Every year we have the pleasure of delivering an overview of our performance as an organization. But the real joy is telling the story of our Foundation families’ extraordinary—and unwavering—generosity. Their dedication to giving back and making a difference continues to help create positive outcomes across Canada’s charitable sector.
But as we celebrate another year of their giving success, we should acknowledge that it came during a period of unique challenges.
For one, the bull market that followed the COVID-19 pandemic quickly subsided after 2021. What followed in its wake was a decisive pivot to bear territory that battered many investment portfolios—including those of Canada Gives’ donor clients. As such, new donations into existing Canada Gives DAFs—or as we call them, Foundation accounts—were significantly scaled back throughout 2022, and fewer new DAF accounts were opened. Add in other factors such as high inflation, climbing interest rates and related financial pressures and it becomes clear why charities such as Canada Gives faced very challenging circumstances in the year gone by.
Yet even in the face of these formidable headwinds—when charitable giving is more important than ever for the charitable sector—our well-established Foundation funders’ generosity once again shone through. We’re proud to tell that inspiring story in our Canada Gives Annual Impact Report for 2022. In it, you’ll find an overview of our performance, including a review of our total DAF assets that this year totalled approximately $237 million, a 21.7 per cent increase in cash donations and a jump in our total number of DAF accounts. We’re very proud to share that our total grants to charities totalled $19.5 million, down only slightly from the year before, despite those aforementioned headwinds. You’ll see that our total expenses also declined significantly, underscoring our commitment to prudent fiscal management.
The second section of the Annual Impact Report provides a summary of recent enhancements to our team and technical infrastructure, additions and improvements designed to take your client service experience to the next level. That includes improvements to our Donor Portal including an interactive Foundation account ‘longevity’ calculator that answers a very simple, common question posed by so many donor clients (or advisors on their behalf): How long will my foundation last? We also detail changes to our Crisis Response page and introduce you to our new personnel—our Accounting Manager and the new Regional Development Manager for Western Canada.
Later in the Annual Impact Report, we explain how the federal government’s changes to annual disbursement minimums have—and will continue to—impact philanthropists across Canada. As we explain, our generous Foundation families typically give far more each year than the annual minimums mandated by the Canada Revenue Agency. But these changes are significant nonetheless, and worth taking the time to fully understand. The upside is that with the Canada Gives Client Services team by their side handling DAF administration on their behalf, our donor clients don’t have to worry about running afoul of Ottawa’s new compliance rules.
And as we have in past years, we bring you a pair of inspiring donor stories that highlight two remarkable philanthropic successes from across the Canada Gives family. In one, we explain how an advisor worked closely with an aging client to understand her charitable giving wishes, used her Canada Gives Foundation account as a tool to help her building a lasting legacy and took on the role as her estate’s co-executor to ensure that her favourite causes received her estate’s support after she passed. We dovetail that with a reminder that Canada Gives can play an integral part in a donor clients’ estate planning process, with a Canada Gives Foundation account potentially being designated as the beneficiary of an estate gift from a will or as the beneficiary of a RIF or insurance policy.
Lastly, we bring you the story of Andrew Maleckyj, a Foundation funder who leapt to action at the start of the Ukraine war to help deliver support to his home country. The dedicated philanthropist had deep connections with charitable organizations in Ukraine and was able to provide insider perspective into those making a difference on the ground. Our Client Services team leveraged those insights to help other Foundation families steer their grant requests in support of the Ukrainian people.
We encourage you to take the time to review Annual Impact Report 2022 and appreciate the difference that you and our other Foundation families are making in your communities and beyond. We’re already looking forward to sharing more stories of your charitable commitment and support in our next report.
The Canada Gives team