Celebrating 50 years of social impact, solidarity and generosity 

March 13, 2024 •  By Postmedia Content Works
Famille et enfants

By Ursule Leonowicz

Since its first campaign in 1974, Centraide of Greater Montreal has made generosity a powerful mechanism for social change.  

To help support the long-term sustainability of the mission, the organization has set up a special fundraising campaign focused on planned giving, a matter close to Royal Govain’s heart. 

“No matter the size of your bequest, it’s more about the symbolism and the giving that’s important. To me, life is about reaching out and helping other people. If you can do that when you pass, it’s a way of making a lasting commitment to the organization,” says the donor, who made a planned gift to Centraide in 2021.

“As a professional, I’ve worked with donors over many years and I’ve seen the true magic of what happens after they die, when they have left provisions in their will to great things. It can be really transformative.” 

Séparateur bonhommes Centraide

Planned giving donors are those who not only contribute to the organization’s annual campaign but also support Centraide’s mission over the long term by leaving a gift in their will, donating a life insurance policy or creating an endowment fund.   

Since its first campaign 50 years ago, Centraide has become a key player in the fight against poverty and social exclusion.  

It supports over 375 community agencies and projects that help one out of five people in Greater Montreal every year, and works every day to ensure equal opportunity, provide the essentials and build a more inclusive society.  

In 2022-2023, Centraide invested $61.8 million, which went towards building a strong and cohesive social fabric, for young people’s present and future success, for decent living conditions and for inclusive communities, including seniors. 

By forming strong connections with each community and the agencies within them, Centraide learns about their needs, in order to support and equip them to maximise their impact on the ground by tackling the challenges of poverty and exclusion. 

Govain Donateur dons planifiés

Govain, who was executive director of volunteer partnerships at McGill University, worked at Centraide in the late nineties as a consultant. He started his career in philanthropy 50 years ago in the United States, working with United Way, part of the same federated network as Centraide.  

“My choice of career was very much deliberate as I grew up in a family that was very involved in the community and believed in giving back,” he says.  

“Giving is a part of my DNA.”

Once realized, donor contributions are invested in the Generations’ Fund, which provides Centraide with sustainable revenue that is then given back to the community each year. 

“The Centraide system is a system of caring about community and caring about each other, so that’s the first fundamental value that I believe in,” explains Govain. 

“It’s a volunteer system and the idea of people reaching out and helping each other is extremely attractive to me.” 

Benefits of making a planned gift include passing on your values of sharing and generosity, fighting poverty and social exclusion, providing sustainable income so that Centraide can fulfill its mission long into the future and investing in an inclusive, poverty-free Greater Montreal. 

Donors like Govain also become members of Centraide’s Generations’ Circle, as a way of thanking them and honouring their commitment to the future generations of the Greater Montreal community. 

“Making a planned gift with Centraide is a way of ensuring that my giving is invested in the best possible way, because there are qualified people that review community needs on a regular basis, and the needs of the particular organizations in the neighborhood, and they make decisions on where the money goes,” explains Govain. 

“For me, that particular aspect is important; having someone you trust to invest your money where it’s needed most.” 

By supporting marginalized groups, Centraide helps create inclusive communities in which everyone feels valued, respected and fully included, regardless of their situation or identity. 

“If you believe in charities and movements and have volunteered for them for a good part of your life, planned giving is a really important way to continue that commitment and support, and set an example for others,” adds Govain. 

To find out more about planned giving or to make a planned gift, email [email protected] or visit centraide-mtl.org. 

This content was produced by Content Works, Postmedia’s custom content studio.

1 out of 5 people receives our help.
5 out of 5 people benefit from it.

Let’s all lend a hand

Supporting a network of over 375 community agencies also means promoting an inclusive, poverty-free society.