A Gift of a Lifetime

by Gillian Doucet Campbell

Growing up, my parents didn’t talk much about money. 

“That’s not unusual,” says Greg Kippers, CFP, Wealth Advisor with ScotiaMcLeod and diocesan volunteer supporting parishioners to learn more about estate and financial planning through group presentations.

 Kippers says, “As I began my career, I came to learn the value of encouraging my clients to have financial conversations with their family or children. 

This helps develop sound financial skills and to have the sometimes-harder conversations around estate planning.” Kippers then says, “It’s exciting to meet people who want to give back, especially in this day in age when we’re surrounded by a culture that is driven to want more. Often people don’t think they have enough for a planned gift. They’ll sit with me and after going through a financial plan, their eyes will light up when I show them what’s possible. That yes, you can give “X” amount of dollars over the next few years or as a gift in your will if you want. 

When you have a plan and more certainty of what future cash flows may look like you can direct that money accordingly with peace of mind.” Kippers also added, “Sure there are financial reasons to give to charity, like tax credits, but first and foremost, from a Christian perspective money is a means to demonstrate our faith and values.”

This is just what Dave and Joanne Jones shared. Long-time parishioners of St. David’s, Welland, they gave a gift of shares to their parish almost a year ago. Dave said, “We came to St. David’s as newlyweds in 1958. All four of our children were baptized and confirmed in this parish. Despite the years when we moved temporarily from Welland, we have always felt a part of the parish. So, it was the natural thing to do to give the shares to St. David’s. Financially we knew we were secure enough. The church can make better use of the funds.”*

Inspired by Warren Buffet’s and Bill Gates’ commitment to giving generously, Dave says, “My son and I have talked a few times about the fact that you can’t take it with you, so you might as well do something with it. If your family is taken care of reasonably, then the remainder can be passed on and put to good use elsewhere.”

It’s easy to feel intimidated by the headline-making donations of multi-millionaires and billionaires like Buffett and Gates. But you shouldn’t. Although it will vary from each parish or charity, most churches and small to mid-size charities consider an important one-time gift to be $2,500. 

When reading through St. John’s, Elora’s Endowment Fund, the median gift designated for “corporate purposes of the Parish” is $6,000. This is not surprising, as Kippers’ alludes to and the Scotiabank ads tell us; “You’re richer than you think.”

The first estate gift made to St. John’s, Elora’s endowment fund was in 1968. The most recent gift was just received. 

The Rev. Paul Walker (rector of St. John’s) says, “I’m incredibly grateful and inspired by the expansiveness of the vision these givers had. It makes me want to be more generous.” 

He adds, “The interest from these generous gifts has meant the parish doesn’t need to rely on rental income, which is a gift during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Rev. Walker also makes clear that “These gifts have only been made possible because parishioners are asked. They knew the fund existed, but more foundationally people had a warm feeling about their association with the parish, and they knew they were giving toward something that will outlast their own lives. It would be a gift beyond their generation to allow others to experience the same feeling of care.”


*Dave and Joanne Jones are not clients of ScotiaMcLeod and did not receive advice or services from Greg Kippers, CFP.

To learn more about making a gift in your will for your parish or the Diocese please visit WillPower.ca or contact Gillian Doucet Campbell, Director of Stewardship and Development below.