Client Options

Client Options


Professional Advisors

With 84% of Canadians contributing to charity on an annual basis, charitable giving is becoming an increasingly important part of your client’s overall financial plan.

Add charitable planning to your practice – or enhance what you already do – with practical online tools and resources designed for you and your clients.

With more than 80 years of charitable experience, community foundations can help you build a stronger relationship with your client and make a difference in your community at the same time.

Six Gift Options for Canadian Donors

This section provides practical information about six common and effective
gift options for Canadian donors, including:

  • Cash
  • Appreciated securities
  • Bequests
  • Real Estate
  • Life insurance
  • Charitable remainder trusts

But what constitutes a gift? Read on…

Defining a gift

The Income Tax Act, while having many references to charitable gifts, does not provide a definition of a gift. The Canada Revenue Agency defines a gift as “a voluntary transfer of property without valuable consideration to the donor.”

The choice to make the gift must rest solely with the donor in order for it to be considered voluntary. For example, if a contest prize was a gift of $500 to a charity of the winner’s choosing, while they may choose the recipient of the gift they would not be eligible for a receipt as they did not choose to make the gift.

“transfer of property”
The gift must involve an absolute transfer of property to the charity. As donor advised funds have become increasingly popular in Canada and the United States over the last few years, there has been scrutiny by tax officials with respect to whether these constitute a transfer of property. In particular, if the donor continues to make investment decisions as well as distribution decisions without the recipient charity appearing to have the final say, it may be debatable whether the charity has ownership.

“valuable consideration”
In general this refers to the gift causing a benefit to the donor greater than the value of the donation receipt. Examples might include tickets to charity galas, where the value of the dinner, prizes, entertainment. The consideration must be deducted from the price of the ticket in order to obtain the value of the donation receipt. Where CRA finds proof that the consideration to be significant to the donor (greater than 80% of the value of the gift) than to the charity, a receipt is disallowed and in some cases may be identified as unregistered tax shelters and charities have been deregistered.