Charitable Donations of Life Insurance - CAGP Guidelines

Following concerns expressed in recent years by some insurance industry regulators regarding the use of life insurance as a charitable giving vehicle, it was recommended that interested parties establish best practices to ensure appropriate processes and measures are followed when making use of insurance products for charitable donation purposes.

With the input of recognized experts in strategic philanthropy, financial planning and from the insurance industry (listed below), CAGP has created this series of user-friendly information resources intended to provide straightforward guidance and direction to fundraisers, professional advisors, donors, and insurers when creating and facilitating charitable donations using life insurance. As you make use of these products, we welcome your comments and feedback.

We hope these resources will ensure that charities and donors can continue to benefit from the opportunities life insurance presents for larger more impactful charitable gifts.

Click the images to open the files in a new tab for download

Guide for Donors

Guide for Advisors



Guide for Charities

Guide for Insurers


In addition to these in-depth guides, here are three supplemental documents which will be helpful to you.

Understanding Tax Receipting of Charitable Gifts of Life
Insurance (Version 2 - updated June 2021)

How to use Life Insurance as a Charitable Gift

What is Insurance Trafficking?

CAGP wishes to acknowledge and express our appreciation for the tremendous contribution of the following individuals who provided their knowledge, experience and advice in the development of these guidelines.

David Wm. Brown, CLU, CH.F.C., CHS, TEP, Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting (CALU)
Ryan Fraser, CFP, CIM, RIS, MFA-P, Quiet Legacy Planning Group Ltd.
Robert Kleinman, FCPA, FC, Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal
Susan Manwaring, LL.B., Miller Thomson
Ruth MacKenzie, Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP)
Brenda McEachern, B. Comm., LL.B., TEP, RBC Wealth Management
Grant Monck, LL.B., PGgrowth
DeWayne Osborn, CPA, CGA, CFP, Cardinal Capital Management

CAGP is also grateful to individuals from a consortium of Canada’s largest insurers who provided input and feedback in the development of these resources and for our collaboration with the Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting (CALU). Special thanks and appreciation is also owed to Ryan Fraser who led the convening of this group and played a vital role in this initiative.

We also wish to acknowledge the CAGP Government Relations Committee and National Education Committee, as well as a number of gift planners with a variety of Canadian charities who supported this work by reviewing draft materials and providing input and feedback.