Author Archive

Donor Commitments- Make Sure they are Clear!

Posted by 14 Apr, 2015

The recent Globe and Mail article on some donor unpaid pledges at the Royal Ontario Museum has sparked a lot of discussion in the philanthropic community: http://bit.ly/1EhM1vG From a donor’s perspective  it is always good to be clear on how you will fulfill your commitments. Of course you will have had discussions with the organization […]

The recent Globe and Mail article on some donor unpaid pledges at the Royal Ontario Museum has sparked a lot of discussion in the philanthropic community: http://bit.ly/1EhM1vG

From a donor’s perspective  it is always good to be clear on how you will fulfill your commitments. Of course you will have had discussions with the organization and may have sent a few emails back and forth but when all has been determined in relation to your gift, the best thing for you to do is:

Put it in writing!

A simple letter will do or a fully executed formal agreement if you so choose but make sure you have clearly advised the organization:

  • The purpose of your gift
  • How much you are giving
  • When and how you will pay
  • Any expectations you may have in relation to reports or recognition
  • What to do in the event of changes to the project or fulfilling your commitments

A few simple steps to ensure all parties are aware of your gift, your intentions and expectations is helpful for both you and the organizations you support. Need some help with your giving? Contact us at info@philanthropic.ca

Comments Off Categories : Monitor & Evaluate, Philanthropy, Research & Due Diligence, Terry Smith

Giving Tuesday…Giving Any Day…Give Wisely!

Posted by 1 Dec, 2014

Giving Tuesday is the national day of giving, this year on Tuesday December 2, 2014,  when we are encouraged to give back to our communities and to support charities. While it is exciting to think of the amount of donations charities may expect to receive on this day, and indeed til the end of December,  it […]

Giving Tuesday is the national day of giving, this year on Tuesday December 2, 2014,  when we are encouraged to give back to our communities and to support charities.

While it is exciting to think of the amount of donations charities may expect to receive on this day, and indeed til the end of December,  it is also important for you to make sure you are giving wisely.

Here are three important questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is the charity registered and in good standing with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)? Click on this link and type in the name of the charity you are considering supporting. http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/lstngs/menu-eng.html . If they are not listed, do not waste your money.
  2. Is the charity’s mandate in keeping with your giving goals? Even if they are a registered charity, you should focus your giving on those areas that mean the most to you.
  3. Is the charity doing good works and well run? Despite being registered, you want to make sure the organization actually fulfills its mandate. If you are able, visit the charity in person to see their operation, check out their website, review their annual reports and financial statements and talk to others to learn as much as you can about where you are investing your charitable donations.

Answer these basic questions to direct your funds to the best charities for your giving.

Need some help choosing your charities? Contact us: info@philanthropic.ca

Comments Off Categories : Terry Smith

Does Your Philanthropy Give You Joy?

Posted by 1 Dec, 2014

Well, it should! Too often lately I have had discussions with donors who are not exactly filled with joy about a donation they have given. What should you do if you are not happy with the result of your gift? 3 quick tips: 1. Ask for an update report. It may just be that the charity […]

Well, it should!
Too often lately I have had discussions with donors who are not exactly filled with joy about a donation they have given.
What should you do if you are not happy with the result of your gift?
3 quick tips:
1. Ask for an update report. It may just be that the charity has not had a chance to keep you up to date. A quick email update on the status of how your funds are being used can often help.

2. Talk to them! Go and visit or invite the charity to a meeting and ask them how things are going. Let them know how you are feeling and what you had expected. In most cases the charity will quickly fix the issue.

3. Have clear expectations.  It may seem natural for you to expect the charity to report back, to tell you how your funds are making a difference or to provide you with appropriate recognition. However, sometimes charities are not always clear on your expectations. It is best to put these expectations in writing so all parties are clear on  the purpose of the gift, what you hope it will achieve and how the funds  are to be expended.

Giving should bring you joy. Need some help? Contact us at info@philanthropic.ca

Comments Off Categories : Monitor & Evaluate, Philanthropy, Terry Smith

$174,000 Fine for Doing Good- Be Careful with your Giving!

Posted by 5 Dec, 2011

You will see in today’s Globe and Mail http://bit.ly/t9S9UB; the CRA has fined the Reimer Express Foundation this enormous penalty for payments made to non-qualified individuals and charities. Reimer Express Foundation has supported Christian charities to the tune of $2M annually. The problem is in 2003-2004, the Foundation provided $250,000 of improper donations to individuals […]

