ShareLife urges creative ways to give

  • February 19, 2010
{mosimage}TORONTO - Giving to charity doesn’t necessarily mean having to write a cheque or digging around in your pockets for bills and change.

At the archdiocese of Toronto, Paul Nazareth, manager of planned giving and personal gifts, gets to see a variety of creative givers, including one donor who gives to 25 different charities all at once through the gift of stocks.

“Giving stocks is the smartest way to give in Canada,” Nazareth said. “By giving stocks, they eliminate their capital gain.”

He added it’s also an easy way to keep track of your donations, if like the mentioned giver, you divide it up all at once, indicating where you’d like each portion of your money to go. Many people do this and include a portion destined for the yearly ShareLife campaign, which kicks off Feb. 20.

“People are able to give more this way and it doesn’t cost them more.”

Other ways abound, such as giving through life insurance or making use of a new system that allows people to donate interest to designated charities through their bank.

Whatever it may be, Nazareth encourages these givers to keep putting empty envelopes into the collection plate at Mass.

“I have easily about 250 parishioners putting empty envelopes into the collection every week all over the diocese for a variety of different reasons,” he said.

For one, it sets an example for their fellow parishioners and children, who might otherwise think they aren’t donating to the church.

“That’s the tough thing of being in a small community,” he said. “Parishioners will actually call people to the carpet on that (not putting anything in the collection plate).”

Having envelopes in their name also gives them the option to contribute extra money, if they’ve been blessed with extra cash, which Nazareth said happens often.

Another way to give creatively is to use your tax returns.

“Some people say they are nervous taking tax receipts for the gifts they give to the church because they say ‘oh I shouldn’t benefit from my gifts to God,’ ” he said. “We just tell them ‘if you really feel that way, you can actually give a portion of your tax return back to the church.’ ”

Or they can give it to charities or ministries not funded through church collections and appeals.

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