news: Strategic Charitable Giving
January 3, 2018

Strategic Charitable Giving

How to Make an Impact With Your Generosity  

Every year, Canadian organizations donate to non-profits as a way of contributing to the well-being of communities locally, nationally, and internationally. Successful businesses see charitable giving as a central piece of their business model and begin setting aside budgets and planning charitable giving strategies at the very beginning of the year. While the holiday season is over, and your team is likely settling back into regular business operations, it’s never too early to start planning. 

Here are just a few tips on how to create your 2023 charitable giving strategy: 


Step One – Choose a Cause  

Look at your company’s vision, mission, values, and overarching goals. It makes sense to support a cause that aligns with your corporate mandate, so look broadly and find a cause (or multiple causes) that are important and relate to your business. Don’t microfocus. Think about the change you want to make, who you want to make it for, and the results you want to accomplish. Then, find someone who is doing just that. They’re out there – trust us. 


Step Two – Do an Audit and Pick a Non-Profit  

COPY: You should conduct a full audit of any initiatives, campaigns, or organizations your business has previously supported, and decide whether wish to continue supporting them or not. Don’t forget, you can also always donate to multiple charities that align with the impact of your company. The Government of Canada provides a list of charities which can help you determine whether a non-profit is registered, revoked, etc., to help you make better giving decisions. 

Keep in mind, you don’t have to pick just one non-profit. Bolder Giving, a US-based non-profit, recommends using the 50/30/20 rule. This means focusing 50% of your giving on one or two select charities, keeping 30% for community gifts, and keeping the remaining 20% for “impulse gifts,” such as unplanned donations to support disaster relief. 


Step Three – Make a Smart Giving Strategy and Plan For the Year (and Beyond)  

Strategy is the necessary foundation for any successful initiative, whether that be a marketing plan, business plan, communications plan, or charitable giving plan. While clearly communicating a company’s goals and objectives, a detailed strategy can also help demonstrate to internal stakeholders that all donated dollars are being put to good use. 

Now that you’ve done your due diligence in choosing a cause (or several causes) to support, you should develop a yearly giving plan based around the strategic insight you gained from your audit. Treat any charitable donation as an investment decision, no matter how big or small the amount is. Planning all of your charitable giving, while leaving a little wiggle room for impulse gifts, will help guarantee your donations aren’t just seasonal but are a year-round effort to support a cause your business is passionate about. It will also give you a great jumping-off point for next year’s charitable giving audit and will help you adapt your strategy to be even more impactful in the years that follow. 

Here are some informative charitable giving fast facts, according to Stats Canada (2022)

  • In 2020, total charitable donations by tax filers rose by 2.7% to almost $10.6B 
  • The median donation amount was $340, a 9.7% increase from 2019 
  • The highest average donation amount was in Alberta at $2,880, followed by B.C. at $2,750 
  • There was a decrease in the number of people donating $500,000 or more (-3.4%), but the total donation figure from these donors rose by 0.3% 
  • About $9 out of every 20 came from donors aged 65 or older 


Make Sure You Make an Impact 

While many relate more money with making more of an impact when it comes to charitable giving, this isn’t necessarily the case. To make an impact, it’s not about the amount of money you give, but how well you strategize your donations. If you need a little insight on where and why to give, and how this can help shape a stronger brand for your organization, WJ is always here to help. 


Feel free to reach out.