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It's the season to give: Four tips for giving back while generating tax savings for you

Headshot of Don Foster

Don Foster has been engaged with Simon Fraser University since 1999.  He works closely with the SFU Gift and Estate Planning team to successfully ensure security donations are received and liquidated.  He manages the Simon Fraser Alumni Association investment portfolio and provides annual sponsorship for the Outstanding Alumni Awards and Annual General Meeting.  He has also worked with former SFU golf coach and legend John Buchanan, to sponsor and secure participants for the John Buchanan Golf Classic tournament. 

In addition, Don has enjoyed long-standing roles as a donor and sponsor for many other community causes. His involvement has helped several organizations achieve their fundraising goals. 

By aligning his actions with his core values and beliefs, Don has become well known in the community for his commitment to the power of giving back.

Here are a few of his key recommendations for strategic philanthropy. 

Give from your portfolio

“There is a significant tax benefit to giving publicly traded securities that have accumulated capital gains rather than donating cash,” Don explains. “Donating appreciated securities is the best way to give to your cherished causes.”

“It is preferable to donate qualified securities like equities, bonds, and shares/units of mutual funds, (listed on a prescribed stock exchange) directly versus writing a cheque; this is referred to as giving a ‘gift in-kind.’ Tax law allows for the full elimination of any capital gains tax on donations of publicly-traded securities to a registered charity. You will receive a charitable tax receipt for the full market value of your donated security.” 

Don’t wait for Christmas if you have made the decision to donate

“This is the season to give,” explains Don, “ask your Investment Advisor to help you take an inventory of portfolio holdings which have appreciated in value so you can donate them to your charity of choice before the year end deadline. Consult with the charitable organization before donating to make sure they are able to accept and liquidate securities – not all have the resources to do this. When it comes time to file your tax return for the year the donation was made, remember to report any capital gain realized as a result of your gift.”
“Remember : if you sell your security (triggering the capital gains tax) and then donate the cash, you will lose the chance to reap the tax benefit of donating a gift in-kind.”

Involve your family 

“Making a donation is an opportunity to instill the value of giving in your family. When you involve your family in deciding which charities to support and how, the practice of giving back becomes part of them.” 

Become a volunteer and pay it forward

“Consider sharing your time, talent or treasure with charitable initiatives you consider worthy.  I believe stepping up and giving back is important. Volunteers help create momentum within a charitable organization.”

Contact Don for more information

For 28 years Don Foster has been advising high-net-worth clients on their financial investments at BMO Private Wealth. He has been recognized for his efforts by being awarded the premier designation “Fellow of the Canadian Securties Institute” the industry’s highest rank of distinction.

Don invites you to get in touch with him to receive a BMO Private Wealth Guide on Donating Appreciated Securities. You can reach him at don.foster@nbpcd.com.