Converting Land Into Community Well Being in Rural Nova Scotia

TRURO – There is now a way that landowners, both Nova Scotian and non-resident, can contribute to the future of our rural communities by donating property.

The Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia is now accepting land and property gifts as part of their fund development strategy, in order to raise funds that will support community organizations across rural Nova Scotia.

The process is simple. Here is how it works:

  • The property owner contacts RCF, and identifies the property that they want to donate
  • RCF meets with the donor and they draw up an agreement together
  • RCF facilitates the necessary legal, tax and real estate arrangements
  • The donor receives a tax credit based on the assessed value of the property
  • On receiving the gift, RCF then sells the property, and puts the funds toward supporting local non-profit organizations that are working for the future of rural communities

The idea of land gifts came from RCF board member Sherry MacLeod and was affirmed by input from communities. “This is a great opportunity for Nova Scotia landowners to give back to our rural communities,” says Sherry. “It will also enable RCF to provide financial incentives to those who can make a difference. It’s a win-win.”

The donor of a gift of land benefits by:

  • Receiving a charitable tax receipt
  • Leaving a legacy in rural Nova Scotia for people with an emotional attachment to this part of the world
  • Adding a charitable element as part of estate planning

RCF board members, reaching out to the real estate industry, have had good feedback.

RCF Board member Marta Anderson has received positive response to the land gift idea. “We have been presenting the idea to REALTORS® and so far, we are getting enthusiastic feedback and results. For example, two recent land gifts have come from landowners who are not Nova Scotia residents and have a long-time attachment to Cape Breton and Guysborough Counties but no longer visit their properties. Their gifts were part of the estate management that enabled them to ‘give something back’ to these places they care about.”

“The solution to many of the issues facing rural Nova Scotia can be found right in our communities themselves,” says RCF’s Chair Jean Ward. “We want to support the important work that the rural non-profits are doing, and land gifts are one of the initiatives that help us do that.”

Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia (RCF) has been making small grants to rural community organizations since 2000, in an accountable and transparent way. Its grant programs have supported local groups whose work is focused on youth, gender equality, environment, leadership, seniors, and rural innovation in the province, including Mi’kmaq communities.

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For more information, contact:
Jean Ward, Chair, Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia (RCF) [email protected]