Professional Advisor Resources

With over 80% of Canadians contributing to charities on an annual basis*, these gifts are becoming an increasingly important part of your clients’ overall financial plans.

Enhance your practice, your community and your client relationships with practical online tools and resources designed for you — covering topics such as Discussing Charitable Giving, Asking Charities for a Great Gifting Experience, and Gifts from an Advisors Perspective.

We have also included printable resources on each page for you to share with your clients. Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF) can help you.

*Source: Statistics Canada, General Social Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 2013

Why This Resource?

Raising the issue of charitable giving with your clients can be deeply rewarding – on both a personal and professional level. Talking about philanthropy can strengthen your client relationships and make a difference in your community at the same time.

You are busy! Through the tools and information provided here, we want to help make great conversations happen that are easy for you, helpful for your clients and that make a world of difference for the communities, charities and causes important to them.

You are in a unique position to support your clients to design charitable gifts that can maximize tax and other financial planning benefits. This site provides a general overview of the variety of gift types that can be used to achieve that objective. We are happy to discuss any of them with you further. Contact us directly on our cell phones or via e-mail as follows:

We’re also keen to introduce you to the myriad ways in which community foundations are uniquely positioned to help donors make the most of their charitable gifts, now and forever.

Why Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF)?

We look forward to sharing our unique knowledge of community needs and the national philanthropy landscape as well as expertise in tax effective charitable giving. We work with organizations in your community every day so we can help your clients match their goals with local needs and opportunities, without obligation to ultimately make a gift to ECF. We know that great giving means finding a great fit and we are happy to help with that.

We have charitable conversations daily and have developed a process that clients appreciate and respond to. Let us be your neutral charity resource and together we can play an important part in making our communities thrive.

10 Reasons People Work With Community Foundations

  1. We are a local organization with deep roots in the community, and part of a nationwide movement whose support we build and share.
  2. We bring donors to the table as community builders, working closely with them to align their philanthropic vision with the community’s needs. That may mean referring them to other charities or working with them directly.
  3. We provide highly personal and flexible service, including accepting a wide variety of assets to facilitate tax effective plans.
  4. We are transparent and reputable stewards of community resources, committed to being accountable, accessible and responsive.
  5. We identify long-term needs and opportunities and invest in solutions.
  6. We take a broad and inclusive view of what makes a community thrive, and provide grants to the widest possible range of organizations and initiatives.
  7. We build permanent funds and those that can respond to immediate needs, helping our communities ensure vital futures.
  8. We work with colleagues across Canada to assist donors to support initiatives outside of our community and even worldwide.
  9. We believe that diversity is strength, so we bring the entire community together to stimulate new ideas, build participation and strengthen community philanthropy.
  10. We build community vitality – the unique and essential spirit that flourishes when people believe their community holds possibilities for everyone.

Why This is So Important for You and Your Practice

Charitable gifts have tax consequences and benefits that are key to any financial and estate plan.

  • Imagine the ramifications if your client sold a business/land/shares in 2015 and discovered in 2016 (i.e. too late!) that s/he could have saved significant tax if s/he had supported a favorite cause or organization in 2015.

Other great reasons exist too.

In 2014 a study called “The Philanthropic Conversation” was conducted by IPSOS that found a number of important reasons to integrate philanthropy into your practise*. Here are just a few:

  • Proper tax and estate planning helps clients reduce taxes and protect their wealth
  • Clients feel advisors who incorporate philanthropy in planning have a more holistic strategic approach
  • Discussing giving priorities and tax needs leads to a better understanding and relationship with clients
  • Being known as an advisor who understands philanthropy increases your credibility and reputation
  • Advisors who ask about giving priorities and goals are seen as having deeper connection with clients, especially creating and maintaining a relationship with a surviving spouse
  • Advisors are seen as neutral partners and create a safe space for clients to discuss and consider gifts of assets and as part of an estate

You live and work in this community too. You have a unique opportunity to help not only your clients but also help your community prosper.

If it feels counter intuitive for a financial advisor (investment or accountant) dedicated to increasing your clients’ assets to suggest a gift, please note:

  • Tax savings reduce the impact of well-planned gifts that fulfil your clients’ values; and
  • This is so important that we can cite examples of clients who bring more business to their advisor who helps them give well.

Why This is so Important to Your Clients

Your clients expect you to help them create effective financial plans that take care of their families and friends, minimize taxes and reflect their values. Many choose to include philanthropy in their plans to primarily make a positive difference but also to enjoy the tax and financial benefits that result.

  • The tax benefits are significant in both annual and estate tax situations – your client may not be aware of this opportunity.
    • In Alberta the individual tax credit is 50% of the gift amount and may be 54% to the extent your client has income over $200,000 annually.
      • As one donor said “If I knew how little this would cost me, I would have done this years ago” (Note that the donor was a pensioner making a $50,000 gift to his alma mater.)
  • The ability to provide for a charitable gift often produces a deep sense of fulfillment and satisfaction – leading to gratitude for you helping to grow their personal impact through smarter giving.
  • Your client may never have mentioned an interest in charitable giving. ECF offers your client an opportunity to become informed without any obligation. We can help you serve your client better and provide timely information.
    • Community foundations are uniquely positioned to understand both local needs and local solutions. With a network of 200 community foundations across Canada we can also help with giving options further afield and even worldwide.
  • The media paints a picture of philanthropy that is out of touch with most Canadians. Your clients may think that their personal resources are not sufficient to have any meaningful impact. This is not true! We can help you plan and time gifts that fit with their situations that will make a great difference, now and for the long term.
  • You’d be surprised how many of your clients are searching for a way to give back to their community, to memorialize a loved one, or simply to do good. Doing this effectively is a great service to them.