The Changing Face of Philanthropy

Peggy Lau
Peggy Lau. Photo courtesy of Peggy Lau.

At 34, Peggy Lau is one of the youngest members of ROM’s Currelly Legacy Society – a group of individuals who have promised future gifts to the Museum. A former intern with ROM Governors, Peggy chats easily about her love of art and culture and her decision to leave a legacy to the Museum.

“The ROM is a museum that tells stories – stories about the past, present, and future. But a museum can’t become great on its own, and it’s often the stories of everyday people that help build such a prominent cultural institution like the ROM,” says Peggy.

When she thought about her own future a couple of years ago, one thing was clear – she wanted to donate to the ROM. “You don’t need to win the lottery, or have millions in your bank account to set up a will,” she says, adding that the process was affordable and much easier than she expected: “All it took was two meetings with a lawyer!”

Still, Peggy knows many of her peers delay making their estate plans until they have a house, a spouse, or kids. “Life is full of uncertainties,” she says. “If done far in advance, legacy giving lets you dictate what you want while your head is clear, and you don’t have to change your current lifestyle whatsoever. I’m grateful for the chance to reflect on my passions and to be able to do something so future generations can enjoy the ROM.”

Although she grew up in the GTA, Peggy’s first real visit to the ROM was to see the Nature of Diamonds exhibition in 2009. She holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in Fundraising & Volunteer Management from Humber College, has worked for prominent arts organization including the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Canadian Opera Company, and has volunteered for more than 25 non-profits such as Business for the Arts, Tourism Toronto, and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

“As someone who used to work in fundraising, I have the advantage of understanding how incredibly helpful a legacy gift can be for any charity,” says Peggy. “And legacy gifts can be made at any point in one’s life.”