Tools For Gift Planners: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the University of Calgary and the University of Calgary Foundation (1999)?

In the Fall of 2008, the directors and founding members of the Foundation voted unanimously to dissolve the U of C Foundation (1999). Previously, legacy/planned/deferred gifts were managed through the University of Calgary Foundation (1999), an arm's length body that accepted and granted gifts to the University of Calgary. All of the assets of the Foundation were granted to the U of C which was also named the Foundation's successor.  Donors may now simply name the University of Calgary or Governors of the University of Calgary.

The University of Calgary Foundation (1999) was officially dissolved by the Registrar of the Province of Alberta on December 8, 2008.

What types of gifts are accepted?

The U of C accepts many different types of charitable gifts ranging from gifts of cash to gifts-in-kind. Click here for details on gift options.

My client doesn't have the means to make a large gift. Do you accept more modest investments?

The University of Calgary is pleased to accept gifts of all sizes. Every investment from every donor is valued for its thoughtfulness and generosity.

My client wants to include the U of C in his/her will. What is the appropriate wording?

The U of C can provide general wording to assist you in preparing a will. Simply click here to view some examples of bequest wording.

We suggest that the wording be written as broadly as possible to ensure the gift can be accepted and used as intened by the donor. If necessary, we can prepare a separate memorandum of understanding or legacy intention that reflects in more detail the donor’s specific wishes. Such a document is not legally binding and can be changed at any time by the donor.

While we understand and respect that some individuals prefer not to speak directly with the charity about their intended bequest, we encourage donors or their advisors to contact us to request confirmation of information, such as the existence of a specific program, the proper name of a project, etc.

Donors may also wish to provide a copy of their will or the relevant pages pertaining to their U of C bequest. This provides a future record of the donor’s intentions.

My client wishes to make an estate gift to the U of C. What date will appear on the tax receipt?

Subsection 118.1(5) of the Income Tax Act (Canada) provides that where a taxpayer, by his or her will, has made a gift to a qualified donee, the donation will be deemed to have been made immediately before the death of the taxpayer.

Who do I contact for information? Where do I send information?

For information about giving to the U of C please contact:

Sherry Dahl 
Director of Development , Legacy Giving & Major Gifts
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4
(403) 210-3873

My client wants to set up a scholarship or bursary. How do they do this?

We suggest that you or your client contact the Development Office to discuss a donation toward a scholarship or bursary. We would be very pleased to learn more of your client’s interests to assist in the creation of a new award and forward relevant information.

Donors have the option of contributing to an existing scholarship or bursary or creating a new award; supporting undergraduate or graduate students, and establishing an endowed or limited-term award. Additional information is available here. Through discussions with the donor, terms of reference will be prepared.

Individuals who intend to support a student award with a bequest in their will are encouraged to keep the will wording very general. We suggest that they include the following:

·their wish to support a scholarship/bursary

·the designated faculty, if appropriate

·their preference for an award name if known.

This information provides the U of C with sufficient direction for the gift without limiting our ability to accept it. At the donor’s convenience, separate terms of reference can be drafted and attached to their will, allowing them the opportunity to make future changes if necessary.

How are endowments established?

Endowments are wonderful opportunities to create lasting legacies. A donor’s gift is invested and the interest earned is used to support a designated project, such as a scholarship, chair or research program.

At present, the University’s endowment policy is to award annually the interest earned to a maximum of the equivalent of four per cent of the capital. Any additional interest earned is recapitalized to ensure the fund grows in perpetuity.

We would be pleased to discuss endowment opportunities and the amount of funds required. The amount will vary and is dependent on the specific designation.

Once a donor has decided to create an endowment, the U of C will prepare an endowment agreement detailing the terms of the gift. We ask that the donor sign the document as confirmation of understanding.

Are there any forms that need to be signed?

While signed forms aren’t generally required to accept a donation, in specific situations certain documents may be necessary or preferred by the donor. These would include documents such as terms of reference for a scholarship or bursary, or an endowment agreement for the establishment of a new endowment.

Forms of this nature represent a commitment from the U of C to the donor that we will use their gift as intended. They are signed by donors to ensure we have correctly captured all the information about their gift and its designation. These forms are not legally binding and, in consultation with the U of C, can be changed by the donor at any time.

In some instances, legal documents are necessary. These would be required for more complex gifts such as charitable remainder trusts and interest-free loans, and are intended to protect both the donor and the University.

I represent an estate naming the U of C as a beneficiary, but my client never stated how he/she wanted his/her donation used. What does the U of C do in this situation? Who decides how the money will be distributed?

The U of C will make every effort to determine if the deceased had a specific area of interest or special connection to the University that would be helpful in deciding how her/his gift will be used. If possible, we will speak with the donor’s family and/or the estate executor and lawyer to learn more about the donor’s life. Based on what we are able to learn, we will then suggest a specific faculty, department, project, scholarship, bursary, endowment etc. that would best reflect the donor’s interests, while helping to support the priority needs of the University.

If the family or executor prefers to remain uninvolved in this decision, the U of C will designate the gift to one of its funding priorities.

My client wishes to remain anonymous. Is this possible?

We are aware that many individuals prefer their gift to remain anonymous. We will certainly respect and honour their wishes in this regard. Knowing that some individuals have different ideas on what anonymity means, we will consult with these donors or with their advisors to determine the level of privacy that would be most appropriate.

Will my client receive a tax receipt?

An individual making a charitable donation is eligible to receive a tax receipt. The U of C is committed to forwarding tax receipts as soon as possible following receipt of the donation. The receipt value is based on the current fair market value of the gift.

Deferred gifts, where the funds are to be received at a future point in time, may be eligible for a tax receipt now, but the value would be subject to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) rules. Deferred gifts made to the U of C  will receive a receipt from the university. Examples of deferred gifts include gifts of life insurance and RRSP assets.

Other types of planned gifts, such as gifts of publicly listed securities and gifts in kind are also receipted at a value based on CRA guidelines.

Bequests and estate gifts are receipted and issued to the donor’s estate.

What happens to a bequest or a gift if the designated program ceases to exist after the funds have been received?

If a gift cannot be applied for the purpose expressed by the donor, then the funds may be used for other related purposes as approved by the Board of Governors of the U of C. The Board gives utmost consideration to the original wishes of the donor.

My client has very specific ideas about how he/she would like his/her gift spent. Can you accommodate his/her wishes?

Donors are encouraged to designate their gift to an area that is important to them and in keeping with the University of Calgary’s mission and vision. In order to ensure the viability of the proposed gift, we recommend you or your client contact the University Development Office early on in the decision-making process.

Should the proposed designation be unacceptable as per the University’s Gift Acceptance Policy, we can suggest an alternative designation that closely matches your client's needs and interests.

My client wants to support the U of C, but wants suggestions on what to support. Can you do that?

In consultation with you and/or your client, we will provide information on University funding priorities based on specific areas of interest expressed by the prospective donor.