As the end of the year quickly approaches, people often go into giving mode for varying reasons. For some, it is the spirit of Christmas and giving to those who have less than ourselves. For others, it is for the practical reason of the timing of a Donation Tax Credit. Or perhaps it is some combination of the two. Whatever the reason, we’d like to unpack some of the benefits of giving now and ways to be charitable.
When you make a donation, you get the benefit of seeing your money at work in the present as well as impacting the causes that you personally care about. Similar to the idea of an early inheritance about which we have previously spoken, if you are in a financial position to do so, you need not wait to be generous.
Today we’d like to introduce to you a specific concept on how to receive a tax receipt now but have your gift disbursed through time as you see fit. Normally, entering such an endeavour would be by means of a Private Foundation which can be quite onerous and costly. However, in partnership with the Canadian National Christian Foundation (CNCF), we are able to offer a cost-effective solution to opening a Family Foundation.
While a Private Foundation can cost thousands of dollars in legal and administrative expenses, the annual cost of operating a Foundation with CNCF is only 1%. The minimum amount required to open a Foundation account is $50,000 and gifts can be disbursed either immediately or over time. The minimum donation/gift distribution is $250.
Should you wish to set up a Foundation for the longer-term giving (a Legacy Fund) that passes onto the next generation, you can still receive an immediate donation receipt. As the creator of the Foundation, you may wish to designate yourself as the initial Donor Advisor meaning that any direction in terms of gifting comes from you but co-advisors or successor advisors (perhaps your children or grandchildren) can also be appointed so that your legacy continues. You may also provide a Letter of Wishes to the Successor Donor Advisors outlining the causes and ministries that you would like to see funded as long as your desired recipients fall in line with CNCF’s Giving Guidelines.
Whether you choose to give through a Foundation or other means, the time to be generous is now. As the powerful saying goes: “Do your giving while you’re living so you’re knowing where it’s going.”