All About Estates

Canadian Donor’s Guide

It is always fascinating to watch evolution in progress. I grew up with the Canadian Donor’s Guide. For the last 26 years this publication has been Canada’s preeminent annual guide to charitable giving. It started out as a bound listing of charities distributed to the legal community, but with the electronic age it has changed to remain relevant.

While the Guide is still handsomely bound with charity listings and ads, the 2011-12 issue is noteworthy for its wealth of articles. Publisher Anderson Charters has sourced 14 articles, all of which are also on the Guide’s website. There are technical pieces such as Jim Parks’ tax summary of charitable donations and Scotia Private Client Group’s fact sheets on common planned gifts.

Among the opinion pieces, I was especially taken with Lynn Eakin’s Legacy Gifts a Lasting Relationship. Lynn is a consultant and one the wisest voices in the charitable sector. She argues for the importance of community charities and their ability to change lives through personal relationships.

“It is important to remember that not everything worth doing can be quantified,” Lynn writes. “Think of your own family. If you quantified the raising of children you would never have attempted it. The metrics are poor, and the financial return (if there ever is one) is years away, but we all know the nonmonetary rewards are huge. It is relationships that endure, that we value, that sustain us.”

Lynn’s advocacy of consistent, flexible funding for charities working in the community is a terrific reminder of core needs and values. And a great example of how the Canadian Donor’s Guide continues to serve professionals and donors.

About Malcolm Burrows
Malcolm is a philanthropic advisor with over 30 years of experience. He is head, philanthropic advisory services at Scotia Wealth Management and founder of Aqueduct Foundation. Views are his own.