Donate to Eliminate

I was encouraged to see the Laura Saunders’ article Tax Smart Philanthropy Made Easy in the Wall Street Journal (click link here). This has been a key element of what we have been speaking to advisors, charities and individuals about in getting their estate, financial houses in order to minimize taxation on their capital gains now and in their estates. Tax planning means that advisors and their clients need to take an inventory of all assets now and over time to ensure that what is left over and taxed can be put to other uses like philanthropy.

The article talks about the increasing popularity of Donor Advised Funds such as those offered by Fidelity, Schwab and Rowe. The other option is for donors give directly to charity and see the impact of their giving. The Donor Advised Fund model is a very smart approach if you are undecided about which charities you may want to leave your money to, and the taxman is not one of your chosen beneficiaries. It is also a wise strategy for future generations who will invariably be approached to give to charity. Imagine having the luxury of helping society with pre-tax dollars.

An important element in smart tax planning is being able to see how lowering taxes can be achieved and what is required. All too often, advisors do not spend the time engaging in these types of discussions for a number of reasons including, lack of knowledge or not having the tools to educate and illustrate these concepts to their clients. Charities are equally guilty of not engaging their members with the information in a concrete manner. That is why, historically, the number of bequests to charities has remained in the 4% to 6% range. Guess who is getting the rest after the family? You got it, the taxman.

The solution to this is Giftabulator NOW, Alpha Version 2.0, an estate, financial and philanthropic planning application on a charity’s website with an easy-to-understand model for approaching donors for major gifts and planned giving.  It shows individuals how much they should give to charity now or in their will to reduce their taxes on various assets. Call it Donate to Eliminate.

Link to Article:

Check out Giftabulator NOW

Building a list of loyal donors

I hear all too often that organizations don’t have prospects to approach for major or planned gifts. So organizations wait and hold events, use direct mail or try out social media. In other words, the status quo in fundraising over the past 20 years is maintained, with social media being a new version on direct mail.

I can honestly say that building a list of people who have been loyal supporters to charities should be relatively easy. It starts with identifying your loyal, consistent donors who have been giving to you religiously over the past five years or more.

Giftabulator NOW is an ideal tool for you and your team to have discussions with donors about large gifts and how they can be constructed. Please contact me for more information.


Why do rich people give?

There are many reasons why the wealthy donate to charity. But you don’t have to be wealthy to give. It is more important to know, from my experience, that wealthier donors give from appreciated assets. That means that they will look at assets like stocks, mutual funds, property or tangible items like art to give to charity. They always hope, like all donors that their donation makes a difference in the lives of others through the organizations they support. They also see that their donation will be coupled in most cases with the tax credits or tax deductions, which reduce the tax owing on their asset(s) from which the donation was made.

The question shouldn’t be why do wealthy people give but how do they give? Wealthy people utilize techniques that are available to anyone who thinks about giving to charity. The first step is to identify where the funds should come from. The easy answer is the wallet, where the donor can write a cheque, make a donation via credit card or give cash. All of these are after-tax donations, which means the person giving the donation has already paid tax on these funds. So when a donation comes from the wallet the donation will cost more than if you had given an appreciated asset.

When a donation is made from an appreciated asset, the person giving the donation should look at the tax owing and calculate how much they should give from their capital gain to reduce the tax and not touch the principle which was used to grow the asset. This is best accomplished with the donor’s tax advisor, financial advisor or in some cases their lawyer.

What happens when the donor knows more than the fundraiser? The fundraiser better be on their A-game.

Imagine this scenario: you’re meeting with a donor about a major gift donation and they tell you they’ve set up a trust fund for their children and are in the process of setting up their own family foundation. The donor then says they like your charity and the work it does. The donor is a very successful owner of a multimillion-dollar annual-earning private corporation. He is also a trained tax accountant and has been growing his business for 50 years.

This might be the ideal donor or your greatest challenge. They have thought through their financial plans but have not included any significant provision for your charity.

I was just in a situation like this, where the donor had a rebuttal to every donation strategy I suggested. This donor was very successful and you would assume that the family has assets in public shares of stocks and mutual funds, which might be a good quick approach to giving if these assets have taxable capital gains. It was met with a tepid response since he was not heavily invested in the markets.

I asked him about considering donating his registered investments since he is in the RRSP age group going into the RRIF age group shortly. He shows some interest and acknowledges that it is a strategy that he had not considered, even though his registered beneficiary is his wife if she were to pass. With this strategy, the charity would receive the proceeds and his estate would not have to pay tax. He indicates changing the beneficiary from his wife to the charity might be of interest.

He revealed that several major multinational corporations had been sniffing around his business in the past few years. If he were to sell his business, the taxable capital gains would be significant and looking at additional strategies that would offset the tax would be very important. I gave him a few options available to help offset the taxable capital gains on his company shares. For example, if he were to sell his business, a donation of private company shares could be made to the charity to help offset the taxable capital gains..

