Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) In Canada

Understanding this important and often misunderstood philanthropic vehicle?

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Donor advised funds or DAFs have become increasingly popular in Canada. A DAF is a registered charity and it has separate donor advised funds. A donor can donate to the DAF, receive an official donation receipt and then make recommendations to the DAF as to which registered charities should receive gifts from the DAF. While DAFs have existed for decades with community foundations they are now being embraced other charities as well as by financial institutions.

DAFs are often misunderstood. They have supporters and critics. DAFs can be very helpful to philanthropists and charities but some donors in certain instances may find them limiting or frustrating. Understanding DAFs is important for donors, charities and regulators.

This 1.5 hour course will cover:

  • How every foundation and DAF is different
  • What is a donor advised fund (DAF)?
  • DAF versus other types of restricted gifts
  • DAF versus alternative structures especially private foundations
  • How does a DAF work?
  • What is a qualified donee?
  • Tax benefits of donating to DAF or registered charity
  • Establishing a DAF in an existing charity or establishing new charity
  • What are donor benefits of a DAF?
  • Donor concerns with DAFs
  • Donor Advised Funds – Tips for donors and their advisors
  • Public Policy Concerns with DAFs
  • Regulation of DAFs
  • Optional Quiz

This course is meant for those who work for DAFs, philanthropists who are considering gifting large amounts to DAFs, and professional advisors for charities or philanthropists to who wish to understand this planned giving tool.

Your Instructor

Mark Blumberg
Mark Blumberg

Mark Blumberg is a lawyer at the law firm Blumbergs Professional Corporation (Blumbergs) in Toronto and works almost exclusively advising non-profits and registered charities on their work in Canada and abroad. Mark has written numerous articles, is a frequent speaker on legal issues involving charity and not-for-profit law. He is the editor of a blog,, and created the largest portal of data on the Canadian charity sector, Mark also edits, which provides information on due diligence when selecting charities.

Mark is particularly interested in the regulation of non-profits and charities in Canada, philanthropy, transparency requirements for the voluntary sector, providing accessible information on regulatory issues, and the use of data to make more informed decisions on the charity sector.

Mark is quoted regularly in print media and frequently appears on radio and television on topics relating to philanthropy and the regulation of charities in Canada. Mark has also appeared on a number of occasions in front of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance on topics such as charity regulation, transparency, accountability and tax incentives for philanthropy. Mark has testified at the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector, the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance and the House Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Mark has also made presentations to the Charities Directorate Annual All Staff Meeting as well the Annual Divisional Staff Meeting of the Determinations Section of Charities Directorate. Mark presented to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) when the FATF conducted an evaluation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism in Canada in 2015.

Mark sat for 4 years on the Charities Directorate Technical Issues Working Group, which is a bi-annual meeting between the Charities Directorate, the Department of Finance and the charity sector to discuss technical and policy issues pertaining to registered charities and the Income Tax Act (Canada). Mark is a member of the Exempt Organizations Committee of the American Bar Association. Mark spent 6 years on the Advisory Committee for the Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL) at Carleton University. Mark is on the Board of the Canadian Charity Law Association.

Mark has co-authored 20 Questions Directors of Not-for-Profit Organizations Should Ask About Mergers (Published by CPA Canada) and co-wrote a chapter on International Trends in Government-Nonprofit Relations: Constancy, Change, and Contradictions in Non-profits and Government: Collaboration and Conflict in Non-profits and government: collaboration and conflict (Edited by Elizabeth T Boris and C Eugene Steuerle)

Mark frequently lectures to various industry and professional groups on charity compliance issues including the Chartered Professional Accountants Canada (CPA Canada), as well as CPA Ontario, BC and Alberta, the Canadian Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association, Canadian Association of Gift Planners, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Ontario Hospital Association, Ontario Non-profit Network, and many other organizations.

Mark has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto, an LLB from the University of British Columbia and an LLM from Osgoode Hall Law School in Tax Law.

Course Curriculum

  Donor Advised Funds – understanding this important and often misunderstood philanthropic vehicle?
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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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