A charitable giving strategy

How to maximize the impact of your donation

A donation can help to support your favourite causes and create a positive impact. Whether you wish to support the arts, conserve natural resources, advance medical research or help the world’s underprivileged children, giving back speaks volumes about who you are and the values you hold dear. 

Richardson Wealth can help ensure your gift complements your overall wealth management strategy and supports your cause in a way that is effective and lasting. A charitable giving strategy can amplify the impact of each dollar you give – it can be simple, smart, and also tax-effective. Remember, you have till December 31st to take advantage of this year’s tax benefits.

Here are 4 ways you can multiply the impact of your generous gift:

1. Donate investment securities

By donating publicly traded securities in-kind, you can avoid triggering capital gains and taxes on those securities that have increased in value. We, in conjunction with our in house Tax & Estate Planning team, can assist in facilitating this gift to your charity.

2. Create a foundation through donor advised funds

Creating a foundation for you and your family through a donor advised fund is simple. A donation to the fund results in an immediate donation tax credit, and you can continue to manage your investments and direct gifts to your important causes.

3. Give a new or existing life insurance policy

If you make regular monthly or annual donations, consider using life insurance instead. By naming the charity as the owner and beneficiary of your life insurance policy, the premiums you pay are eligible for the donation tax credit each year and the charity will receive a substantial gift on your death. 

As time goes on the insurance you acquired may no longer serve its intended use. Rather than terminating your policy, consider giving it to charity. Your donation tax credit is equal to the fair market value of your policy at the time of transfer.

4. Leave a gift through your will

You can name a charity or foundation as a beneficiary in your will, and utilize up to 100% of the tax credit in the year of death – representing a 33% increase in the amount of credits that normally could be utilized in a particular year during your lifetime. A gift you leave through your will can create a lasting legacy.

You can also name a charity as the beneficiary of registered plans, such as a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) or Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA). (In Quebec, this would be facilitated through a charitable bequest in the will.)

General rules:

To promote and encourage charitable giving, amounts donated in excess of $200 can reduce your taxes between 40% to 50% of the donation.

Tip: Administratively, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) allows either spouse to claim a donation, therefore we recommend you claim all donations on one spouse’s return to better utilize the tax credit.

Where you have made charitable donations in excess of the annual donation limit you may carry forward the excess amount and claim this amount in any of the following five years, subject to the annual donation limits. 

Remember – if you are intending on making a donation, consider doing so before December 31st to benefit from the donation tax credit this year. 

These are just some of the ways that we can help you to advance your causes and create positive changes. Please contact your Richardson Wealth Advisor for a copy of our Guide to Charitable Giving and to learn more about these and other donation strategies.

A philanthropy primer

Are you interested in giving back to causes or charities that are meaningful to you? Is your charitable giving plan tax efficient? We’ve outlined some key considerations that can help you build a strong charitable giving strategy. 

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Spotlight on Donor Advised Funds

Donor Advised Funds are a vehicle for charitable giving. Often used by families, DAFs provide the framework for your philanthropic project so together you can focus on the causes that are meaningful to you.

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