and lending support to the organizations doing good work in your community. Here are seven ways to get started!

1) Share your bounty. Love gardening? Plant some extras to share with your friends and family! Whether it’s fruit and vegetables, plants or flowers, you can bring a smile to their faces at harvest time. You might also consider starting or volunteering at a community garden to help grow fresh food for neighbours in need.

2) Talk to your loved ones about your Will. The average Canadian Estate is $845,000. If you took care of your loved ones with the majority of that, and left just 5% as a gift to charity in your Will, that small percentage could represent a huge impact on the causes most important to you! Speak to your family while you’re sitting around the campfire this summer about the legacy you want to leave, and how making a gift to charity in your Will is part of it.

3) Attend a National Indigenous Peoples Day event. The first day of summer is also National Indigenous Peoples Day! Acknowledge and celebrate the history, heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada by finding a local event. Can’t get to one? Consider donating to the Justice & Reconciliation Fund to support dialogue and relationship-building between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

4) Volunteer to collect donations for your local food bank (pssst! your grandkids will love to help with this one!). The shelves can get bare between spring and autumn. Let your neighbours know to set out their non-perishables on their porch, and you and the kids can enjoy a walk collecting the items in a wagon. Then, bring the donations to the food pantry.

5) Consider establishing a personal endowment fund at The United Church of Canada Foundation. It’s a great way to provide dependable, ongoing support to the United Church ministry close to your heart! A predictable income for your church means that even through the slower summer months, the vital work of your congregation remains financially and spiritually supported.

6) Install a Little Free Library on your lawn (or talk to your church’s Outreach Committee about having one installed on church property). LFLs are a great way to share the blessing of reading with your community! If you aren’t able to start your own, take stock of your home library and bring the books that are collecting dust to your nearest LFL to be enjoyed by new readers!

7) Make a plan to maximize your generosity. While you’re poolside this summer, set up a Zoom or phone call with your financial planner to chat about the most tax-efficient way to make your donations, including donating stocks and mutual funds through The United Church of Canada Foundation’s Gift Fund program! One generous donor told us “Thank you for this amazing way of making our donations go further!”.

You’ll feel extra warm this season when you choose to make 2022 the summer of generosity!


The United Church of Canada Foundation

[email protected]