A Canadian Conversation on Gift Planning

Strategic Gift Planning is more than just Planned Giving.

It’s more than donations and fundraising and philanthropy.

It’s tied to tectonic questions like, “why are we here”, and actions that change the world.  

As practitioners, we get stuck in our day-to-day activities. 

But who is a practitioner? We are fundraisers, lawyers, accountants, bankers, insurance professionals, estate trustees --- and we need to start talking to each other if we want to be of better service to our donors and clients. 


Let’s get talking. 

Welcome to the new blog from the Canadian Association of Gift Planners! 

We are your hosts, Ruth MacKenzie, President & CEO of CAGP and Paul Nazareth, the new curator of this CAGP “community” conversation. 

It’s our hope that this will be a more engaging and live dialogue than the sometimes stuffy, often academic articles we have tended towards in years past. We hope to give a lot of our experts who may have been held back with that format, an opportunity to delve deeper and share their thoughts on the evolution of what they do on the, job based on their often very advanced experience and wisdom of perspective. We’ll also curate ideas from experts in our gift planning community that have been featured in other great resources and publications.

Most of all we hope to use this blog to hear from and highlight three groups of people who are VITAL to the success of this movement to empower strategic charitable giving: 

1)    New peers in the community: from Victoria to Prince Edward Island there are new young professionals discovering Gift Planning. We have decade-long fundraising experts falling in love with the impact achieved through strategic charitable giving as well as its massive potential as the donor demographic swings to gifts from the asset-based, complex-gift end of the fundraising spectrum.

2)    People outside our association: You know the designations of CPA, CFP, TEP, FCA, CIP, EPC, CSA, CFRE. We’ve been at the party with the ‘usual suspects’ for a very long time. We now need to be looking outward and into the big wide world of donor and client engagement for voices and experiences beyond our own. We hope to bring those voices and that experience into this conversation. 

3)    YOU: Yes, you! Comment here on the blog, engage on LinkedIn, share via Twitter, Facebook, Youtube. We know you’re out there and we know you have an opinion. And if you’re working on a strategic gift or empowering client legacies then we want to hear from you. We hope to create a platform where you have a voice to speak, ask, disagree and gain value that isn’t just interesting but which you can take to work and we can all put to work.

At the last CAGP Conference, Paul was asked to answer the question, “where is the profession going” in our inaugural FRANK Talks. If you haven’t seen that quick 7 minute TED-style thought-bubble, please take a peek

We are very proud that our leadership in CAGP recognizes that newsletters, membership and associations are evolving in 2016 and beyond. 

This is the first step to that evolved community, adding ideas and voices to the recipe. 

You are needed; your eyes, ears, mouth and hands. 

We promise, we’re going to do great things together, and have fun at the same time! 

Come along for the ride! 


Paul Nazareth

CAGP Community Curator

VP Community Engagement, CanadaHelps


Ruth MacKenzie

President & CEO, CAGP

Great reads this month:


Hi - I think this is going to be fun. Just a thought - perhaps the odd, "live" video recording will further lighten up the tone? To get the conversation started, I am interested in learning more about social impact bonds and socially responsible investment. What is the difference? Have any charities used these tools successfully? I was chatting with a MG prospect the other day who mentioned our advocacy work in a certain area would be very appealing to those who want to invest in businesses who are acting in a socially responsible manner. The charity is not a business and doesn't sell shares, we raise money. Can advisors, investors comment on how we could leverage socially responsible investors and engage them in philanthropy?
Hello Jane! Thank you for jumping into the conversation brain-first! First off this is a question many of us in CAGP have had for almost a decade now and I'm proud to say the CAGP conference education team started and continues to address by making sure that there are always a couple sessions at our national conference on just this topic! What is social enterprise, social investment and how will it affect us as charities and fundraisers. So I hope we'll see you in Toronto in 2017 at this session. In the meantime, and I hope we'll see more comments from other members but speaking with this kind of donor, who I often refer to as "the donation-as-investment minded donor" we in charity simply need to adapt to this mindset and language. Knowing how our charity creates impact with their donated dollar ( and increasingly how our charity manages those dollars which is a new skill set for fundraisers ) will be more important. Now, the reading. Only because I personally like some reading around things...here are some links ( and again I hope a peer from Western Canada can chime in here as a lot of my context comes from the work of peers like the Mars Discovery District, SiG at Mars and peers like Purpose Capital and Miller Thomson). Great CharityVillage article on Social Impact Bonds https://charityvillage.com/Content.aspx?topic=Investing_in_the_nonprofit_sector_The_Social_Impact_Bond_makes_its_Canadian_debut#.WACfZOgrI2w Mobilizing private capital for public good ( cowritten by Friend of CAGP Susan Manwaring ) http://www.socialenterprisecanada.ca/webconcepteurcontent63/000024540000/upload/Resources/Executive%20Summary%20-%20Mobilizing%20Private%20Capital%20for%20Public%20Good.pdf An item on social investing in Canada http://financeforgood.ca/social-impact-bonds-and-their-role-in-canada/ The Responsible Investing in Canada site https://riacanada.ca/ Robo-advisors already into SRI https://www.wealthsimple.com/socially-responsible-investing Thanks again for asking Jane! Hope this is helpful, Paul Nazareth
Thanks Paul. Super helpful. I will be at CAGP National next year and look forward to chatting with others about social impact bonds, socially responsible investing (brown bag lunch topic?). In the meantime, I've got some reading to do! Jane
There is a big difference btwn social impact investing and social impact bonds at least in the way I think about it! Many of our charity clients are looking to leverage their funds for investment (endowments or otherwise) in a way that furthers their mission. That is done by a combination of investing with an eye both to financial and social return. It is also about procurement - who do you buy your meeting muffins, your office supplies? Social bonds are still unicorns! There's a lot of discussion but few have been done as it takes a rare combination of private investor interest, government interest and relative sophistication of the charity performing the work and work that can be pretty objectively measured. The private investor makes his or her return on a gov't promise to provide a certain benefit to the investor if the charity hits the targets.
Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It's the little changes which will make the biggest changes. Thanks for sharing!


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