Life Insurance


A gift of insurance can allow a Donor to make a much larger gift to the Canadian Medical Foundation than they might otherwise be able to consider. Tax savings today are real.

There are a number of very common methods to utilize life insurance in your charitable giving and tax saving plans.  Proceeds of life insurance policies provide your beneficiary, in this case the Canadian Medical Foundation, with a lump sum that can really have an impact on our charitable programs to support Canada’s health care system and the physicians from coast-to-coast-to-coast that are its core.  Often, heirs use the proceeds from insurance to help off-set funeral cost, capital gains taxes, or other end of life expenses.  However, a gift of life insurance to the Canadian Medical Foundation is not part of someone’s estate and therefore is not subject to capital gains, or other taxes.

If one or more of your life insurance policies no longer fits your financial strategy, consider:

  • Transferring your paid-up policy to the Canadian Medical Foundation, and in so doing receive an immediate charitable tax receipt for the full-value of the policy;
  • If premiums are still payable, transfer ownership, naming the Canadian Medical Foundation as beneficiary. You continue to pay the premiums but annually get a tax-receipt for the value of the associated costs; or
  • Simply name the Canadian Medical Foundation as beneficiary of the policy.

Depending upon which of the options are chosen, the tax advantages could be considerable for you, as follows:

  1. When the Canadian Medical Foundation is named as the irrevocable beneficiary, we can immediately issue a charitable tax receipt to you for the full cash value of the policy, plus any accumulated dividends;
  2.  If you are still paying premiums, the Canadian Medical Foundation will issue a receipt for the full cash value, but you will also receive a cash receipt for each additional premium paid; but no donation receipt will be issued for the death benefits;
  3. Simply naming the Canadian Medical Foundation as beneficiary, without gifting the policy, will not reduce your taxes today. However, in the future, when CMF receives the proceeds of the policy and, if the policy is named specifically in your will, the CMF will issue a charitable tax receipt, which will benefit your estate.  In this case, you will be entitled to claim a certain donation credit that can off-set estate taxes in the year of your death for proceeds donated to charity to a maximum of 100% of net income in the year of your death.  Where the donation exceeds your net income, the excess can be carried back to the year prior to death and up to 100% of net income in that year can be claimed as a donation as well.  While probate fees still apply, the donation credit will far outweigh these fees.

If you would like to make a substantial gift in the future, you can contribute small yearly premiums over time and receive tax-deductible receipts for the amount of your payments.  You may simply arrange with a life insurance company to transfer ownership and beneficial rights to the Canadian Medical Foundation.  You will have the peace of mind knowing that you have made a significant contribution to a national charity focused on supporting physicians and Canada’s health care system.

Additional Alternatives

You may also name the Canadian Medical Foundation as an alternative beneficiary by changing the beneficiary declaration in your policy (whether it be term insurance or otherwise) to read:  “To my wife (husband) if she (he) survives me, but if she (he) predeceases me, then to the Canadian Medical Foundation.”

Another option is to make the Canadian Medical Foundation a co-beneficiary of your life insurance policy to the extent of any dividend accumulation.  Then, the benefits would be divided, with the primary beneficiary receiving the face value and the Canadian Medical Foundation receiving the accumulated dividends.

Registered Assets

Another valuable advantage exists.  If you hold registered assets, such as a Registered Retired Income Fund (RRIF), gifting a life insurance policy to charity can ensure that your heirs receive the full value of your registered assets.

Normally, when a married person passes, their spouse becomes the owner of the RRIF tax-free.  However, any other heirs would only get 50% of the funds while the government gets the rest.  However, if one takes out a life insurance policy with approximately the same value as your RRIF and designate the Canadian Medical Foundation as your beneficiary, then the charitable tax receipt from your donation will effectively offset the portion of the RRIF owed to the Canada Revenue Agency.

You can name the Canadian Medical Foundation as a beneficiary of your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), RRIF or life insurance policy.  Doing so will provide you with a significant donation tax credit in the year of your death, which can offset other taxable income.

Gift Annuities


The charitable gift annuity is a popular planned giving instrument for elder Canadians, as it allows a person to make a significant contribution, while maintaining financial security.

