Charitable Impact is Canada’s donor-advised fund that supports donors in an impartial way to navigate and take action in the charitable world. We spoke with John Bromley, CEO, to find out more about them.
Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.
We provide donors with a space to give their way, with our support. Anyone who values charitable giving can create their own Impact Account, which is a donor-advised fund or DAF. This giving tool is available regardless of how much money you give away, how experienced you are with giving, or what charities you want to support.
Charitable Impact is Canada’s donor-advised fund for everyone. The DAF is a giving vehicle that is gaining traction in North America. These giving tools bring many benefits to donors, but in the past were usually reserved for those with higher net worth.
A DAF is like a charitable bank account and it allows you to separate decisions about how much to give from where to give. This lets you take the time and space to focus on your own charitable interests and to make the biggest impact you can with your limited charitable dollars.
After adding money into your Impact Account, you can give to any registered charity, rally friends and family around a cause, or send charitable dollars to children, family, or friends to create opportunities for others to engage with and learn about giving. Because each gift becomes part of your giving history, you’ll always be able to keep track of your impact and you’ll never lose a tax receipt again!
What problem does it aim to solve?
Right now, donors have no one supporting them in an impartial way to navigate and take action in the charitable world. Donors often react to an ask instead of having a space to think about what causes matter to them and which charities best match their charitable intentions.
When did you start/join it?
Donors started being able to use Charitable Impact in 2011, but I had been thinking about launching the idea for some time before that. I was introduced to charity and giving from a young age because my family valued charitable giving. Further, my father was a lawyer who specialized in charity law. It was under his wing that I began to acquire a deep understanding of how the charity sector works and what barriers existed to increased donor engagement. I started Charitable Impact to increase access to, participation in, and reward from giving back and contributing towards creating change in the communities around us.
What made you want to get involved?
We are all generous so wanting to help others comes naturally. Knowing how to make a difference through charitable giving doesn’t. There was clearly a need for a space to nurture and support donors with their charitable giving—regardless of what causes they care about.
I often hear people talk about their hesitations with giving: they may feel like they don’t have enough to contribute or they don’t know how to find a “good charity”. A DAF, like Charitable Impact, can help resolve these issues by offering a safe space for donors to participate on their own terms, building up their experience and confidence overtime. Giving can be fun and very meaningful both to donors and to the people and programs benefiting.
What was the situation like when you started?
Only the wealthiest donors could find and afford access to giving tools and experienced charity advice.
How has it changed since?
Today, anyone can start their own Impact Account with us to launch or continue their giving journey. We are now a growing community of hundreds of thousands of donors. Some might support different charities than you, but we are all alike in finding personal value in generosity and making an impact through giving.
What more needs to be done?
There is a crisis of engagement with charitable giving in Canada. There is so much generosity in Canada and yet fewer Canadians give today than in the past. Those who do give donate a smaller percentage of their income. Valuing the education and development of donors, regardless of what charities people give to along the way, is important to the sustainability of the Canadian charitable sector.
In turn, individuals need to rediscover how rewarding it can be for them to give in a way that is personally meaningful to them. Charitable giving is an effective way to express our generosity and to engage with the issues or topics donors are most passionate about.
How can our readers help?
Make charitable giving one way you express your generosity. To make it easy and efficient to manage your giving, open a free Impact Account with us at CharitableImpact.com. Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or help getting started with giving through an Impact Account.
Do you have any events coming up?
Covid sure changed that quickly, eh!…so no:(
But our product includes a Giving Group that enables multiple people to combine forces, pool or raise money, and support one or more charities together. As a result, people can easily incorporate giving in to their own events, whether an online event, a birthday celebration or a recurring book club, as a couple of examples.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?
It’s hard to choose because there are so many charities doing great work in our communities. However, I coach soccer and believe strongly in the role sport plays in the development of youth, so I’d give a shoutout to KidSport. It also lets me be a charity nerd and point out that they are a Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Association (RCAAA), which is a different kind of qualified donee than a registered charity. But donors can give to them through Charitable Impact or directly at kidsportcanada.ca
Many Canadians may not be aware that they can receive charitable tax receipts for supporting qualified donees, like the RCAAA or even their own local municipality. This is the type of information that we hope can expand Canadians’ view of what charitable giving entails—so they can go out and make a difference in a more targeted way.