Remembering the School in Your Will Can Leave Lasting Benefits for Generations
When Ellen Knox —the first Principal at Havergal College —passed away in 1924, her will left a large portion of her estate to the school. This gift would not only establish new scholarships, but also help secure the future of what would become the Havergal’s current home on Avenue Road. For more than 30 years, she presided over a period of great change and financial uncertainty at the budding school, and her bequest laid the foundation for a tradition of planned giving that remains invaluable to the Havergal community today.
Since then, many alumni and former faculty and staff have bequeathed significant gifts to establish bursaries and scholarships, support building projects and enrich the life of the school in countless ways, recognizing how deeply the Havergal experience shaped their lives and prepared them for their future. The endowments created from these important gifts continue to provide much-needed support for decades after they were established. The scholarship and bursary fund created by the estate of Marion Rooke Class of 1928, for example, now stands at more than $595,000, providing more than $22,000 a year in financial support for deserving students.
Your estate plan not only sets out your wishes for how you would like to provide for your loved ones after you pass away, but it can also establish acts of charitable generosity that can potentially far exceed what you could give otherwise during your lifetime. “Often, the largest gift most people can make is through their will,” says Tony diCosmo, Executive Director of Advancement & Community Relations. “Making a planned gift to an organization that is important to you can provide significant tax advantages for your estate.”
When you set aside a certain amount as a bequest to a charitable foundation, for example, your estate will receive a tax receipt for 100 per cent of the donation, which can go a long way in reducing your estate’s tax burden for your loved ones. Other tax-deductible avenues of planned giving can include a donation of stocks, securities or mutual funds, or designating the Havergal College Foundation as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) or a registered retirement income fund (RRIF).
An endowment fund, which can be established at Havergal with a gift of $100,000 or more, invests the principal and designates the income generated to the Foundation in perpetuity.
You can also establish a Donor Advised Fund as a beneficiary, which allows philanthropic flexibility in giving you or your heirs advisory privileges over how your donated funds are invested or distributed to charities.
In creating your legacy, you may choose to dedicate your gift to a certain aspect of school life that was important to you during your time at Havergal. Planned gifts can be directed toward financial aid, building improvements, student wellbeing, athletics, the arts, environmental sustainability or any other purpose that is meaningful to the donor.
“At the moment, Havergal encourages giving toward financial aid in order to benefit the greatest number of deserving students who would not otherwise be able to afford tuition,” says Lisa Zanlungo, Director of Major Gifts and Campaigns. The school was able to assist 47 students in the 2020–21 academic year, she says, and is aiming to bring that total to 105 to align with the average among members of the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools.
Gifts can also be put into an unrestricted fund to be used according to the school’s greatest needs, which may change over time. “When you remember an organization in your will, it means a great deal that you have placed your trust in them to use the money for its best purpose,” says di Cosmo.
Anyone who informs the school of their plans to include Havergal in their will is automatically inducted into the Ellen Knox Society, an esteemed circle of donors who are recognized each year. Each donor’s name is inscribed with calligraphy in a special book as a record of their gift. When members pass away and their legacies are realized, their names live on in the endowments, bursaries and scholarships they have generously provided to secure the future of Havergal for generations to come.
Published April 2022