There are many benefits of a gift annuity:

  • A gift annuity allows you to make a significant gift, yet still enjoy the income from that gift;
  • A gift annuity frees you from investment and management worries;
  • Payments are fixed for your lifespan and, depending upon age, much of the income may be tax-free;
  • An immediate tax receipt is available for a portion of the gift;
  • You may make an annuity gift for as little as $10,000 and may add future gifts anytime; and,
  • You may name your spouse as a joint survivor and the payments will continue for as long as either lives.

What Are Gift Annuities? (Also known as Gift Plus Annuities)

A gift annuity allows a donor to make a gift, in most cases receive a generous charitable tax receipt and receive an annual tax-free payment, an annuitant, for the rest of their lives. The can be established by and for an individual or a couple.

A gift annuity is a type of “irrevocable deferred gift.”  This sort of classification, pure legalese, does not go far in describing what the gift annuity accomplishes for the Canadian Medical Foundation and its philanthropic efforts across Canada and the Donor.  It is a useful classification for comparison purposes, though.  While the bequest made in a will can be defined as a type of “revocable deferred gift” (since the Donor (or Testator) can change his or her mind about the gifts made in a will (bequest)), an annuity is a final decision.

How Does It Work?

Starting with a minimum gift of  $10,000 (that can be funded with cash or other valuable property, such as stocks), a charitable gift annuity is established with the Canadian Medical Foundation, and, in return, the Donor receives a charitable tax receipt (calculated using annuity tables), a regular income (the annuity) for as long as the donor lives, and of course the opportunity to meaningfully support the philanthropic programs of the Canadian Medical Foundation, such as those providing financial aid for medical students, investments in timely research, and support for programs and services to address physician health and well-being from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

What Does a Gift Annuity Accomplish?

Using a gift annuity, a Donor can accomplish achieve their philanthropic goals, such as:

  • The Donor may give a larger and more impactful gift in their lifetime;
  • The Donor receives a tax-favorable income – for life; and,
  • The gift provides ongoing support for the good charitable work of the Canadian Medical Foundation.

Who Utilizes the Gift Annuity?

Donors who are 70 years of age, or older, usually see the greatest advantages to using this type of gift vehicle because annuity income is taxed based on life expectancy tables approved by the Government.  The plan allows a Donor to give a substantial gift, without losing the benefit of the investment revenue that could be earned.  In fact, when the tax advantages are factored in, many Donors will find that their net return is higher through a gift annuity.

An Example:

Mark Peters, age 70, wants to make a donation to the Canadian Medical Foundation but is concerned about having enough funds to meet his living expenses.  He holds a $10,000 Canada Savings Bond.  His annual return is 7.5%, or $750 per year.  He will pay 40% tax on this amount, leaving him only $450 to spend after he has paid his taxes.

Now, if Mr. Peters had purchased a CMF Gift Annuity at 8.5%, he would receive an immediate tax receipt of $2,265, which would save him $906 on his next tax return.  Of more significance, is the fact that the $850 would be tax-free for his lifetime.

Another Example

This option is relatively new, available only after January 1, 2003.  Now, there are good reasons to fund gift annuities with appreciated stocks, mutual funds and dividend reinvestment plans held outside of Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) and Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs).

An 83-year-old Donor or other CMF supporter funded an annuity with a transfer of stocks worth $100,000, which was originally purchased for $50,000.  This is a capital gain of $50,000.  Gift annuities funded with appreciated stocks will result in favourable tax treatment for a portion of the gain.  Actual amounts will vary according to your own circumstances.

  1. If she transfers ownership of stocks to fund the CMF Annuity:

If she transfers ownership of stocks to fund the CMF Annuity:

Annuity $100,000
Charitable Gift Tax Receipt (A) $45,942
Capital Gain $50,000
Capital Gain Inclusion 46% gift, at 25% inclusion rate = $5,743
(Split receipt) 54% non-gift, at 50% inclusion rate = $13,514
Reported Capital Gain Income (B) $19,257
Income Tax Payable @ 45% marginal rate X (B) $8,666
Income Tax Receipt Remaining (A) – (B) $26,685

Now, compare the same Donor who sells stocks first, then funds the annuity with cash:

Annuity $100,000
Charitable Gift Tax Receipt (A) $45,942
Capital Gain $50,000
Capital Gain Inclusion 46% gift, at 25% inclusion rate = $0
(Split receipt) 54% non-gift, at 50% inclusion rate = $25,000
Reported Capital Gain Income (B) $25,000
Income Tax Payable @ 45% marginal rate X (B) $11,250
Income Tax Receipt Remaining (A) – (B) $20,942

The result is that while the tax receipt in both cases covers the taxes owing, the direct gift of stocks results in a much greater tax savings.  The split receipt treatment of the capital gain inclusion has created tax savings that simply were not present before.

