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 Gift Funds

Getting Started With Commemorative Gift Funds

Making a charitable gift to commemorate a person, group or institution that has touched our lives can be an enduring gift that honours the past and supports the future. For donors seeking to make a gift of this kind, a Commemorative Gift Fund is a favourable option.

What is a Commemorative Gift Fund?

The purpose of a Commemorative Gift Fund is often to support a specific cause, organization or event that focuses on supporting the area of interest to the donor and the commemorative intent and nature of the fund. A Commemorative Gift Fund can be established as either a named endowment fund or as a named commemorative gift fund.

In this article, we’ll take a look at both of these approaches to help donors and their financial advisors make the best choice for their situation and giving intentions.

Establishing a Commemorative Gift Fund as a named endowment

A good place to start is understanding Charitable Endowment Donor Advised Funds. Donors with an interest in giving to ongoing programs or projects within their preferred charitable organization or foundation may choose to give through a Charitable Endowment Donor Advised Fund. In some cases, the donor may even want to foster a new program targeted at a unique aspect of a charity’s mandate that has special meaning to them. In both instances, donors will have very specific requirements on the use of funds and will require that the capital portion of the gift be left intact to maximize the flow of income over time.

Establishing a Commemorative Gift Fund as a named endowment also has very specific requirements for the use of grantable funds. Endowment funds require the capital portion of the gift fund to be left intact while all or a portion of the net accumulated income generated by the capital is used for a purpose specified or agreed upon by the donor. This ensures that grants are closely matched to the financial needs of designated recipients, projects or causes over time. For example, providing ongoing financial support to an institution dedicated to finding cures for cancer.

Establishing a Commemorative Gift Fund as a named commemorative gift fund

A Commemorative Gift Fund established as a named commemorative gift fund allows granting of portions of donated capital along with net income on invested capital in alignment with the fund’s specific mandate. For example, a fund set up to support Canadian-based charities providing international emergency health care initiatives or humanitarian relief efforts that arise from time-to-time, often in unique geographies, requiring time sensitive funding and support as urgent need arises.

Supporting the establishment of commemorative gifts

Whether establishing a Commemorative Gift Fund as a named endowment fund or as a named commemorative gift fund, 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.

When establishing a Commemorative Gift Fund, Gift Funds Canada can support both the donor and the advisor with expertise and the Donor Advised Fund Program. 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.

Another way that Gift Funds Canada provides support to Commemorative Gift Funds is by offering an online donation platform in support of the donor’s chosen cause. The donor can modify their giving webpage to meet their specific needs and even track donations against fundraising targets. Online giving is perfectly suited for fundraising events and in all cases, Gift Funds Canada will issue an immediate electronic donation receipts for qualified donations.

Gift funds Canada can also assist with the proper accounting for various components of fundraising events including management of specialized donor receipting.

Want to learn more? Find our Why Financial Advisors are Looking to Donor Advised Funds.