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.

Finding the Right Donor Advised Fund Program in Canada

Donor Advised Funds enable individuals and their families to support their preferred charities how and when they want often with the help of their trusted advisors. In Canada, DAFs are gaining popularity among donors compared to more traditional giving vehicles, such as starting a private foundation, and can be established through various organizations both public and private. This trend toward DAFs has been attributed to providing donors with similar options and opportunities as a private foundation without the administrative obligations or the same level of costs.

For individuals considering a DAF as part of their philanthropic planning, it’s good to begin with knowing what sets this form of giving apart so donors can make informed decisions and find the right DAF program for them.

What makes a Donor Advised Fund different?

Meet immediate and long-term needs. A DAF enables a donor to benefit from immediate tax credits for the fair market value of their donation and at the same time, enables them to develop a charitable giving plan for disbursing grants to their preferred charities. This approach enables donors to meet both immediate and longer-term funding needs for the charitable programs that matter most to them.

Establishing a DAF is a cost-effective giving strategy. A DAF offers the same benefits as a private charitable foundation without the operating and overhead costs. This means more of the gift capital can go directly toward doing charitable work and no administrative headaches.

Charitable impact without the unwanted attention. For donors seeking anonymity, a DAF provides the freedom to support charities with privacy, eliminating pressure from excessive solicitation and without the detailed financial disclosure requirements associated with a private foundation. Donors can still engage with the charities they support, enjoy suitable recognition and make recommendations for when grants get distributed.

Flexible giving options. Among many flexible options, a DAF enables donors to give a variety of gift types, including non-cash assets to their preferred charity in cases where a gift of this type would otherwise not be possible.

Finding the Right Donor Advised Fund Provider

To make the most of a DAF, donors should look for a charitable organization that meets their needs. Working closely with their trusted professional advisors and financial service providers, donors should look for an organization that shares similar values and interests to theirs.

Another key aspect to finding the right DAF provider is the access to professional expertise and donor services they provide. For example, Gifts Funds Canada provides simple steps to understand and establish a DAF and their experienced and knowledgeable team works closely with professional advisors to work through a donor’s unique philanthropic goals and giving strategy. Professional advisors can extend their capabilities by drawing on Gift Fund Canada’s expertise, including complex gifting options beyond cash and securities.

A Donor Advised Fund is designed to remove the barriers to giving, relieving donors of the administrative burden, record keeping, and due diligence they would otherwise face with establishing a private foundation. Knowing which aspects of charitable giving a donor wishes to outsource, and what benefits a DAF and the charitable organization offering it can provide, will yield the best solution to finding a giving strategy that is right for the individual and their family, today and in the years to come.

Looking for more on this topic? Read Four Signs A Donor Advised Fund Might Be the Best Advice