Women’s wealth is growing and so are the amounts they’re giving. A new TD Wealth report outlines the evolving role women are playing in the Canadian charitable sector. Jo-Anne Ryan, Vice President, Philanthropic Advisory Services, TD Wealth and Executive Director, Private Giving Foundation, joins Kim Parlee to discuss some factors that drive women to give, as well as ways to give effectively using donor-advised funds.
* Thanks for having me.
* This report builds on a report that I remember I talked to you-- I can't believe it was that long ago, back in 2014. But maybe just tell me a bit about what you see in this report or what's changing.
* Well, we thought it was time to do a new report because it's almost 10 years. And a lot has happened since 2014. But first, women are growing in wealth. And their income is increasing. The donations they claim on their tax returns has been rising. Women are set to inherit $1 trillion in the next decade. So that's a lot of money. But besides that, there have been a number of events since 2014. We just had the pandemic. We've had, obviously, the situation in Ukraine, the Middle East, we have wildfires, we have climate change. The list is endless. And a lot of those events have had a big impact on philanthropy, as well.
* I want to bring up-- you mentioned the fact that women's donations have been increasing for all the reasons you said. And we can see here-- and this is part of the report that talks and shows the level of donations with women and men and showing how it's increasing over the next little while. Another thing that came out in this report-- and, actually, the title of the report is "trust" and transformation. Tell me about trust.
* So trust is really important for women when it comes to making donation decisions-- who they give to, how much they give to. They rely on the trust of friends, colleagues, family to make decisions. They build relationships with the people at the charities. They do much more due diligence than men when it comes time to make a donation. And it's also important-- right now, there's a whole trend to make unrestricted gifts, as opposed to making a donation where you are controlling where exactly the charity is going to spend it, to say here's a donation because I believe in your mission, I trust what you're doing, and it's an unrestricted gift.
* And that's just, I guess, less micromanaging, you were mentioning earlier, and just trusting that you feel aligned with the organization.
* Right. And there has been an imbalance of power between the donor and the people that they are supporting. So this kind of takes that power away from the donor.
* I know that-- I was spoken to you earlier, and you mentioned also the profile of people that you interviewed and talked to for this report, and that it's a much more diverse group.
* Absolutely. So we really didn't have a diversity and inclusion lens in the 2014 report. We interviewed a lot of women in major cities in Canada. They ended up mostly being white of a certain age. We made a concerted effort to really have a diversity lens with this report. So we interviewed women right across the country. They were all done virtually. So we didn't have to get on planes. So we didn't miss any geographic areas. But we made sure we were interviewing women that give to the arts, to health care, to Indigenous causes, to LGBTQ causes, and a whole multitude of causes. So it's very rich in terms of the diversity of the people that we spoke to.
* You also mentioned, too, that charities, I think, are recognizing the power of women in terms of what they're doing, and maybe changing the way in which they're trying to engage women with charities.
* Yes. They're realizing it's not a one size fits all in terms of how to appeal to donors. Women love to connect. Some charities have giving circles where women come together, they contribute a certain amount of money, they vote on particular products-- or projects. But a lot of charities are hosting events to engage women. Women like to come and participate but actually have more than a cocktail. They want to learn. So it could be an event where you're listening to a physician talk about women's heart health and how much funding it needs compared to what has been invested in men's health. It could be a Dragon's Den event at a hospital where you've got three different pitches happening, and depending on your donation, you can actually vote on them. So yes, it's social. Yes, you have a good time. You may eat and drink at it. But you're on a philanthropic journey, and you're learning. And that's really important when you engage women in these types of events.
* One thing that happens, too-- and you and I have talked about this for a while-- is that when women have more money, they're able to do more. The ways in which they give, how it's structured matters. So there's cash donations, which are always welcome. But tell me about some of the options. If someone's thinking about giving, how should they think about this?
* So the report did say women are putting more structure around their giving. There's a huge increase in donor-advised funds as a real alternative to setting up your own foundation. Some women are setting up foundations. They're putting more structure around their giving, which is allowing them to engage their family. Tax isn't the number one motivator why people give. But we at TD, when we're doing philanthropic advising, we want to educate our clients on the most tax-efficient ways to give, like securities, as an example, that have capital gains because if you do it in the most tax-efficient manner, then you can have a greater impact.
* Yeah. If you, yeah, pay less tax, you can give more to the cause. And tell me a bit about just the donor-advised funds again. How do they work?
* So we already have a public foundation established called Private Giving Foundation. It has its own registered charity number, its own board. For as little as $10,000, you can set up your own mini sub foundation or fund. You name it, just as you would name your own private foundation. You donate to it. It separates the tax receipt from the granting to charity. So you may have a taxable event, you've sold a business, you want to get a donation receipt by a certain date. Now funds are building or growing in this charitable account. And when something happens like wildfires or something you want to support suddenly, you've got a tax-efficient charitable account that you can direct funds from.
* So donate-- you said you could put the ... --
* Donate now, decide later.
* Yeah, which is such a great thing. And you expect the growth of women-- I've only got about 15 seconds here-- to really grow, continue?
* Absolutely. Absolutely. A lot more interest, and they're getting a lot more engaged in philanthropy. It's a lot more than just writing a check.
* Well, it's exciting stuff. And thank you for the work that you do, Jo-Anne.
* My pleasure.