Taking the Next Step – Ask your financial planner how you can help Save the Bees while managing your assets!
What if you could make a difference to the fate of the bees while giving university students unique experience for their resumes? And what if you could do this tax-effectively while planning for your own future needs? If you work with a financial planner, she or he should be able to advise you on tax-effective options to help save the bees.
The bees need saving! Earlier this year, Friends of the Earth conducted a national poll revealing that, while Canadians care deeply about the state of bees, very few know that we have over 855 species of wild bees in addition to the honey bee. And, they’re exposed to stressors like pesticides, habitat loss, climate change, disease, and more. Recent scientific reports have pegged the decline of the world’s insects at almost 80% over 27 years so there’s no time to lose in acting to save the bees.
A financial planner that combines philanthropy advice with financial advice can advise on a number of methods you can consider to donate now and in the future to help save the bees. Friends of the Earth, like many charities, depends mainly on individual donors to support their operations, campaigns and programs. Pre-authorized monthly giving is the most important commitment to the sustainability of a charity. Donations such as gifts of stocks and bonds or insurance products make it possible to design and deliver campaigns that forever change the people who deliver them while striving to make the world a better place for people and for bees! And, these kind of donations can be made in ways that provide important tax benefits. Bequests to Friends of the Earth are a way to be a “friend forever” and will also benefit from advice from your financial planner in identifying tax-effective choices.
If you want to make donations with an ecological and educational impact, consider Friends of the Earth’s youth program that currently focuses on the “Bee Cause” campaign and offers internships and, when funding permits, summer jobs. The youth program engages university students with today’s activists and mentors from the fields of science, policy and law on a matter of pressing concern such as the current focus on the Bee Cause.
I’d like to share a few stories about some of the talented students with whom I’ve recently worked:
- Frances and Mireille, as interns and summer students over two years, reached out to thousands at special events, farmers’ markets, and youth programs to introduce Canadians to the + 855 wild bees species we have in Canada in addition to the honey bee.
- Wade, with interests in international development as well as music and information technology, put his skills to work to design a petition to save wild bees in documented decline. His “Wanted Alive” poster and petition campaign earned mega-exposure in social media!
- Dave, as a summer student over two summers, brought his earlier experience in landscaping to bear on designing and building pollinator gardens for low income housing as well and for a wildlife garden centre. He added fundraising skills to his portfolio of experience while working with us.
- Harrison, while working part-time with a beekeeper, crunched numbers from laboratory tests of neonicotinoids in ornamental plants and, for an upcoming report, neonicotinoids and other pesticides in green tea from China.
- Andrea tackled the world of pesticide registrations and learned how other jurisdictions report pesticide use. She drafted access to information requests and formulated petitions to the auditor general – all work that will stand her in good stead when she practices law.
- Shelby advised seven other students on the development of interpretative guides for Canada’s bumble bees and organized 10 other young scientists from across Canada to verify the identities of over 1500 bumble bees reported by over 1000 people participating in our second annual Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count.
Gifts from individual donors make it possible for Friends of the Earth to apply for the federal summer job money that allows us to pay these young scientists, often after several terms of volunteering or non-paid internships. Supervision, mentoring, lab costs and increased operating costs must be covered by our donor base since government funding does not extend to this.
Gifts to help save the bees and/or to support Friends of the Earth’s youth program can be made tax effectively with advice from your financial planner: make sure yours integrates philanthropy into their financial advice to you.