Update to Services in consideration of COVID-19: In consideration of provincial and federal guidelines, Gift Funds Canada will have limited staff and office hours starting in September, 2020. We will continue to provide full services to our donors and the charities that they support, but it may take us longer than usual as we accommodate the current procedures. Please send gift information to gifts@giftfunds.com and grant requests to grants@giftfunds.com

Please send all other general inquiries via email to contactus@giftfunds.com and we'll direct them to the most appropriate staff member who will reply as soon as possible by phone or email. Please know that we will do everything we can to continue to serve you and the organizations that depend on grants from your funds. Take care.

Commemorative giving in memory of a loved one

A commemorative gift to charity is a popular way to honour the life of a loved one. It’s not uncommon to read an obituary that asks, “in lieu of flowers please donate to…” and a specific charity is identified by the family that is either selected by the family or was favoured by the deceased. But, like many charitable giving options, there are many ways commemorative donations can be made and knowing about these options in advance can make future decisions less difficult.

On one end of the spectrum, a donor may simply donate directly to a charity in the name of their loved one and encourage friends and family to do the same. This can be a suitable option if the donor simply wants to a make a one-time gift in the name of someone. On the other end of the spectrum, a donor may wish to establish a foundation in the name of a loved one to celebrate the deceased and create an enduring legacy of support. However, with this option comes all the administrative, reporting, and fiduciary responsibilities associated with a charitable foundation, which not all donors have the time or resources to take on.

In the middle of these extremes are several options for donors seeking to commemorate the life of a loved one with an enduring charitable gift. One such option is a Commemorative Gift Fund.

A Commemorative Gift Fund can support a specific cause or organization with a focus on an area of interest to the donor and the commemorative intent and nature of the fund.

Commemorative Gift Funds can be established as either a named endowment fund or as a named commemorative gift fund. Donors should speak with their financial advisors about the distinction and advantages of each to determine what’s right for their giving plan or speak with an experienced professional at a charitable foundation such as Gift Funds Canada.

Gift Funds Canada can also help establish a Commemorative Gift Fund through their Donor Advised Fund Program (DAF). In doing do, donors can establish a perpetual legacy in the name of a loved one to support a cause, organization or institution depending on the donor’s wishes.

Establishing a Commemorative Gift Fund through a DAF offers several advantages to the donor. Here are a few key benefits to consider.

Support when it’s needed

Establishing a Commemorative Gift Fund can seem like a big task for the average donor, however, working with a financial advisor and an experienced charitable foundation such as Gift Funds Canada, a donor and their advisor will have the expertise and guidance they need to ensure the legacy they create is exactly as intended. With a Donor Advised Fund from Gifts Funds Canada, the founding donor may recommend where the donated capital is invested and suggest a qualified investment professional to manage the fund’s assets. A Donor Advised Fund also enables donors to establish a perpetual legacy bearing their name, the name of a loved one or the names of specific causes, organizations or institutions they wish to support. This ensures the funds support the cause intended and their loved one’s memory lives on.

An inclusive giving option

Oftentimes the desire to celebrate the life of a loved one extends beyond family; to friends, the community, and even organizations. A Commemorative Gift Fund is an inclusive giving options as donations can be raised through the generosity of a single donor or a closed group of committed donors. Donations can also be solicited from a community of like-minded supporters or from the general population of donors willing to donate to the chosen cause. In all cases, donors will receive an immediate donation receipt for the full amounts gifted as an acknowledgement of their support and generosity.

Extending a legacy online

Another way that Gift Funds Canada provides support to donors is by providing an online donation platform in support of a donor’s chosen cause. A donor can modify their giving webpage to meet their specific needs, provide more information to recognize their loved one’s memory, and track donations ove time. Online giving is perfectly suited for fundraising events and in all cases, Gift Funds Canada will issue an immediate electronic donation receipt for qualified donations.

The passing of a loved on is never an easy time but with the right information, planning, and support from qualified experts, we can be prepared to celebrate the life and legacy of those who are closest to us.

Want to know more about Commemorative Gift funds? Read Getting Started with Commemorative Gift Funds.