The good news is he agreed to meet with me a few weeks following to explore how charitable giving and a family foundation can be realized to meet the family’s objectives. This shift in discussion was only possible after I was able to illustrate for him how asset growth and the corresponding tax on capital gains can be mitigated by charitable giving.

What is happening with bequests?

Fewer North Americans are drafting wills – that makes getting a bequest that much harder

Based on the stats that 60% of individuals have a current estate plan and of those only 4% have included charity in their estate planning indicates that something is wrong with what charities and professional advisors have been doing.

Most individuals do not understand what a bequest is in the first place. This creates a bigger challenge in engaging these individuals to make a charitable gift as part of their estate planning. Just imagine, you don’t have an estate plan and your financial plan is somewhat clouded. How can you begin the process of even thinking about making a charitable donation of any magnitude. The lack of engagement and information between the charity, the advisors and the donor is a huge obstacle to increasing the number of major gift donors or bequest gifts a charity may receive now or in the foreseeable future.

Illustrating the impact of taxation on assets and how taxation can be directed for charitable purposes should be the responsibility of the charitable executive and the professional advisors. Often, the donor once alerted to the matter of making a sizeable donation by the charity refers the discussion to their financial, taxation or legal advisor for further clarity. It’s getting to this point that takes some work. All charities have a strong case for support and most fundraisers are great communicators, so what happens when it comes to communicating the benefits to the donor associated with their giving? We need to step up and become more literate and comfortable in engaging with donors and other professional advisors in this area. Only then, will we see an improvement and an increase in the number of bequests being made to charity.

#bequest #charitable giving #estate planning #taxation #fundingmatters #giftabulator #hospitals #universities #religion #arts #culture

Charities Be Aware: More Donations Come Annually from Bequests than Corporate Giving

 Where are you spending your time chasing donated dollars? If you answer writing grants and proposals to corporations, you’re probably right. $22 Billion was directed from bequests to charity versus $15 Billion from corporations in 2011. (Giving USA 2011)

For all of your efforts you probably haven’t taken the time to read up on Giving USA’s research that measured the amount of funding that actually comes in from individual and corporate giving I contend that corporate giving is great to get but it doesn’t really address the looming opportunity of actually increasing overall giving by focusing on the area of individual and to that end bequest giving.

Now why is this important? Well for many reason the simple fact that less than 5% of estates actually have a bequest built in. Understanding that a great deal of time is spent chasing a donation for your charity today, the uncertainty of whether or not your charity will even be considered for a bequest is a bit of a wild goose chase, if you don’t take the time to build out a plan to understand the underlying motivational factors which will influence a bequest in your favour.

Bequest in the donor’s mind is a reminder of death. Well death, is reinforced with the donor especially when a family member or friend passes. And why wouldn’t it be so. I remember meeting with a very private and successful gentleman. He gave little thought to his mortality, continuing to live a quite lifestyle in style. He developed a kidney ailment, which required dialysis, which was his first sign of mortality. He then encountered a siblings passing. At this point, I was contacted by an organization that was close to him. They said that he wanted to meet to hear about making his mark and leaving his legacy.

This process kept up for the better part of one-year. The year was filled with discussions with Jack that when his health was good he didn’t want to discuss his estate and legacy plans. When he was ill, his legacy and community planning was top of mind.

Jack left $6 million to his favourite charities. His legacy lives on. He died unexpectedly due to his complications from kidney disease. Jack is just one person, who made a significant contribution to his community. How many meetings will take place with a Jack to help them with their legacy? I know that more proposals will be written to banks, insurance, oil companies and other corporations to seek funding for worthy causes.

William Petruck
Founder, President and CEO
FUNDING matters Inc.

2016 Tax Changes Regarding Charitable Donations

I thought I would summarize the budget changes that impact charitable donations, for your consideration and for discussion with your donors.

On December 7th, 2015 the federal government announced a 4% increase in tax credits for individuals with an income over $200,000, to 33% from the current 29%, taking effect January 1st, 2016.

This new tax credit of 33% will apply to gifts over $200 if individuals have an income of $200,000 or higher.

Gifts made in 2015 and previous years but claimed in 2016 or future years will not be eligible for the new 33% tax credit.

Our success in 2015 has seen many of our clients secure donations larger than they have ever received in the past. With the adjusted tax credit rate, the potential for larger major gifts is even greater.

Please visit, to learn more about how to help your donors calculate their ideal donation with Giftabulator NOW® and how a major or planned gift can reduce the tax on their capital gains.

Happy New Year!

As we embark upon 2016, many have decided to make New Year’s resolutions.  Let me suggest several estate planning to-dos that shouldn’t be ignored as we are in the early days of 2016.

