Joe Fafard
Running Horses, 2007
laser cut steel, 10 12 m installation width
Purchased 2008 with the generous support of the Distinguished Patrons of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Photo © National Gallery of Canada

Planned Giving

Leaving a lasting legacy

Art patrons across the country give to the National Gallery of Canada Foundation because they care deeply about preserving our rich visual arts heritage for future generations. The decisions they make regarding their gifts reflect their personal, financial and philanthropic objectives.

Many patrons choose to make both an immediate gift that can support the Gallery’s endeavours today, and a deferred gift that is part of their estate planning.

Both immediate and deferred gifts are eligible for tax receipts.

Immediate gifts

Immediate gifts of cash or non-cash assets, such as publicly listed securities, registered retirement savings plans, income funds, real estate, and works of art, benefit the Gallery now, while providing tax benefits to the donor.

Deferred gifts

Deferred gifts can include gifts of cash and non-cash assets, such as publicly listed securities, registered retirement savings plans, income funds, real estate, works of art, and life insurance. A deferred gift can help fulfil patrons’ philanthropic wishes, while maximizing benefits and creating a lasting legacy.

You can arrange a deferred gift now, as a bequest by will or irrevocable trust, for future use by the National Gallery and its Foundation. Deferred gifts usually come from your accumulated resources rather than your income.

Patrons may direct their planned gift to the general purposes of the Foundation (an unrestricted gift) or to a specific fund of the Foundation (restricted gift).

Bequest by will or irrevocable trust

Bequests enable you to provide a meaningful legacy to the Gallery and take advantage of significant tax incentives while retaining full control of your assets during your lifetime.

Your estate will receive a tax receipt for the fair market value of the gift, which can reduce the tax payable upon your death and preserve more of your estate. Charitable gifts amounting to 100% of your net income can be taken as a tax credit in the year of death, and any unused donation credits can be carried back to the previous year.

Types of Bequest

A bequest to the Foundation can take many forms.

Specific Bequest: A specific sum of money, publicly listed securities, Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), life insurance policy, real estate, work of art.

Residual Bequest: A named percentage or portion of your estate or of its residue, after having paid gifts to other beneficiaries under the estate.

Contingent Bequest: A gift of all or part of your estate, contingent upon certain conditions, such as income first being paid through a trust to a loved one for life or for a term of years.

The Foundation is pleased to work with patrons and their legal advisors to draft appropriate bequest clauses.

Gifts of publicly listed securities

Gifts of publicly listed securities can include a share, debt obligation, or right listed on an approved stock exchange; a share of the capital stock of mutual fund corporations; or a unit of mutual fund trust.

You or your estate will receive a tax receipt. Donations of publicly listed securities are entirely exempt from capital gains tax. It is to your advantage to transfer the securities to the Foundation without first liquidating them.

Gifts of RRSPs and RRIFs

When bequeathing an RRSP or RRIF, you can designate the Foundation as beneficiary in your will or in a signed declaration with your financial institution.

For immediate gifts, you will receive a tax receipt for the present value of the plan. For bequests, the receipt corresponds to the value of the plan upon death. In most provinces, the proceeds paid directly to the Foundation will not be subject to probate fees.

Gift of a life insurance policy

You can make a gift of life insurance by purchasing a new policy or using an existing policy, and naming the National Gallery of Canada Foundation as the owner and beneficiary. You will receive an immediate tax receipt for the policy’s cash surrender value.

If you are still paying premiums on the policy, you will be issued annual tax receipts for those payments.

Alternatively, you can name the Foundation as the policy’s beneficiary (but not its owner). Your estate will receive a tax receipt when the Foundation receives the proceeds of the policy. In most provinces, the gift is outside the estate and not subject to probate fees.

Gifts of works of art

The National Gallery of Canada welcomes gifts of works of art that will enrich its collections and are in keeping with its high standards.

When you donate a work of art, you receive a tax receipt for the fair market value of the work, based on the current appraisal. If the work has been certified by the Cultural Property Export Review Board, your donation is also exempt from capital gains tax.

You can donate a work of art today, yet continue to enjoy it in your home by making a partial and promised gift. Such a gift is made by transferring a substantial interest in the work of art to the Gallery now, with an agreement to transfer full ownership at a future date.

The Gallery also accepts gifts of rare books and manuscripts that will complement the Library’s comprehensive collection of books, periodicals and documents on the history, theory and criticism of art and architecture.

Other gifts

Any property that can be valued is a potential gift to the Foundation.

If you are considering making a gift such as real estate, private company shares, annuities, a charitable remainder trust or residual interest in a property, flow-through shares, time-share recreational property or antiques, we encourage you to discuss your plans with your legal, financial, and tax advisors.

Unrestricted and restricted gifts

All gifts to the Foundation support the endeavours at the heart of the National Gallery of Canada: its collections, programs, exhibitions, special projects and research.

You can designate your gift to the Foundation’s general endowment fund (an unrestricted gift) or to a specific activity (a restricted gift).

Unrestricted gifts to the Foundation’s general endowment fund create an everlasting legacy to the National Gallery of Canada. The Foundation invests the principal in perpetuity, using only the earned income to support the Gallery’s priorities.

For restricted gifts, there are many different Endowment, Expendable Fund and Naming Opportunities.


This information is provided solely for the interest of patrons interested in making a gift to the National Gallery of Canada Foundation. The Foundation is not a source of legal, tax, or financial advice, and the information set out herein should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, the information set out herein may not apply in all situations or provinces (in particular Quebec). You are encouraged to discuss your plans fully with your family, legal, financial and tax advisors.

For more information, please contact us. All inquiries will be handled in a confidential manner.