Some individuals and families find that establishing a private family foundation may serve their philanthropic goals. This often requires professional support for tax and compliance and may be time consuming and costly. 

Donor advised funds can be an alternative to a private family foundation. Like private family foundations, donor advised funds allow the donor to make an immediate upfront donation to a separately named fund and then recommend grants from the donation to their favourite registered charities over time, as approved by the Foundation. Like all donations, the donor will receive a tax receipt for the value of the donation.

Think of a donor advised fund as a charitable savings account. Your donations into the fund are simply “charitable deposits” (at which time you receive your taxable benefit), and your grants to charities represent the withdrawals. 

One of the draws to a donor advised fund is its simplicity. In many ways it is like having the benefits of a family foundation without the administrative costs. Many financial institutions have in house donor advised funds to facilitate your giving. 

You can also learn more at or speak to Sandra Sullivan at Hospice Georgian Triangle Foundation.