Canadians a "giving" people, says philanthropy expert and author Nicola
Elkins, who provides her top nine charitable contribution tips for 2009

TORONTO, Nov. 5 /CNW/ - Despite the economic downturn, Canadians remain a "giving" people, says Nicola Elkins, author of a new book, Master Your Philanthropy: How to maximize your strategic giving, published by The Knowledge Bureau.

"Canadians know that giving brings with it a tremendous sense of connection and fulfillment," says Elkins, Founder and CEO of Benefaction Foundation, a registered charitable foundation. "We are a giving people. While there's no question that the recession has affected contribution levels in the short term, all the trends -- demographic, economic, legislative and societal - support the long-term growth in giving."

With the giving season underway, Elkins has provided her top nine charitable giving tips for Canadians:

    1.  Save tax by taking full advantage of tax planning opportunities.
        Structure and time your gifts to limit any tax on the capital gain
        and obtain full benefit of the tax credits available to you.

    2.  Make gifts of securities instead of giving cash. In addition to the
        tax credit, NO tax on any capital gain applies to gifts of
        publicly-traded securities given to charities.

    3.  Limit taxes for your estate by gifting your RRSP or RRIF. Naming a
        charity as the beneficiary for your RRSP or RRIF usually eliminates
        the tax on this investment.

    4.  Executives should consider donating optioned stock. Cash proceeds
        from optioned stock may be donated within 30 days of the exercise
        date. Like public securities, the donated portion will incur NO tax
        on the capital gain.

    5.  Make your gift go farther. By designating a charity as the
        beneficiary of a life insurance policy, donors can bequeath many
        times more to their favorite charity.

    6.  Know your limits. Up to 75% of net income (100% in the year of death)
        can be deducted annually. Any excess can be carried forward for the
        next five years.

    7.  Save time by dealing with professionals who can manage your

    8.  Take control of your giving. Enjoy benefits of having your own
        private foundation without the administrative costs and

    9.  Create a legacy. Many charities offer donors the ability to make
        gifts (and attach their names to them) so that others will know of
        their generosity for generations to come.

To arrange an interview or to receive further information, please contact Kerry Breeze at 416-829-1727;

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nicola Elkins, M.Sc., CEO & Founder, Benefaction Foundation

Nicola has worked in senior positions within the financial services sector for almost 20 years. She holds a Master of Science degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor's Degree from McGill University. She is also a graduate of the Canadian Gift Planning Course offered by the Canadian Association of Gift Planners.

About Benefaction

Benefaction is a registered charitable Public Foundation and a leader in helping high net worth Canadians incorporate strategic giving into their wealth management plans.

About The Knowledge Bureau

The Knowledge Bureau is a national designated education institute and publisher, which provides excellence in financial education to tax and financial advisors and their clients.


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