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Doug Puffer

Donation guru’s tips for beating the taxman

March 6, 2008

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By Erica Branda

Doug Puffer (above) joined SFU as the director of planned giving in March 2007 with one goal: to help alumni, friends, retirees and employees find creative, tax-efficient ways to donate to the university without sacrificing their financial security.

He’s created a library of online resources to help current and potential donors understand and apply Canada’s generous tax laws concerning charitable giving. Here are two of his golden rules:

  • Leave a gift to charity instead of the government.
“We have a choice in Canada,” explains Puffer. “You can leave your estate to friends, loved ones and the government, or you can leave it to friends, loved ones and charity.

“Making a well-planned bequest in your will allows you to direct the part of your estate that would typically go to the taxman toward an organization that embodies your personal values.”

  • Donate securities instead of cash — even for small gifts.
“This waives any taxes that you have to pay on the capital gains, creates a charitable tax credit and allows you to make a much larger gift than you would if you were writing a cheque. It’s easy to do. You just fill out one simple form to transfer the securities to your favourite charity, preferably SFU.”

Check out the Gift of Securities form and lots of other useful donation-planning advice at www.sfu.ca/advancement/planned_giving.
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