How to Choose a Charity

Philanthropic work is admirable and can take many forms, from one-time donations to ongoing financial support or even the use of a trust or inheritance. It’s also very common among our clients, many of whom wish to use their success to help others. Our team supports this generous element of wealth management and is pleased to help clients execute philanthropic pursuits as possible. That said, we recommend that clients be discerning in their charitable giving. While it’s easy to write a cheque, it can be more complicated to assess how and where to give money in support on various causes. Here are a few ways to ensure that one’s generosity makes a great impact.

Reflect on what matters

When deciding which charities to support, it can be helpful for the donor to reflect on what truly matters to them. This may involve narrowing it down to local causes that provide support in one’s own community or supporting a specific humanitarian or environmental cause. Many donors choose a cause they have personal ties to, such as a hospital foundation, a post-secondary institution or an organization supporting cancer research. It’s also important to decide how much to give and how many organizations to support. One can make a big impact somewhere or a somewhat smaller impact many places – there is no right or wrong way to give.

Take a closer look

Not all charitable organizations spend their money the same way, and it’s important to understand where your donation is going. Transparency, efficiency and use of funds are critically important factors to many donors. When making choices about where to donate, this annual list from MoneySense is a great resource. It looks at how many popular charities raise money, spend funds and govern themselves, among other criteria. Similar resources can be found through the Financial Post and Charity Intelligence. If a charity has not been publicly evaluated, potential donors can request their financial statements in order to make an individual assessment.

Speak to our team

The ideal philanthropic arrangement can vary from person to person as it depends on their level of wealth and the amount they wish to donate. There are also multiple scenarios to consider, such as donating now vs leaving money to charity in a will. We can help determine the best way to make an impact with one’s money while considering the effect to their taxes and estate plan. To learn more, please contact us – we’d be pleased to answer questions and provide expert guidance.

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Our clients and their families typically have a net worth of $2M or more. If you have an amount under the minimum, we still invite you to get in touch to discuss your options.