The Changing Face of Charitable Giving in Canada

According to recent tax filing statistics, charitable giving has been on the decline in Canada – except in Manitoba! But that doesn’t mean that generosity ceases to exist. Philanthropic investment trends are changing, and people are giving back in new and different ways. That provides an important opportunity for advisors to help clients with a philanthropic conversation, while deepening their own professional fulfillment.

The 2017 Generosity Index, by the Fraser Institute, shows that the number of Canadians claiming donation-related tax credits is on the decline, a trend that has been occurring for a number of years. In 2004, 25 percent of Canadians claimed charitable donations on their income taxes, compared to 21.3 percent a decade later, and 20.9 percent in 2017. The exception to this trend is in Manitoba – Canada’s most generous province – where donation rates in 2017 remained high at 24.6 percent.

But do these numbers really mean that Canadians are becoming less generous overall? Ruth Mackenzie, President & CEO of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP), will address the topic at the Distinguished Advisor Conference on the last day of the event (November 14), where the theme will be “The changing face of relationships.”

Opportunities for philanthropy are in fact expanding, and as interest in socially responsible investing grows (with millennials in particular), Canadians are giving back in ways that aren’t reflected on their tax returns. For example, donating through crowdfunding or investing in a company focused on social development. Tax-efficient filing strategies can still apply, but may differ from processes that tax-filers are familiar with. It’s clear that educating Canadians about impact investing is necessary (an issue to be touched upon by Bonnie Foyle-Wong in another compelling DAC session), but as Ruth Mackenzie points out, a broader conversation about charitable giving, and how to manage philanthropic pursuits with tax-efficiency and financial planning in mind, is also advantageous.

“Philanthropy is an important edge you can use to deepen relationships with all client age groups, and help clients make a difference in the world. This is a critical conversation, as you engage with clients, in their own words. It will not only help build your book, but deepen your own professional fulfillment as an advisor.”

Registration for DAC ends today!

Knowledge Bureau, in partnership with the CAGP and Spire Philanthropy, are proud to develop the new MFA™ Strategic Philanthropic Services Specialist program, which will launch December 1. Pre-registration is now available. Register for this program anytime online or call 1.866.953.4769.

Check out these other fascinating and informative sessions to be featured at this year’s DAC, which we’ve profiled previously:

Sign up online for the unique networking experiences and activities also offered at DAC.

Additional educational resources: Knowledge Bureau has unveiled a brand new designation in partnership with CAGP that can help you guide clients in making a difference! Learn more about the MFA™ Strategic Philanthropic Services Specialist designation.


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