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Charity Spotlight: March Of Dimes Canada

May 18, 2021
May is Leave a Legacy Month and we are shining a spotlight on March of Dimes Canada (MODC).
Written By Amanda LevineMay 18, 2021

May is Leave a Legacy Month and we are spotlighting charities doing important work in Canada. Mary Lynne Stewart is the National Director of Leadership Giving and corporate partnership at March of Dimes Canada (MODC). She met with us to share more information about MODC and the impact planned giving can have on charities.

Can you tell us a bit more about March of Dimes Canada?

March of Dimes Canada was first established in 1949 as part of an effort to stamp out polio. A group of mothers across North America joined in an effort to literally go door-to-door asking for people to donate a dime. They established a group called the Marching Mothers. From there, it continued to evolve until 2006 when March of Dimes Canada became a national registered charity.

Since then, we’ve evolved into an organization that helps people of all disabilities. We help get people back to work by providing modified vehicles and homes. We also provide personal care and peer support programs for people that have been affected by a stroke or an acquired brain injury.

We’re an organization that’s all about helping people with disabilities get back to their new normal and looking after people in that hospital-to-home scenario, trying to get them integrated back into their community.

What are some ways people can support MODC?

There are a few ways to support MODC:

  • One-time donation
  • Monthly donations
  • Including MODC in your Will

Covid-19 has hit a lot of us in our pocketbooks, but that doesn’t mean people can’t support the charities they care about the most.

Most people feel if they can’t donate a large lump sum of money to a charity, it’s not going to make an impact. But donating a small, nominal amount each month can really add up to a meaningful donation. You can donate however much or little you want, and knowing exactly what’s coming out of your bank account makes it easier to plan ahead.

A lot of people don’t realize the huge impact they can have on a charity by leaving a gift in their Will (called planned giving.) Leaving a planned gift to your charity can have a bigger impact than any donations you’re able to make while you’re alive. Plus, it’s tax-deductible so your entire estate can benefit.

What impact has planned giving had on MODC?

Planned giving has had a tremendous impact. March of Dimes has been around for 70 years and planned giving has always been a core part of our program. The gifts we receive from people make a huge difference in the lives of people with disabilities across Canada.

We have been able to create special projects simply because people have included March of Dimes Canada in their Will. So yes, planned giving has been central to our past efforts and will continue to be central to our future efforts as well.

How has COVID-19 affected MODC?

Throughout the pandemic, March of Dimes Canada has been considered an essential, front-line service because our largest program is our community support services, where we provide 24/7 care in people’s homes or wherever they’re living.

On the charity side, we’ve been impacted greatly, like all non-profit organizations. We will continue to forge ahead and do our best to serve those with disabilities in Canada and they rely on donations in kind, planned giving, and the hard work of volunteers to do so.

Our revenue has been down dramatically in the last year. We’re trying to come up with innovative new ways to involve our donors, including pivoting from live events to virtual events. It’s an intense time for all of us to figure out the way forward and what that might look like for projected revenues for the organization.

To learn more about MODC and find out how to support this wonderful charity, visit the website.

Written By Amanda Levine
Amanda is the Director of Content at Epilogue. She's committed to helping all Canadians learn the importance of estate planning and protecting the ones they love most. In her spare time, she fosters with a local rescue and walks her rescue dog, Louise!