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TD report finds that women have a unique way of donating

TORONTO, June 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Women are playing an increasingly important role in charitable giving and philanthropy in Canada, donating more often than men and with more money to give than ever before. This change in Canada's charitable sector is the focus of a new Investor Economics research report commissioned by TD Bank Group (TD), which draws attention to the attitudes and methods of women philanthropists and how this impacts their approach to charitable giving. The report, Time, Treasure and Talent: Canadian Women and Philanthropy, is the first in-depth review of the presence and influence of female philanthropists in Canada and is part of TD's ongoing initiatives to understand the overall financial needs, habits and aspirations of Canadian women.

"Women in Canada donated about $3 billion to charities in 2012, which is about 50 per cent more than they did just 10 years earlier," said Sandy Cimoroni, Chief Operating Officer, TD Wealth and Executive Sponsor of TD's Women Investor Strategy. "As women's influence over wealth in Canada continues to increase, many of them are adding a charitable giving strategy to their overall wealth management plan and are looking for objective advice on how to develop a strategy and measure the success of their efforts."

The report puts a spotlight on the growing effect women have on the charitable sector, thanks to their influence over wealth and impact as active supporters and volunteers, while also shedding light on their unique approach to giving. According to the research, female philanthropists in Canada are looking to establish long-term, two-way relationships with the charities to which they provide significant financial support. Women donors also make a considerable effort to assess the nature, make-up and financial condition of charities before a gift or pledge is made.

And while all of the women who participated in the research were financially successful, the report revealed that for most women, their primary definition of philanthropy is framed in terms of effort, commitment and a basic desire to help others by sacrificing personal resources and time, rather than in dollars and cents alone. "Our research found that the most important motivators for women philanthropists were a desire to help those in need and a belief in the work undertaken by specific charities," said Cimoroni. "Still, that doesn't mean that women don't want to know where their money is going." According to Cimoroni many women want to establish a close relationship with their chosen charities so they become comfortable with how efficiently a charity is managed and administered, and to understand and monitor the impact of their donations. They're also looking for guidance from financial advisors on the right questions to ask and the right information to obtain, to supplement what is available in annual reports of charitable organizations.

Some of the other key findings in the Time, Treasure and Talent: Canadian Women and Philanthropy report include:

  • Canadian women control approximately one-third of household wealth in Canada, or approximately $3.2 trillion in total assets;
  • In the past ten years, the increase in the number of female donors in Canada has greatly exceeded that of male donors;
  • Between 300,000 and 350,000 women in Canada - or four percent of Canadian female tax filers - have access to both the financial resources and the desire needed to make a major gift to a charity;
  • 68 percent of Canadian women support no more than three causes each year;
  • Women who are active donors are often motivated by their upbringing, their faith, a life-altering event such as the death of a husband or another family member, or coming face-to-face with a specific need that could be met through the act of giving;
  • Female philanthropists tend to give more often to local charities that support health and social causes; and,
  • Most women believe that growth in the number of female philanthropists in Canada will be driven by existing donors setting an example to their daughters, friends and colleagues, and other prominent women in their communities.

While the majority of affluent female donors are self-reliant and undertake considerable investigation into the management of a charity before making a funding commitment, the research revealed there is a need for more guidance in fully understanding financial reports and identifying the most appropriate metrics to measure the progress of a charity, "This is where philanthropic advisory services can play a role," says Jo-Anne Ryan, Vice President, Philanthropic Advisory Services, TD Wealth. "This type of advice is becoming more and more relevant as clients seek to incorporate philanthropy into their financial and estate plans. Whether it's advice for how philanthropy fits into their overall financial strategy or support establishing a structure to leave a legacy, often as donor advised funds within the Private Giving Foundation, we're seeing a growing need for these types of services."

As well, the report touches on opportunities for charities in Canada to raise their profile with women in their communities and produce outreach materials that meet the needs of female donors. It also recommends that charities take steps to include more women on their Boards of Directors, which still tend to be male dominated despite the rising influence of women philanthropists.

"For charities, there is a tremendous opportunity to engage women donors by encouraging them as supporters, rather than setting their sights more narrowly on building a base of financial donors," adds Ryan. "Women increasingly have the ability to make significant contributions to their communities - and charities in particular stand to benefit from this."

About the Report & Investor Economics

Time, Treasure and Talent: Canadian Women and Philanthropy is a research paper on Canadian women and philanthropy, commissioned by TD as part of an initiative to better understand the financial needs, habits and aspirations of Canadian women. The research was conducted by Investor Economics, a Canadian research and consulting firm that specializes in the fact-based measurement and analysis of Canada's retail financial services and wealth management industry. Established in 1992, Investor Economics has become a thought leader in financial services by identifying trends and creating benchmarks for the industry to follow. Investor Economics provides frequent commentary on all aspects of the financial services industry including services provided to donors and institutions active in the not-for-profit sector. The report is based on qualitative and quantitative research collected from March through May, 2014, including focus groups held in cities across Canada from March 31 to April 15, 2014. Copies of the research are available by request.

About TD Wealth

TD Wealth represents the products and services of TD Waterhouse Canada Inc., TD Waterhouse Private Investment Counsel Inc., TD Wealth Private Banking (offered by The Toronto-Dominion Bank) and TD Wealth Private Trust (offered by The Canada Trust Company).

About TD Bank Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves over 22 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.) and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with approximately 8 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$896 billion in assets on April 30, 2014. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

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