Charitable Giving: It’s about much more than tax breaks!

by John Hallward  – John Hallward is the founder and chairman of The GIV3 Foundation, a registered charity with the mission to encourage more Canadians to be more giving.

We’re in full celebration mode for GivingTuesday 2104 and this seems like a good time to shine a light on new research findings about the giving motivations of wealthy Canadians. A ground breaking report just released by The GIV3 Foundation, in partnership with Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP), BMO Harris Private Banking and Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC), examines the charitable giving behaviour and motivations of Canadians with investable assets of at least $1 million as well as professional financial advisors that work with this group.

According to the report, the great majority of wealthy Canadians (91 per cent) gave to charitable causes in the past 12 months. Interestingly, most such donors are motivated by emotional considerations such as their desire to impact the community (55 per cent), to give back (50 per cent) and their passion for a cause (32 per cent). Fewer wealthy Canadians (21 per cent) say they are driven to donate because of the tax incentives.

Wealthy Canadians are also interested in ensuring that their gifts are used wisely:   The research found that affluent Canadians have some hesitations around their charitable giving: 43 per cent of those interviewed mentioned a concern that their gift might not be used wisely by the receiving organization. Wealthy donors also admitted they feel they will get an increase in donation requests in the future (26 per cent).

The research also examined the important role of financial advisors in the philanthropic decision of wealthy Canadians. According to the report, among affluent donors that have had philanthropic conversations with their financial advisor, more than half (52 per cent) found the conversations useful and the vast majority (88 per cent) were satisfied with the help they received. It is understandable that donors may have some concerns associated with charitable giving and fortunately financial advisors are in a position to help them overcome these hesitations.

More so, financial professionals are in a position to add significant value to their clients by helping to create a philanthropic plan that aligns with their values, and identify legitimate organizations that are making a difference. This will, in turn, help to provide peace of mind and ensure their clients’ charitable dollars are being used effectively.  The key learning is that charitable giving is much more than just tax breaks.  And I imagine that this is the case for the majority of Canadians; giving is personal, rewarding and up-lifting.   This is why we at GIV3 wish for everyone to “feel great giving”.

The results in the report are based on two quantitative online surveys, conducted in Canada in September 2014 with Ipsos Canada in partnership with The GIV3 Foundation, Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP), BMO Harris Private Banking and Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC). You can view the research summary here or for more information please contact The GIV3 Foundation.