James Darke and Anna Tieman’s charitable giving was inspired by others

It has been through the examples of others that James Darke and Anna Tieman have been inspired to make charitable giving such an important part of their lives, their work, and their overall philosophy.

Growing up in Victoria, James’ family didn’t have the money to make financial contributions to charities, but he always saw them donating their time through volunteering.

“It left an impression on me that we all have some sort of responsibility to give back,” James says. “That really stuck with me.”

Later, as James grew successful in his chosen career, he continued to be inspired by others. On the day James made partner at his investment firm, one of the other partners took him aside and spoke to him about the responsibility of giving back to the community and sharing his good fortune, explaining this was expected of all partners. James was more than happy to live up to this expectation.

James and Anna see these moments of encouragement and leading by example as instrumental to shaping their own approach to and belief in the importance of giving back. And knowing firsthand the importance of role models when it comes to imparting a belief in the importance of charitable giving, they are now the ones leading by example, starting in their own home.

“As we became more blessed with the ability to give back, we did it,” Anna says. “We wanted to make an impact on our children to make sure they understood the idea of what that means. It’s just always been something that we’ve always done.”

James Darke and Anna Tieman

Their belief in leading by example also extends to the community. James and Anna don’t seek admiration for their giving, but they do like to speak about it in the hopes of inspiring others to follow suit.

It’s for this reason the couple are keen to speak about their arrangements to make charitable gifts via their Wills. Once again being led by example, this time as a member of the Board of Directors for the Victoria Foundation, James would see vital contributions being made via Wills and estates. Through this, he saw firsthand how this method of charitable giving could continue to contribute to the community long after the passing of the person who made the donations.

“It’s a testament to good values and long-term thinking,” James says.

To put their plan into action, James and Anna met with the Victoria Foundation to learn more about their options and then came up with a list of charities they decided to include in their Wills, mostly local but a few national. They both said the process was clear and easy.

Now they like to encourage others to do the same but understand it can be an uncomfortable topic.

“In my experience, when you start talking about Wills people get a bit apprehensive, it can be hard to talk about,” James says.

“But I think if it’s part of your philosophy already, it’s just a continuation of that philosophy into your estate planning,” Anna says. “I don’t know how many people think about that and understand that they can continue that on.”

That’s why the Victoria Foundation is partnering with Will Power, a national campaign encouraging Canadians to consider including charitable giving in their estate planning and providing them with the resources they need to do so. Even a small portion of your estate can make a big difference towards the charities and causes of your choice, all while ensuring your loved ones are also supported. Doing so can be one way of leaving a lasting testament to your own belief in the importance of giving back, and inspire others to keep the love going.

To learn more about how you can use the power of your Will, visit the Victoria Foundation’s Will Power webpage.