Canada is a melting pot of hundreds of cultures coming from all corners of the world in addition to over 50 First Nations communities. Each and every one of these cultures have different customs and superstitions surrounding death and dying. The immigration wave of the 70s and 80s means that many of those searching for a new life in Canada are today’s legacy prospects.

Legacy marketing must always focus on values that guide one’s life. Yet, it is also important to understand customs that can impact our donors who identify or subscribe to a different culture in order to better guide our conversations. Is the way you’re engaging in legacy conversations being adapted to your donors with different cultural identities? Failure to understand their customs and superstitions could alienate your diverse donors and hurt your legacy program. In this interactive session, we will explore the customs surrounding death and dying from Canada’s different immigrant and Indigenous groups and explain how to integrate this knowledge in legacy marketing and conversations with donors. At the end of the session participants will feel better prepared to engage with donors in a respectful and culturally sensitive way about legacies.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand how different cultural groups view the topic of death and dying and how this impacts your relationships with donors

  2. Recognize that some tools currently being used to promote legacies need to be more inclusive

  3. Re-examine materials and other tools in order to better engage with diverse donors in a culturally-sensitive way

Alexis Gaiptman, MBA, CFRE

Executive Director

Humanity & Inclusion Canada

Alexis Gaiptman is the Executive Director of Humanity & Inclusion Canada and has over 15 years of fundraising experience specializing in both legacy and major gifts. Her background is in Political Science, Women's Studies and Community Economic Development. She is driven by her passion for growth, ability to embrace new challenges and desire to better vulnerable communities around the world. Alexis is on the AFP Quebec Board and has recently completed her Executive MBA.

Ligia Peña, CFRE



Ligia Peña, CFRE is President of GlobetrottingFundraiser where she specializes in helping nonprofits build and grow their legacy program. She's also a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Kent, researching national legacy marketing campaigns as a tool to change society’s behaviour towards gifts in wills. As an AFP Master Trainer, she’s trained countless fundraisers around the globe. She's a sought-after and seasoned international presenter who enjoys sharing her knowledge and empowering nonprofits professionals to think about legacies differently by daring to be creative and innovative.