Analysis: Canada’s banks are outpacing community foundations in launching new donor advised funds. What does it mean for your charity and for the philanthropic sector?

In 2021, Canada’s five largest commercially-affiliated foundations that offer donor advised funds held $3.8 billion in charitable assets. Two decades ago, none of them existed.

Why It Matters

Donation patterns are changing. Affluent Canadians, whose gifts form a growing share of the overall charitable pie, are increasingly giving through donor advised funds affiliated with banks and wealth management firms.

This journalism ​​is made possible by the Future of Good editorial fellowship covering the social impact world’s rapidly changing funding models, supported by Future of Good, Community Foundations of Canada, and United Way Centraide Canada. See our editorial ethics and standards here.

Last year, in the days leading up to Christmas, Kate Bate sold her design and animation business and decided with her husband to donate a portion of the profits to charity. 

The impulse to give wasn’t new for the Toronto couple, who live on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, the Huron-Wendat and the Ojibwe-Chippewa people. About five years before, Bate and her husband, Patrick Marshall, co-founded a charity with a group of others, called

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