Policy statement

The David Suzuki Foundation is a non‐profit, charitable organization registered under Canadian law. We welcome donations to fulfil our mission to protect nature’s diversity and the wellbeing of all life, now and for the future.

This policy guides our board of directors and staff on which gifts we can accept and how they should be handled. It also informs potential donors interested in supporting our activities.

Types of gifts

We accept gifts, donations, grants and funds from individuals, foundations, organizations, associations, employee groups, corporations and other donors. According to the Canada Revenue Agency, a gift is “a voluntary transfer of property without consideration.” We accept:

  • Cash, cheques and cash equivalents
  • Publicly traded securities (including stocks, mutual funds and bonds)
  • Gifts of property (including real estate, art, computer equipment, jewelry)
  • Bequests, life insurance policies, gifts of residual interest and annuities

Upon receipt, we immediately sell publicly traded securities and gifts of property and convert them to cash. We issue a charitable tax receipt for the fair market value at the date of transfer. Gifts of property should be evaluated prior to donation; minimum values may apply. We may hold gifts in kind deemed to be of immediate or future use. We recognize that donors may occasionally wish to give not readily marketable property; we evaluate such gifts to determine whether there are costs or risks associated with acceptance.

Charitable tax receipting

We issue charitable tax receipts for all eligible donations, in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency regulations.

Ethical guidelines for gift acceptance

  • Gifts must support our mission, vision and long‐term direction.
  • We will not accept gifts that:
    • Encroach on our organization’s integrity
    • Restrict its liberty of action
    • Damage its reputation
    • Place additional costs or burdens on the organization
    • Expose it to uncertain risk or possible liability
  • We will not accept direct donations from governments in Canada except in these narrow circumstances:
    • Reasonable in the spirit of partnership
    • Under $10,000, unless specially reviewed by the executive director and development and finance directors
  • We reserve the right to decline any gift.

Corporate partnerships

We are a catalyst organization. Our impact and successes can be furthered through relationships with values-aligned corporate partners. Our goal is to grow our partnerships with Canadian businesses to increase our funding from this sector and enhance engagement with our supporters. Our management evaluates all potential partnerships based on fit with our organizational values, programs and brand.

Types of partnerships include:

  • Funding partner: Corporate foundation donation or community investment fund specifically for our program work
  • Sponsorship: Specific sponsorship of our events, with clear benefits such as tickets, signage, etc.
  • Employee engagement partner: Employee group volunteers at our event and/or makes a donation
  • Third-party fundraiser: Corporate or retail partner donates part of sales or profits to our work
  • Natural program partners: Business partners provide resources that support and benefit specific program work

Transparency and reporting

  • Gifts shall be accounted for in a manner that allows donors and the public to develop a fair picture of how we conduct our activities.
  • We will respect donors’ wishes for anonymity and consult them for permission before public disclosure of their giving.
  • We will conduct our organization in accordance with all Canada Revenue Agency regulations and U.S. Internal Revenue Service laws applicable to 501(c)(3) organizations.
  • We urge prospective donors to seek assistance from personal legal and financial advisers in matters relating to their gifts and resulting tax and estate planning consequences.

Naming opportunities

Authority to accept or decline any proposal to apply a donor’s name to one of our programs (temporary or permanent) rests with the executive director, in consultation with the development committee of the board of directors.

Delegation of authority

Except for naming rights, the executive director may delegate authority to the development director to evaluate, negotiate and decline gifts, and create and execute gift agreements with prospective donors in keeping with this policy.

Executive Director’s Responsibilities

The executive director will:

  • Ensure that the organization adheres to the Gift Acceptance Policy
  • Seek board development committee guidance for gifts that fall outside this policy
  • Report monthly on gift acceptance activities to the board development committee