Smart Risk Magazine Spring 2018 | Page 15

AS A CHARITABLE investment advisor , Mike Todd meets a lot of clients who want to support charity , but don ’ t know where to start - or how to do it well .
“ There ’ s this idea that to become a philanthropist you have to be Bill Gates ,” says Todd . “ But that just isn ’ t true . With the right tools and support , every one of us can have a greater impact .”
Todd has gleaned this perspective from years of working in both wealth management and charity . Early in his career , he spent a decade with Fidelity Investments , before changing tack to join World Vision Canada as director of corporate development in 2002 .
“ I recognized that I had an obligation to give ,” he says . “ I needed a practical way to live out my values .”
Todd then spent almost nine years as director of engagement for Linwood House , which offered healing retreats for vulnerable women from Vancouver ’ s Downtown Eastside .
Today he ’ s the director of Charitable Investment Programs at CHIMP ( Charitable Impact ), a Vancouver-based organization that combines online tools with the legal structure of a donor advised fund ( DAF ) to make it easy for donors at every level to become thoughtful philanthropists .
CHIMP was founded in 2012 by John Bromley . With a unique background in both corporate finance and charity entrepreneurship , Bromley has founded multiple philanthropic ventures , advised on hundreds of charitable projects , and helped facilitate over $ 1 billion in charitable giving .
CHIMP itself has already helped over 100,000 donors put $ 220 million in the hands of Canadian charities . It combines several features : CHIMP . net , which provides accounts for everyday online donations ; Charitable Investment Accounts , which hold charitable assets managed by a donor ’ s financial advisor , and Charitable Impact Strategies , which offers high-touch philanthropic advisory .
CHIMP . net lets anyone open a free CHIMP account , which combines a DAF with innovative online giving tools . After transferring funds into the account , donors get an instant tax receipt ; they can then decide at their leisure when and where the money goes . They can choose to give directly to any registered charity in Canada , join forces with others in supporting their favourite causes or send charitable funds to family and friends to give away .
These benefits carry through to Charitable Investment Accounts , which allow for more complex giving . That ’ s where Todd specializes .
Working together with their financial advisor , a client can donate publicly traded securities and private company shares to a Charitable Investment Account . Life insurance , real estate and art are also eligible for donation .
From there , the advisor can continue to manage and grow these assets tax-free until the client is ready to give to a specific cause .
Because giving needs can be complex , Todd also supports donors and their financial advisors with charitable planning and management through Charitable Impact Strategies . It ’ s the best way , he says , to make sure donors have the biggest possible impact .
“ We ’ re offering the type of services most donors never thought was possible ,” says Todd . “ Our advising , plus the donor advised fund structure - we ’ re the only firm in Canada that offers that .”
He points out that many high net worth individuals might not know the advantages of a DAF over a private foundation . Besides costing money out of pocket to get started , private foundations require hours of demanding paperwork , and contrary to their name , actually lack anonymity . A private foundation ' s data , including how much is distributed to which charities , is publicly available on the Canada Revenue Agency ’ s website . A DAF like CHIMP , on the other hand , gives donors the option to retain full control over their privacy .
What ’ s more , with a private foundation , the client and their financial advisors aren ’ t necessarily working with guidance from professionals experienced in the charity sector . That ’ s something Todd takes pride in offering through CHIMP ’ s Charitable Impact Strategies .
“ At the end of the day , CHIMP is about empowering people to give in the way that ’ s most meaningful to them . It ’ s about providing objective , cause-neutral advice , and the tools for anyone to carry out their giving goals .”
Mike Todd is responsible for Chimp ' s Charitable Investment Programs . This includes the Charitable Investment Account , a unique donor advised fund which allows philanthropicallyminded individuals , families , and companies to be as strategic with their giving as they are with their investments . Mike enjoys working with Wealth Advisors and their clients to help them achieve their philanthropic goals .