Earlier this year we shared on social media a diagram from our website that summarizes how a Canada Gives Foundation account works, how donations flow into a donor advised fund and how grants are distributed to charities.
The purpose was to remind our current and future donor clients that Canada Gives’ mission is to not only provide as much funding to the charitable sector as possible, but to enhance our donor clients’ philanthropic impact. As we like to say: We handle the administration, so you can focus on giving.
But sometimes it takes a third-party perspective to highlight another key advantage of our service. Here’s what one advisor shared on LinkedIn as a response to that post:
“I would add that one of Canada Gives’ superpowers is not just this more flexible structure. The organization’s DNA [encourages] a more active public engagement of the foundation with the granting community, while still maintaining autonomy. Increasing relevance while decreasing administration.”
In short, he pointed out that we want our donor clients sharing ideas and helping each other build a lasting legacy, all while discovering new charities and initiatives to support. And we’re here to help facilitate their generosity at every step.
The quote also highlights that our structure is designed to alleviate the burden of managing a foundation. The donor advised fund structure is a turnkey alternative to establishing a private foundation, which can be especially onerous to manage. A DAF can be set up in less than a day, while a private foundation can take more than six months to establish, incurs significant legal fees and requires regular administration and reporting. Also, philanthropists that use a DAF structure to manage their giving can remain anonymous, and keep their financial details confidential—a key feature for individuals or families that prioritize privacy.
Our administration and client services staff are tasked with managing the administrative requirements of a Canada Gives Foundation account on donor clients’ behalf, while conducting research on charities and other qualified donees that could be the recipient of their generosity.
As a side note, we’re currently making enhancements to our Donor Portal that will allow donor clients to research Canada’s more than 86,000 registered charities any time, anywhere. Stay tuned for more news on that innovative feature, coming soon.
Our team’s indispensable work has helped our Foundation account holders direct their giving to areas of personal interest, not to mention supporting relief efforts during times of crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic—when many charities were suddenly overwhelmed with demand and in need of immediate funding—or to aid relief efforts in the wake of natural disasters such as hurricanes or the recent flooding that ravaged parts of British Columbia.
Our team is not only experienced at conducting due diligence on charities, but also making connections between donor clients. In many instances, they’ve leveraged non-profit industry contacts to help our clients better direct grants and to introduce them to a range of exciting non-profits with which they may not have been familiar. To help further that goal, this year we launched our Donor Story blogs, an ongoing series of articles that highlight our donor clients’ preferred causes. It’s a value-added initiative designed to broaden perspectives and shed light on worthy causes across the Canada Gives community of philanthropists.
Engaged by nature
But as our industry partner’s post noted, our ‘superpower’ is helping to maximize donor client engagement at every turn. We want philanthropists and their families to experience the full joy of giving, while also lending their often considerable professional experience and expertise to the charities they support. For many, going above and beyond with a heightened level of engagement is becoming a key aspect of their charitable work.
By remaining autonomous as an organization, we can help all of our donor clients achieve their giving goals without conflicts of interest. Our only focus is helping them make a lasting mark in the areas that matter most to them. It’s what makes our mission as an organization so unique.
And it’s one that we’ll continue to advance in the years ahead as we grow our family of foundations and work to create positive change across Canada and beyond.
The Canada Gives team