Charitable Giving an Option for All Income Levels

Armen Hareyan's picture

(NC) Helen Pitt proved that you don't have to be rich to make a difference in your community. Forty years ago Pitt, an artist living in British Columbia, got a flash of inspiration while watching a high school graduation. As students accepted various scholarships, Pitt realized the school had no awards for the arts.

Soon after, Pitt started her own modest charitable fund to support high school students who wanted to pursue the fine arts. Creating the fund through her local community foundation, which is part of the Community Foundations of Canada network, was easy. She started with a small donation and added to the fund regularly for 15 years.

Today, Helen Pitt's '"small donations" have provided dozens of bursaries and awards to students with a passion for art.

Is a charitable fund for you?

Helen's experience shows that charitable funds aren't just for the wealthy, but an option for Canadians from a wide range of income levels and interests. Charitable funds are particularly relevant for those who fit the following profile:

  • Searching for ways to make charitable dollars go further and last longer?

  • Want to involve family in charitable giving?

  • Passionate about an issue in a community, but don't know which organization to support?

  • Already give to various charities and need a way to consolidate and co-ordinate giving?

  • Want charitable dollars to stay in a particular community?

A recently launched charitable program managed by BMO Financial Group and Canada's community foundations called Supporting Your Community, makes community based giving much more accessible and effective.

Supporting Your Community is an opportunity for Canadians to create their own personal charitable fund. Creating a charitable fund makes your donation work harder and last longer, because it becomes part of a permanent fund. That means your donation grows over time, while the income it generates is used to support your favourite charities.


The benefits of starting your own fund.

  • Creating your own charitable fund through Supporting Your Community offers a long list of benefits including:

  • Supporting the causes you care about and monitor the results

  • Creating a personal legacy; you can name the fund for yourself, your family or a loved one

  • Consolidate your giving and reduce administrative headaches

  • Give to any community across Canada

  • Access the expertise of community foundations to help you choose the local issues and organizations that will help you make the most of your giving

  • Get your whole family involved in giving

  • Receive a tax credit for the full amount that you give

To discuss your charitable giving needs or for more information about Supporting Your Community, please contact your BMO professional advisor, visit or call 1-866-310-6228 or send an email to [email protected]


- News Canada