Financial Planning Week – Interview with Mary Lynne Stewart, National Director of Philanthropy, March of Dimes Canada

“I think Financial Planning is a wonderful thing, and for any non-profit it’s a wonderful partnership, because you can talk to donors in a way that we can’t, and you can give that concrete, good advice so that they can look after the things they care about”

Mary Lynne Stewart

It was a great pleasure to interview Mary Lynne Stewart, the National Director of Philanthropy for the March of Dimes Canada. I found the history of the March of Dimes fascinating as I hadn’t realized as an organization they’ve been around for 100 years. Mary Lynne’s desire to address the needs of those who “fall through the cracks” is a sentiment that is near and dear to my heart. As Mahatma Gandhi said “the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members”.

Mary Lynne speaks to several key areas that are related to financial planning and planned giving. One is the importance of partnerships – for example with the Donor Motivation Program, so that donors can be made aware of the opportunities available to them to enhance their charitable gifts while saving money in taxes, conducting meaningful conversations to motivate donors, and to think about their legacy.

Financial Planning Week, Nov 16-23 2020 is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance and benefits of professional financial planning for Canadians. My focus this week has been to highlight the importance of integrating planned giving into the financial planning process, and to have meaningful conversations around addressing the philanthropic needs of clients, opportunities that are being missed in traditional financial planning.

Information Is Power – it’s important to begin imagining how we as financial advisors can support charities and our clients, while making a greater impact on the world. Financial planning week is the perfect opportunity to engage in these conversations and educate ourselves, and the industry as a whole.

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