Client Support

Strengthening a bond, leaving a legacy

Karen Benke, a Senior Financial Consultant from the London office, is passionate about the Investors Group Charitable Giving Program (CGP) and what it can offer clients. Over the last few years, Karen has been involved in the opening of six Charitable Giving Accounts and one story always stood out to her.

One of Investors Group’s first clients had been with us since the 1950s. Over the last number of years, Karen worked with her on building an estate plan that consisted of a Charitable Remainder Trust, life insurance and more. Over a year ago, the client fell and hurt herself badly. As part of her recovery, she was receiving care from the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), along with some other organizations.

Benefits of the program

“From really taking the time to get to know her, I knew she supported the VON in the past and I thought it would be a good time to bring up the CGP to her and her daughter,” said Karen. When we spoke about how the CGP can help her give back and minimize the large tax liability the estate (her daughter) would incur when she passed away, they wanted to learn more. At our next meeting, I illustrated two important things to drive home the benefits of the program: The first was how beneficiaries would be able to greatly reduce the tax burden associated with settling the estate and the second was showing how much money the account would grant out over 30 to 100 years. They loved the concept and were astounded at the legacy they could leave.

“In the end, we set up an account with money going to a local mission. As a side benefit, it helped strengthen the bond between mother and daughter. Today, I am working with the daughter to grant out future donations as the client has since passed away.”

Karen recommends really listening to clients to discover opportunities for discussing the CGP. Some of the things she listens for are: Have they talked about organizations that have really made an impact on their life? Have they volunteered? Do they make charitable donations? If you can answer yes to one of these questions, they should strongly consider the CGP.

Supporting hundreds of Canadian charities

Since the Charitable Giving Program began granting funds in 2007, $5.9 million has been donated to registered Canadian charities, and more than 585 charities have benefited from the grants that the program distributes. In 2012, nearly $1.97 million in grants were distributed.