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Gift Options

No matter your circumstance, there are gift options for you to discuss with your professional advisors. Generally, gifts are divided into those that you make in your lifetime and those that will be made after your death, such as a bequest.

Gifts You Can Make Now

  • Outright gifts of cash are welcomed by all organizations. These are the simplest and most common form of gift, and are greatly appreciated. You will see your gift put to work immediately!

  • People who wish to honour other people or commemorate life’s milestones often make donations in lieu of gifts or flowers.

  • Publicly traded securities include stocks, bonds and mutual funds containing stocks listed on approved stock exchanges. They make excellent charitable gifts.

  • There are two types of gifts of life insurance: 1) The ownership of the life insurance policy is irrevocably transferred to the Organization, or 2) The organization is named as registered beneficiary to receive proceeds of the policy, but is not the owner.

  • Tangible property includes art works, books, household furnishings, automobiles, equipment and collections.
  • A gift of real estate or certain rights to the land (covenants, easements, servitudes) that are not eligible for ecological gift status or that do not have ecological values may also be valuable to an organization.

  • Owners of ecologically sensitive private land have the option of making a certified ecological gift (ecogift) to a designated charitable organization and receiving significant tax savings.

  • If not needed for retirement purposes, a donation of all or part of your RRSP or RRIF to an organization can be done now or upon death.

  • Split receipting allows for a partial sale and partial gift of property.

  • Family businesses constitute a high percentage of Canadian business and account for the majority of new jobs. The entrepreneurs who started these businesses are often community-minded.

Estate & Deferred Gifts

  • A charitable bequest is a gift made in your will.

  • By retaining ownership of your life insurance policy and naming an organization as the beneficiary of personal or group life insurance, you can create a significant legacy gift.

  • A charitable gift annuity is an arrangement under which a donor transfers a lump sum to a charity in exchange for fixed, guaranteed payments for the life of the donor and/or another person, or, alternatively, for a term of years.  All or a substantial portion of the annuity payments will be tax-free.

  • A residual interest gift is an arrangement where a donor irrevocably gives real estate or personal property to a charity while retaining the right to use the property for life or for a term of years.

  • A Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) is a planned gift where a donor irrevocably makes a gift to a charity or charities through a trust agreement. The donor contributes cash, securities, real estate or other investments like term deposits or certificates of deposit to the trust and receives an immediate donation receipt for the present value of the donated remainder interest.


  • Corporations receive deductions for charitable gifts rather than tax credits. Otherwise, the same tax rules regarding donations apply to both corporations and individuals.

Other Planned Gifts

  • Typically, a private foundation is a foundation which receives most of its funds from a single source, and which makes grants to registered charities.

  • An endowment is an investment fund set aside for the long-term support of a charity.

On Your Way to Gift Planning