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Canadian International Charities Offer Opportunities for Immigrant Donors
But finding the right match isn't always straightforward TORONTO, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - An increasing number of Canadian charities are operating abroad, and this is opening up a world of opportunity for Canadian immigrants who have the desire and the means to give back to their country of origin. According to the latest Statistics Canada data, nearly 12,000 Canadian registered charities carried on programs, directly or indirectly, outside of Canada in 2004. This represented 15% of all Canadian registered charities that filed with the Canada Revenue Agency that year. The charities spent approximately $1.8 billion on international programs during the year, a significant rise from $1.4 billion in 2002. "Canadian immigrants often have a unique perspective towards charitable giving," says Jo-Anne Ryan, Vice President, Philanthropic Advisory Services, TD Waterhouse and Executive Director of the Private Giving Foundation. "Many have told us that they want to give back to Canadian charities, but they also want to do their part to help alleviate the poverty they left behind. We tell them that there's no reason they can't do both." According to the 2001 Canadian census, almost half a million Canadian immigrants now have average yearly earnings exceeding $60,000. Further, a 2003 StatsCan study found that the median wealth of immigrant families who arrived in Canada before 1976 was $87,000 higher than that of Canadian-born families of similar ages. In order for Canadians to receive a tax credit for charitable donations directed towards their country of origin, they must donate to a Canadian registered charity whose legal mandate allows for operations outside Canada. Alternatively, they may donate to a registered Canadian charity that has an agency agreement with a global organization. "With more than 200 Canadian charities providing international relief, and with the extremely wide range of programs and destinations they represent, it can be a daunting task for individual donors to find the program and charity that most closely matches their philanthropic goals," continues Ryan. Trust is also a factor. In a 2006 study by Ipsos Reid, it was found that among ten types of charities operating in Canada, Canadians are least likely to trust international development charities. "This is clearly an area where professional advice from a neutral source can be a major advantage. A great example is my client, an immigrant from India, who wanted to direct money to underprivileged children in India. Through my work with hundreds of charities through the Private Giving Foundation, I was able to help him identify the best charity and program to fulfill his dream." In 2004, 204 Canadian charities spent an average of more than $1 million outside of Canada. The top three on the list spent a total of more than $433 million and each of the top twenty each spent over $12 million. The need for international philanthropy has never been greater. According to United Nations and World Bank data, almost 1 billion people live below the international poverty line and most of them are undernourished. "For those who want to provide a lasting legacy to their country of origin, we can also help them set up a donor-advised fund through the Private Giving Foundation," concludes Ryan. "That way, the annual proceeds from their investment will continue, year after year, to help people in their former homeland break out of the cycle of poverty. Being able to have an ongoing impact is especially poignant for people who have faced similar struggles." About The TD Bank Financial Group The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. The Bank serves more than 14 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust as well as the Bank's global insurance operations (excluding the U.S.); Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse Canada, TD Waterhouse U.K. and the Bank's investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking through TD Banknorth; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. The Bank also ranks among the world's leading on-line financial services firms, with more than 4.5 million on-line customers. The Bank had $404 billion in assets as at July 31, 2007. The Bank is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Bank's common stock is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under symbol: TD, as well as on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
For further information: Julie Bellissimo, NATIONAL Public Relations, (416) 848-1462, firstname.lastname@example.org
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