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Charitable giving beyond a tax receipt

Janet McKeage and Bibi Patel
Janet McKeage and Bibi Patel

If you work in the estate, tax, or financial planning fields, how do you start a conversation with your clients about giving back to the community? Do you know where to turn if you don’t have all the answers?

Professional advisors such as accountants, financial planners, lawyers, and insurance advisors are a great resource to help clients establish goals and create a plan, but often the charitable portion of that plan is limited to the tax implications of giving. Yet research shows high net worth clients appreciate having a meaningful conversation about philanthropy.

“Our deep community knowledge means we can offer a range of options and an easy process to help clients meet their charitable goals”

That’s where the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF) comes in, working with professional advisors to connect their clients to hundreds of charities locally and beyond – something they’ve been doing successfully for more than 30 years.

“Our deep community knowledge means we can offer a range of options and an easy process to help clients meet their charitable goals,” says Bibi Patel, Vice President with the OCF. “There is a lot of flexibility the Foundation can offer, including a gift of cash, stock, real estate, or life insurance. Donors can be as hands-on or arms-length as they want once they start the relationship with us.”

The OCF supports donors according to their interests and can also guarantee their anonymity, something it prides themselves on.

“People want to give but they don’t have a plan,” says Janet McKeage, Vice-President and Investment Counsellor at RBC Phillips, Hager & North Investment Counsel. “This is where OCF is really helpful. Just like I build a portfolio for my client, we can work with OCF to build a plan around your values.”

Most of the OCF’s biggest donors have chosen to set up a fund with the Foundation instead of establishing their own private foundations. They don’t bear the administrative burden and enjoy the rewards of giving back and being involved in the process.

“Even if you’re able to take on the administrative costs, you won’t have the community connections,” says McKeage. “OCF knows the charitable needs of the community and can identify charities that you weren’t aware of.”

Most of the gifts facilitated by advisors involve a transfer of stock to the Foundation, which is well set up to seamlessly accept such gifts. Not having to incur capital gains tax is a big attraction.

“If you are open to learning more about the needs in the community, the Foundation can identify these needs to help you to plan your giving strategy over the long-term,” says McKeage.


Ottawa Community Foundation


  • The Ottawa Community Foundation is in a unique position to offer your clients flexible options to make meaningful charitable gift beyond the tax receipt.

  • 91% of advisors say they discussed philanthropy with their affluent clients, but only 13% of the clients said that is was a meaningful conversation. Those who took a more holistic approach, as recommended by the Ottawa Community Foundation, 95% said it strengthened their relationship with their clients and 90% said that it helped extend business with the client, client’s family and network.

  • For more information about how to give, please visit

*2014 Canadian Survey of Financial Advisors & High Net Worth Canadians