Talking to your financial advisor about your charitable giving

November 23, 2020
5 min read

Mike Todd

Director, Charitable Investment Programs

Picture of Mike Todd with quote: "Charitable giving is very personal. You don't need to be an expert."

Here’s why working with a financial advisor is a smart path to creating a strategic giving legacy. 

Charitable giving is most often rooted in generosity and caring for causes closest to your heart. Nonetheless, giving is a financial decision and is something that ideally takes foresight and consideration. 

The reality is most Canadians give when they are asked. It can sometimes feel like a spontaneous, split-second, or guilt-induced action. Giving according to a financial plan can feel more meaningful and can also be done more strategically. This kind of intentional giving is accessible through Charitable Impact, where you can invest in your long-term giving plan with a Charitable Investment Account. More on that later.

To start, let’s look at how and why working with an advisor makes it simple to incorporate charitable giving into your budget and your financial goals. 

Talk to your advisor and your loved ones about giving

While your advisor can help you access ways of giving that better suit your budget and your wealth management strategy, talking to your family about your giving is also a wise step. Your family and loved ones will become more aware of your giving goals and can help support you in reaching those.

To add, simply paying more attention to your giving as an aspect of your wealth can boost financial literacy. Learning how to give strategically can be a way to better understand how to manage your money and your taxes. And sharing this knowledge with younger generations helps pass along some valuable lessons in financial literacy while also teaching empathy and generosity. 

Keep in mind, everyone has something to give. You don’t need to be an expert in charity, law, or finance to make an impact. If you start the conversation, financial advisors and the team here at Charitable Impact can help you achieve your vision for a brighter future. 

Tips from a financial advisor 

To make it easy for you, I reached out to a financial advisor who works with Charitable Impact for his best tips on establishing a giving strategy. Here are some of his quick tips to get your started…

Start having the conversation with loved ones. From a family perspective, the sooner you can start involving younger generations in your giving decisions, the better. That could mean having discussions around the dinner table. Or, you could even set aside some money for children to support charities they care about.

Talk to your financial advisor about your giving plans. For some clients, they can start building an effective and personally meaningful strategy right away. But, if it’s not part of your financial strategy now, that doesn’t mean it won’t be tomorrow. You can start investing in building a sound giving plan by setting aside money for giving in an Impact Account.

Giving today can bring benefits so you don’t necessarily need to wait to establish a legacy. Even if you are planning to build a giving legacy, sometimes it is more tax-effective to start giving today, rather than at the end of life. Another tip: End of life giving can sometimes be fulfilled by insurance so it is wise to consider all options and assets. 

By giving through a flexible option, like a donor-advised fund through Charitable Impact, you can change your mind as your interests shift or as needs evolve. It’s hard to predict the future. You may be influenced by world events, family members’ passions and interests, or other developments, which is what makes a donor-advised fund a particularly strong option for planning your giving. 

On a platform like Charitable impact, the strategies that 20 years ago would have only worked for high-net-worth individuals are now totally accessible. So it’s doable for everyone to start planning for and investing in their giving right away. 

Access more ways to give through a Charitable Investment Account

Charitable Impact works directly with advisors to help them achieve better giving on behalf of their clients. If you are looking to invest in giving in the long-term, your advisor can work with you to set up a Charitable Investment Account. 

A Charitable Investment Account offers tax-efficient and cost-effective management of charitable assets over a longer period. You also have the ability to give non-cash assets such as privately and publicly traded securities, life insurance, real estate, and more. Since Charitable Impact operates as a donor-advised fund, you can add money now and decide where to give when you feel most inspired. 

Did you know that the most tax-effective way of giving is by donating appreciated publicly traded securities? Working with your advisor, they can walk you through this simple process. By reducing the costs associated with giving, you can make a larger impact on the causes you care about. 

The first step is to have the conversation about giving with experts who can help. Talk to your advisor about investing in your giving with Charitable Impact. If you need more information, you can set up a brief chat with me by clicking here. Looking forward to connecting!


Charitable Impact has processed over $650 million in charitable donations from 100,000+ generous Canadians. Audited annually by Deloitte and advised by Norton Rose Fulbright and other leading charity lawyers in Canada, our dedicated team has consulted with hundreds of national and international clients, financial advisors, and planners on charitable and strategic giving programs.