Ways to give back to your community financially

Many mature Canadians now have the health and wealth and, most importantly, the desire to give back to their community

Age is only a number — it’s what you do with your time that counts. And for many mature Canadians that means finding ways of doing the personal things that really matter to you. After all, you now have the health and wealth and, most importantly, the desire to give back to your community.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can do that in the most tangible ways.


When you give the gift of your time, you join with the many active volunteers everywhere who play a critical role in our society. And you’ll probably feel better because Volunteer Canada found direct, positive links between volunteering and health.

Get involved by:

• Picking a cause you believe in.

• Putting your lifetime skills to good use.

• Volunteering for an organization that fits your lifestyle and personality.

• Deciding how much time you have and even if you want to learn new skills or even start a new career.


Here are some giving-while-living strategies that can offer significant benefits and provide a valuable donation to your charitable organization:

• Name a recognized charity as beneficiary by leaving a bequest in your will and your estate will receive a charitable donation tax receipt.

• Establish a donor-advised fund, a tax-favoured vehicle that avoids the administration responsibilities and costs of establishing a private foundation but does require a donation to a public foundation and is subject to admin fees. You receive a tax receipt for contributions and determine which charities receive fund allocations.

• Establish a charitable remainder trust that allows you to donate capital while you live on the income. All interest and dividends are paid to you as taxable income with the trust assets and the remainder going to the charity upon your death without probate fees. You will receive a charitable receipt for a portion of your donation based on your age at the time of the donation and current interest rates.

• Name a recognized charity as beneficiary of your life insurance policy now and you’ll receive a charitable receipt based on its cash surrender value plus accumulated dividends, as well as a charitable receipt for your yearly premium payments.

• Other giving options include a charitable gift annuity, donating publicly traded stocks and securities or establishing a private foundation. Each offers tax-saving and income-preserving advantages that are best discussed with your professional adviser.

In fact, by working with your adviser to develop a strong overall financial strategy, you’ll have the time and the nest egg to give while-living in any way you choose.

J. Kevin Dobbelsteyn is a certified financial planner with Investors Group Financial Services Inc. His column appears every Wednesday.

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