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Introducing Epilogue for Charities

April 15, 2022
Epilogue has created a program designed to help Canadian charities raise millions of dollars through the power of legacy giving.
Written By Arin KlugApril 15, 2022

People often have a good idea of what they want to happen to their assets when they pass away. In fact, for many people, it’s a straightforward decision. Leaving all assets to a surviving spouse or splitting everything equally between children are very common distributions.

One option that people don’t think about as often is whether they could allocate a portion of their assets to charity. Charitable legacy gifts can often represent a very small portion of an estate, but can be very meaningful for charities, the individuals that make these gifts, and their families.

The new Epilogue for Charities program is designed to make it easier than ever to include a charity as part of your legacy.

The Impact of Legacy Giving

Mary was a widow who owned a house valued at approximately $1,000,000 and savings that she used to fund her living expenses. Like most people she knew, Mary could only afford to give a few hundred dollars each year to charitable causes. Most of Mary’s donations were made to her church.

Shortly after her husband passed away, Mary made a Will for the first time. Mary’s Will was very typical – it divided all her assets equally between her four children. But several years later, Mary learned that she could use her Will to benefit her church in a way that she could never have imagined.

Mary created a new Will which left 4% of her estate to her church and divided the remaining 96% equally between her children. When Mary passed away, her estate (valued at $1.2 million) was able to make a $48,000 donation to her church, and each of her kids still received $288,000 from the estate. Mary’s gift made a tremendous impact on the church for years after her passing, formed a meaningful part of her legacy within the community, and even resulted in some tax savings to Mary’s estate.

Epilogue for Charities was developed to make it easy for people like Mary to include charitable gifts in their Wills.

How Epilogue is Helping Charities

Charities have limited resources and need to strike a balance between fundraising for the present and planning for the future. Some charities have legacy giving programs which typically focus on smaller groups of “high net-worth” donors. But, as Mary’s example illustrates, legacy giving is not reserved for the ultra-wealthy – just about anyone can make a significant charitable impact in their community through their estate.

Epilogue for Charities was developed to make it easy for any charity – regardless of how big or small – to create a legacy giving program, or to develop and support an existing one. By leveraging Epilogue’s easy-to-use, online Will platform, charities can now put a digital spin on their planned giving initiatives and create a modern, scalable, “always-on” channel for receiving planned gifts.

How Epilogue for Charities Works

Charities can direct donors who need Wills to Epilogue’s platform using a custom link on any of their marketing channels, including website, email, social media, and direct mailings. Individuals who access Epilogue’s platform through one of our charity partners receive a tailored Will-making experience that includes custom charity branding and messaging. These messages are delivered to Will-makers at key the moments in the Will-making process when decisions about legacy giving are being made.

Our charity partners’ donors also receive some advanced features within their legacy giving journey, including the ability to make their gift a Family Legacy Gift, and the option to notify the charity about their gift in real-time.

Charities can now make it easier than ever for donors to start – and finish – the Will they need, and include a meaningful charitable gift as part of their estate plan.

Insights for Charities

In addition to the ability to open up legacy giving to a much wider segment of their donors, Epilogue’s charity partners can also gain tremendous insights into the success of certain marketing initiatives, and can benefit from understanding what types of gifts are being made to their organization, and what types of donors are making them.

Charities can use this data to refine their messaging, improve their donor segmentation, and drive more legacy gifts in the future.

The Epilogue for Charities program signifies a major shift in the planned giving landscape. By leveraging the power of technology, charities can add another tool to their planned giving strategy and reach a group of donors they have not been engaging in conversations around legacy giving until now.

Written By Arin Klug
Arin Klug is Co-Founder and COO of Epilogue. With backgrounds in Computer Science and Estate Planning, Arin co-founded Epilogue with the goal of democratizing estate planning for all Canadians.