Despite Gap in Charitable Conversations, Donations are Up

According to Statistics Canada*, total donations on income tax returns increased over 150% in real terms over the past 3 decades. However, despite an increase, only 13% of Canadians reported discussing charitable giving with their advisors, and they would like to have more value-based discussions. Here’s how you can have a more fulsome conversation on charitable giving with your clients:

Despite growth in charitable giving over the years, there seems to be a gap in the charitable gifting conversations between advisors and clients. Although the numbers are telling us that donations are getting larger, in reality, fewer people are donating. According to a study by CAGP, while 90% of advisors reported discussing charitable giving with their clients, only 13% of clients report having discussions with their advisors on charitable giving. This is an important aspect of financial, legacy, and tax planning that clients do not feel is being adequately covered.

A new MFA-P™ Philanthropy designation program, offered as a collaborative effort of CAGP, Knowledge Bureau and Spire Philanthropy helps advisors become more skilled and confident to meet those needs. The online program is now available.  Consult the MFA-P™ Program Guide for more information.  

When it comes to the various ways to give, there are two important areas to discuss—current gifts and deferred gifts. Here are some non-cash gifting vehicles you can discuss with your clients:

Current Gifts:

  • Publicly Listed Securities
  • Stock Optioned Publicly Listed Securities
  • Private Company Gifts
  • Gifts of Privately Held Shares,
  • Gifts of Real Estate
  • Tangible Use Property (e.g. Art)
  • Gifts of Special Properties

Deferred Gifts:

  • Charitable bequests
  • Life insurance policy
  • Inter Vivos Trusts

There are many options and ways to structure charitable giving and philanthropy into your clients’ financial and legacy planning. It’s important to understand the tax consequences and benefits to each form of gifting and approach charitable giving strategically with your clients so that you can help your clients meet their goals.

However, the prerequisite to purposeful giving is a high-value conversation with the client and their family.  It’s also a great way to get difficult topics, like succession and estate planning, on the table.

Additional educational resources: Achieve the MFA-P™ Designation as a Philanthropy Services Specialist and become a certified professional in the evolving field of philanthropy. Build trusting relationships with your clients and help them make a difference in the world through charitable giving. Enrol today or take a free trial.

* Statistics Canada