You will see in today’s Globe and Mail http://bit.ly/t9S9UB; the CRA has fined the Reimer Express Foundation this enormous penalty for payments made to non-qualified individuals and charities.
Reimer Express Foundation has supported Christian charities to the tune of $2M annually. The problem is in 2003-2004, the Foundation provided $250,000 of improper donations to individuals and organizations outside Canada that are not approved by the CRA. The CRA audited the Reimer Express Foundation in that year and the Foundation signed a “compliance agreement” saying it would abide by CRA rules and guidelines. This is all well and good, but as revealed in a subsequent audit in 2009, Reimer Express Foundation continued supporting some of the non-qualified charities and continued to provide support to individuals- both which do not comply with CRA regulations, thus they have been fined.
While these gifts may have been made with the utmost of good intentions, Canadian donors and foundations need to adhere to the CRA’s guidelines in providing donations to charities.
As a donor, before you write the cheque, you need to make sure the organization you are about to support is indeed a legitimate CRA registered charity or qualified donee. It is simple to find out this information. Go online to the CRA’s Charity Directorate: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/menu and click on the Charities Listing link to look up the name of the charity you are about to support. If it is a charity or university outside Canada, give the Charities Directorate a call and they will be able to advise you if the organization is a qualified donee. The Charities Directorate toll free number is: 1-800-267-2384; they are open 8:00am-8:00pm. You have no excuse to say you did not know! Still need help? Contact us at: info@philanthropic.ca

Comments Off Categories : Terry Smith

Welcome to Philanthropic.ca

Posted by 30 Oct, 2011

We provide wealthy families; foundations and corporations with a full range of philanthropic services that help achieve the greatest results.

We provide wealthy families, foundations and corporations with a full range of philanthropic services that help achieve the greatest results.

With the celebration of our fifth year of operation, we are proud of our solid expertise and assistance  provided to many donors and foundations. We help donors determine their philanthropic passions, set up and operate foundations, create new philanthropic partnerships, conduct due diligence and research on thousands of charities  and evaluate the impact of our clients’ giving.

Want to increase the impact of your philanthropic giving? Contact us.

Comments Off Categories : Terry Smith

Social Finance

Posted by 30 Oct, 2011

Have you heard about this? It is also known as social impact investing or mission related investing or social innovation.  Basically, instead of investing your capital into the usual markets, you make an investment, not a grant or a gift, but a real investment in a company that is doing good.  Now isn’t that a […]

Have you heard about this?

It is also known as social impact investing or mission related investing or social innovation.  Basically, instead of investing your capital into the usual markets, you make an investment, not a grant or a gift, but a real investment in a company that is doing good.  Now isn’t that a great idea- you can take some of your investment funds, and put them to work helping social entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

A “social” entrepreneur is one whose business is focused on addressing a social or environmental issue.  The end result of the business does some social good.  Not only do you hopefully reap a positive economic return, but you will also be contributing to improving social and environmental issues as well.  This is great for donors and charitable foundations as they can put their investment funds to work – doing good – while still keeping their capital invested.  Some social finance investors have indicated that they have received greater returns on these investments than traditional investment markets- even better!  Want to learn more? Visit: www.socialfinance.ca or contact us at: info@philanthropic.ca

Comments Off Categories : Terry Smith

Charity Tax Scams

Posted by 24 Aug, 2011

Here we go again.. Would you give $2,500 to a charity if you were promised a tax receipt for $10,000? Sounds too good to be true?  Read on! We first wrote about this in November, 2010 but it bears noting again given recent law suits on the topic. In Jeff Gray’s Globe&Mail article  (http://t.co/XbqXQIl), he […]

Here we go again..

Would you give $2,500 to a charity if you were promised a tax receipt for $10,000? Sounds too good to be true?  Read on!

We first wrote about this in November, 2010 but it bears noting again given recent law suits on the topic.

In Jeff Gray’s Globe&Mail article  (http://t.co/XbqXQIl), he indicates tens of thousands of Canadians have participated in such programs over the past decade, based on the advice of their financial advisors.  Now donors who thought they were getting a good deal are finding the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) knocking on their doors asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes and interest. Charities who participate in such schemes are losing their charitable status. Now there are several law suits against the tax promoters and their lawyers.

Why would anyone think such a deal could possibly be legitimate? Read More >>

Comments Off Categories : Terry Smith

Is your philanthropic giving making a difference?

Posted by 13 Mar, 2011

After carefully examining all your philanthropic options, finally determining your chosen charity, the size and scope of your gift and then actually transferring your money to the charity, how do you know if your gift will actually make a difference?

After carefully examining all your philanthropic options, finally determining your chosen charity, the size and scope of your gift and then actually transferring your money to the charity, how do you know if your gift will  actually make a difference?

As a donor, you have a right to know that your gift is being used for the purposes intended.

You can use any number of methods, from a simple question such as “What did you do with my gift and is it making a difference?” to sophisticated grants monitoring, analysis and reporting systems. Read More >>

Comments Off Categories : Terry Smith

A Philanthropic Plan

Posted by 7 Jan, 2011

A great way to get your philanthropy in shape!

A great way to get your philanthropy in shape!

Do you have one?

Do you need one? Read More >>

Comments Off Categories : Terry Smith

Last Minute Charitable Giving

Posted by 26 Dec, 2010

magine Canada has recently produced a very quick introductory “Guide to Giving”. It is a great tool to help you learn a little more about the charities you are considering supporting.

Just finishing your last minute giving?

Are you absolutely sure you know where your money is going and how it is being used?

Imagine Canada has recently produced a very quick introductory “Guide to Giving”. It is a great tool to help you learn a little more about the charities you are considering supporting. It suggests what to look for in a charity, provides information on fund raising and administrative costs and gives useful links. Check it out.

And if you need more help with your philanthropic giving, we are just a click away: info@philanthropic.ca

Comments Off Categories : Terry Smith