Give with a donor-advised fund

A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a place where you can set money aside for charitable giving even if you don’t know what causes you want to support yet. Donate first, then take time to think about where and how you want to use that charitable donation. The opportunity to plan your giving leads to more meaningful giving decisions, like giving to causes that you feel personally connected to.

When you’re ready to give, use the money in your donor-advised fund to make an impact from one central place. You can send gifts to charities and review your giving history over time to make thoughtful decisions about future gifts.

Cash and non-cash assets can be donated to a donor-advised fund at any time, and a tax receipt is issued immediately upon donation. 

Do you own non-cash assets like publicly traded securities? Learn how donating non-cash assets increases your tax savings.

Learn more:

Donor-advised funds in Canada

Donor-advised funds are quickly growing in popularity in Canada. Between 2006 and 2016, the value of Canadian donor-advised funds increased from $1.2 to $3.2 billion. They’re projected to be worth $5.6-6.4 billion by 2024.

Source: Keith Sjögren, Katherine Dalziel, and Karen Hudson. 2018. Donor-Advised Funds (Advanced Canadian Gift Planning Symposium). Published by strategic insight™

Canadian donors are choosing to give more with donor-advised funds as they learn about and experience their benefits.

Meet Charitable Impact’s donor-advised fund

Charitable Impact’s donor-advised fund is called the Impact Account. Since 2011, more than $1 billion has been donated by the Charitable Impact community to create the change they want to see in the world.

Who Charitable Impact’s donor-advised fund is for

The Impact Account was designed for you, the donor—no matter what causes you support, how much you give, or how experienced you are with charitable giving. Charitable giving platforms and services often focus on charities and their needs. But we’re here to support you with charitable giving, by helping you become more informed and intentional about your giving.

The benefits of a donor-advised fund

We believe people are innately generous, but knowing where, when, and how to give can be hard.

Because you can hold funds in your donor-advised fund after you donate, you have the time and space to plan your charitable giving and carry it out in the way that works best for you. Why is this important? The pause in between making your donation and sending gifts enables you to commit to charitable giving by setting money aside. Meanwhile, you can take time to think about where, when, and how you want to give, so you can make more confident decisions as a donor.

When you give with a donor-advised fund, you have the flexibility to be as intentional or proactive with your giving as you want to be. It’s one of the easiest and smartest ways to manage your charitable giving, all from one place.

Ultimately, having the time to plan your charitable giving is powerful because it can lead to more thoughtful giving decisions like:

  • Setting a giving goal for the year and tracking your progress.
  • Budgeting for charitable giving by adding money to your Impact Account with regular monthly donations. For example, if you donate $50 a month, you’ll have $600 to give away after one year.
  • Adding money any time you have extra on hand, so you can respond to causes when needed.
  • Researching causes that are important to you and discovering charities so you can decide where to give.
  • Dividing your donation across multiple charities. For example, you can donate $100 and send a $25 gift to four charities from one place.
  • Supporting your favourite causes regularly by scheduling monthly gifts.

When you know how you want to support the causes that matter to you, carry out gifts using the money you’ve already set aside in your Impact Account. Charitable Impact is cause-neutral, meaning we encourage donors to give the way they want to give.

You can also create or contribute to a Giving Group so that you can give with others to a specific cause, or send money to friends, family, and children for them to give away.

How the donor-advised fund works at Charitable Impact


Once you make a donation to your Impact Account, it can be held there until you’re ready to give. Donations must be used for charitable purposes—they can’t be returned to you or anyone else.

The Impact Account is a secure online account held with us that allows you to manage your charitable giving in one place. It’s the day-to-day account for sending gifts.

We don’t charge sign-up or transaction fees for Impact Accounts, and no fees are charged on the balance in your account. We don’t fundraise on behalf of other charities or get paid by charities when you choose to support them.

Banks and credit card companies charge charities, including Charitable Impact, a fee to process donations. If you use a credit card to donate, we recover this 2.8% fee when you send a gift to a charity from your Impact Account.

Our credit card processing fee is lower when compared to most charities because we process higher volumes of donations. This means that more money can get to charities.

The tax receipt

When you donate to Charitable Impact, you are actually donating to CHIMP: Charitable Impact Foundation (Canada), a public foundation and registered charity, so you immediately receive a tax receipt. Because we issue the tax receipt, the charities you choose to support don’t have to.

This is one reason why donating to charities through your Impact Account simplifies your charitable giving: you will only get tax receipts from Charitable Impact. Tax receipts are organized in your account and available for download at any time.

Make an impact

Use the money in your Impact Account in the ways that matter most to you. You can give in any or all of these ways:

Support charities and other qualified donees

Qualified donees are organizations that can issue official tax receipts for gifts they receive from individuals and corporations. In addition to Canadian registered charities, they include registered Canadian amateur athletic associations, journalism organizations, Canadian municipalities, and more.

Discover over 86,000 Canadian registered charities and other qualified donees through our search tool and learn more about them to see if they’re a fit. Give to one or as many as you’d like.

Sharing your name and/or contact information with charities is optional. Give with full recognition or remain anonymous if you wish to keep your gift private and stay off mailing lists.

Registered charities across Canada

In Canada, a registered charity refers to a charitable organization, public foundation, or private foundation registered with the Canada Revenue Agency.

What is the difference between a registered charity and a non-profit?

Non-profit associations, clubs, or societies generally operate for the good of society, for recreation, or for any purpose other than for profit. Registered charities must operate for purposes that are exclusively charitable at law and conduct activities that further those purposes. While both registered charities and non-profit organizations can receive donations, non-profits are unable to issue official charitable tax receipts. As a result, they don’t need to meet the same regulatory requirements as charities.

Start or join a Giving Group

With a Giving Group, friends, coworkers, or any community can combine forces by pooling money and fundraising for causes that matter most to them.

Send money to family and friends as a birthday gift, a "thank you", or just because

This inspires others to give charitably to the causes that matter most to them, and you can inspire the next generation of donors by sending money to children as a charitable allowance.

Give to a charity, Giving Group, or Campaign from your Impact Account

Myths vs. facts about donor-advised funds

As donor-advised funds grow in popularity as a tool for charitable giving in Canada, we want to fact-check some myths about how they work.

Myth: Donor-advised funds are only for wealthy people.

Fact: Charitable Impact is Canada’s donor-advised fund for everyone. Anyone can open a free Impact Account. It doesn’t matter how much you give (you can donate as little as $5) or whether you have experience with charitable giving. We’re here to support you with tools and resources to give purposefully.

Myth: You need to use a large financial institution to open a donor-advised fund.

Fact: Charitable Impact operates as an independent donor-advised fund. This means that we can work with banking and investment services at any financial institution. Some financial institutions, such as banks, offer the services of an affiliated donor-advised fund. That’s good, because donors should have a choice. Charitable Impact’s focus is to create the best donor experience to help donors achieve their giving goals. Our singular focus means that donors get access to more tools and support to help them with their giving.

Myth: Donor-advised funds encourage the stockpiling of money.

Fact: Interested and engaged donors don’t tend to stockpile their assets in donor-advised funds. In fact, they tend to give more regularly. Charitable Impact doesn’t require a minimum balance or put other restrictions on donors that prevent them from granting as much as they want. In 2021, CHIMP: Charitable Impact Foundation Canada disbursed 30% of its assets to charities recommended by donors. This amount is markedly higher than Canada Revenue Agency’s annual disbursement quota of 5% for all charities.

Did this answer your question? Thanks for the feedback There was a problem submitting your feedback. Please try again later.

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us