Also, the remaining tax receipt can be used to offset other income tax payable or to relieve tax liability in other assets the donor may have.  For example, one could sell some highly appreciated stocks, pay the capital gains tax with the tax receipt and buy the stock back at a new higher rate.  Very beneficial!

Wills and Bequests: The Most Popular Planned Giving Vehicle


The most common form of planned gift is the bequest – making a gift through one’s Will. (i.e. Through your estate planning.)  Indeed, some 80% to 90% of planned gifts are bequests.

For these Donors, the bequest is one of the smartest options.  Leaving a gift by Will permits a Donor to leave a significant gift in the future to benefit the Canadian Medical Foundation all the while providing for their present and future financial security.

As another advantage, if one makes a bequest, a Donor’s estate is entitled to a tax receipt for the full value of the gift, thereby reducing the taxes on the estate that are payable.

Intestacy (Dying without a Will or Estate Plan)

When you die without a Will, you are deemed by law to have died intestate.  Intestacy is an unattractive outcome for most people because the government decides how their estate is to be administered.  The law divides the intestate’s estate and thereby determines how much each of one’s heirs will receive.  Charity receives nothing.  For most people, the government having that complete control over the division of their assets is unacceptable.

With a Will, the Donor (in law, called the “Testator”) is provided with a great deal of flexibility.  A significant contribution to the Canadian  Medical Foundation can be made, without the Donor having to sacrifice any financial security during his or her lifetime.

Indeed, a Will allows the Testator to make his or her own decisions, among other things, about the following matters:

  • Who will receive the distributions of his or her estate;
  • The appointment of guardians for minor children; and,
  • The determination of whom will be his or her Executor.

Types of Bequests

The most common types of bequests are the following ones:

  1. A Specific Bequest: With this type of bequest, the Canadian Medical Foundation would receive a specific dollar amount or a stated proportion of the Testator’s estate. (E.g., “I give to the Canadian Medical Foundation…”)
  2. A Contingent Bequest: With this type of bequest, the Canadian Medical Foundation would receive all, or a share, of the Testator’s estate only in the event of the prior death of other named beneficiaries. (E.g., “If my spouse pre-deceases me, then my entire estate – or, one-third of my estate, not to exceed $5,000, etc. – to the CMF…”)
  3. A Residual Bequest: With this type of bequest, the Canadian Medical Foundation would receive all, or a percentage, of the remainder of a donor’s estate after other specific legacies have been fulfilled. (E.g., “I give to the CMF, 5% of the remainder of my estate, to be used at the discretion of the CMF’s board of governance….”)
  4. A Trust Remainder Bequest: With this type of bequest, the CMF would receive all or part of the principal of a trust established in the Will to benefit named beneficiaries, upon the death of those beneficiaries. (E.g., “Upon the death of named beneficiaries receiving income from a trust established herein, all or a part of the remainder of the trust to go to the Canadian Medical Foundation.”)
  5. A Restricted Bequest: Funds are restricted to the use designated. (E.g., “I give $10,000 to support physician health and wellness programs in Canada…”)

Monthly Giving


The Canadian Medical Foundation’s (CMF)’s monthly donors are extremely valuable.  Our monthly donors are the donors who are most like our partners and are often the strongest believers in our Mission and Vision.

Monthly GivingBenefits of monthly giving:

  • Lower administrative costs than other fundraising methods
  • Provides a steady source of income to support our initiatives so we can plan ahead

Benefits to our donors:

  • Monthly giving is easy and convenient!
  • Affordable. Regular donations can be made in affordable, pre-arranged monthly payments
  • Monthly donations save time and postage
  • Monthly donations are flexible – Donors can easily increase, decrease, pause or stop their gift at any time
  • A cumulative tax receipt is issued annually, simplifying your donation records

Become a monthly donor

For additional information on becoming a Canadian Medical Foundation monthly donor, please contact CMF at 613.518.6010 or