For those considering making a charitable gift, it’s useful to know that the ways to donate are virtually limitless. The following are the most common types of gifts accepted by the Ottawa Community Foundation:


Making a gift of cash is a simple way to make a donation to a Community Foundation fund. This type of gift can include cheques, money orders, and online credit card payments, which can also be set up as pre-authorized regular contributions. These gifts qualify for maximum charitable benefit under federal law.

Publicly listed securities

Donating appreciated securities to the Community Foundation allows you to eliminate capital gains tax and receive an immediate tax receipt for the market value of the securities. To donate securities, please complete this Gift of Shares Form describing the securities you wish to donate.


Over the years, the Foundation has accepted many bequests. Bequests can be in the form of a specific amount or the residue of an estate. The Foundation can provide suggested wording for a will which should be reviewed with a professional advisor. Donors of bequest can receive a substantial reduction in federal gift and estate taxes.

Life Insurance

There are three ways to donate by life insurance:

  1. The Ottawa Community Foundation may be designated as the owner and beneficiary of a new policy. The premiums qualify for a charitable tax receipt.
  2. The Ottawa Community Foundation may be designated as the beneficiary of an existing life insurance policy. The estate will receive a charitable tax receipt when the proceeds of the policy are paid to the Ottawa Community Foundation.
  3. The Ottawa Community Foundation may be assigned ownership of a life insurance policy during a donor’s lifetime. A tax receipt will be issued for the fair market value of a policy at the time of donation. If the policy requires future premium payments, these payments qualify for an annual charitable tax receipt and the donor can pay them in one of two ways:
    • The donor pays the life insurance company directly and the Ottawa Community Foundation confirms the payments were made (at year end) and then issues the tax receipt.
    • The donor gives the charity the funds to pay the premium payments and the charity pays them to the life insurance company (this could be done using a gift of shares for example). A tax receipt is issued upon payment.


An individual can donate all or a portion of an RRSP or RRIF during their lifetime with no tax consequences. The Foundation may also be made a beneficiary of the RRSP or RRIF, which the Foundation will receive upon an individual’s death.

For more information on these or any other giving options, please contact Janet Adams, Senior Associate, Donor Engagement at 613-236-1616 x 231.