Update your will – since 60% of individuals do not have a current will, it may be time for you to update yours.  Your relationship with some or many individuals in your previous will may have changed, from your executors, to guardians of your now 40-year-old children.

Make a list of your tangible personal property assets – Take the time to figure out who will receive what.  Believe it or not it’s not the money or the real estate that your kids will fight over but your tea set, your baseball card collection or that special piece of jewellery.  Creating a list of beneficiaries of tangible personal property assets will help minimize this type of familial strife.

Take a look at your RRSP or RRIF beneficiary designations -Make sure the people you want as your beneficiaries are correctly stated on your registered investments.  This is also a good time to discuss charitable giving options through your RRSP/RRIF now or in your estate plan.

See how your estate and philanthropic plan can be realized through Giftabulator NOW.

If you haven’t had a chance to take care of these matters, try your best to do so.  You can delegate most of these and others to your advisors, such as your accountant, lawyer, financial advisor or charitable executive.

Have a happy and healthy 2016!

Congratulations to George Burton and his team! Canadore Breaks Ground for New Facility


We are pleased to have an opportunity to work on fundraising of Canadore College’s new Advanced Composites Fabrication, Repair and Test Centre (ARC-TC) facility. Congratulations to George Burton and his team!


Canadore College Breaking Ground for New Advanced Composites Fabrication, Repair and Test Centre

 (NORTH BAY, ONT.) – Construction of Canadore College’s new Advanced Composites Fabrication, Repair and Test Centre (ARC-TC) facility has officially begun.

The Centre will add to the existing purpose-built Aviation Technology Campus erected adjacent to the North Bay Jack Garland Airport in 2005.

“We’ve come a very long way in over 40 years of aviation training,” said George Burton, President and CEO of Canadore College. “Canadore’s specialized ARC-TC facility poises our region to be able to support the projected growth of the aviation, aerospace and space sectors in Canada and across the globe. We are pleased to make this announcement today thanks to the gracious support we have received from our community and our provincial and federal partners.”

According to Burton, ARC-TC will have the ability to support innovative research, industrial applications, testing services, business incubation and more. The Centre will be home to new academic resources such as two advanced composites laboratories, a non-destructive test (NDT) lab and training aids such as a walk-in curing oven, a magnetic particle inspection station and a liquid penetrant inspection line that will enhance current aviation programming and create capacity for new programs.

It is expected that Canadore College’s ARC-TC facility will open its doors in Spring/Summer 2015.

Huntington University honours David Tsubouchi


Published author, lawyer and former Cabinet Minister David Tsubouchi will receive an Honourary Doctorate of Sacred Letters at Huntington University on Monday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) in Toronto.

His exceptional contributions both as a volunteer and leader in the community led to this rare honour.

“David Tsubouchi’s exemplary commitment to community service is truly inspirational. He is a nationally recognized leader whose contributions will continue to have a profound impact on future generations,” said Dr. Kevin McCormick, Huntington University’s President and Vice Chancellor.

Through his political life and volunteer initiatives Mr. Tsubouchi has enriched various sectors of society including: education, culture, arts and international relations. For these and countless other reasons, Huntington University has selected him to receive the degree of Doctorate of Sacred Letters Honoris Causa.

“I am truly honoured to receive this prestigious recognition from Huntington University. For decades, Huntington has promoted academic excellence, fostered student success and at the same time recognized Canadians for their contributions to community service and I feel very privileged to be one of the recipients,” said Tsubouchi.

Mr. Tsubouchi is the Registrar and CEO of the Ontario College of Trades. He holds the distinction of being the first Japanese Canadian to have been elected to any position in Canada. He served for six years as Councillor for the Town of Markham and in 1995 he became the first Japanese Canadian to be elected to a provincial legislature and also to serve as a Cabinet Minister. David Tsubouchi has served as the MPP for Markham for two terms and has held several cabinet posts in the Ontario Legislature including Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, Solicitor General, Chair of Management Board and Minister of Culture.

As a campaign chair, he has raised millions of dollars for non-profit organizations and institutions including Seneca College, George Brown College, the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and the Rising Sun Campaign to assist the victims of the tsunami and earthquake in Japan. He has received numerous awards and honors including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, The Bruce Bryden Award (York University), The Award of Merit From the Japanese Canadian Community and the Canadian Horse Racing Industry Award of Recognition. Just earlier this year, he received an award from the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAP). He has been a key note speaker in many countries including Dubai, Macau, China, Japan and the United States.

His memoir, Gambatte,was recently published by ECW Press and was nominated for the Speaker’s Book Award.



Media Contacts:


Sherri Haigh

Director of Communications

Ontario College of Trades

Phone: 647-847-3139



Lacey Caputo

Director of Communications and University Advancement

Huntington University

Phone: 705-207-9939