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Make The New First-Time Donors Super Tax Credit Work For You

For help on how these and other ideas can increase your income, contact

The Canadian government announced a new First-Time Donors Super Tax Credit in the budget on March 21, 2013. This credit could help you raise more money and attract new donors. Here are a few suggestions on how to capitalize on this new donor opportunity.

First, here is a summary of how the new arrangements can save a donor up to $250—in fact a donor can give $1,000 and get more than half of that back!

  • Your federal tax credit on donations of up to $200 increases from 15 percent to 40 percent, and on donations above $200 the tax credit increases from 29 percent to 54 percent. You also receive provincial tax credits on donations, although these vary by province.
  • The maximum credit amount is eligible on donations up to $1000.
  • The Super Tax Credit can only be claimed once.
  • This Super Tax Credit is only for donations made by individuals (not businesses) who have not claimed (and whose spouse has not claimed) the Charitable Tax Credit since 2007.
  • It is a temporary measure, lasting to at least 2017.


Regular Tax Credit

Actual Cost of Gift

Super Tax Credit

Additional Tax Credit

Actual Cost of Gift

























An opportunity for giving

Have you thought of using this opportunity to persuade your supporters who have not yet donated that now may be the time to give? Here are a few ideas:

1.     Reach out to your contacts who have not yet given. If you are not yet collecting their names and contact information, start now. For example health-related charities often have people who ask for information—arts groups may have ticket-buyers or gallery-visitors, social justice campaigners have people who sign petitions, community groups have clients and perhaps their extended families who receive services, schools have new grads and alumni, youth groups such as Scouts and Guides may have former members and hospitals have grateful patients. Any charity that has held an event may have guests who were not the ones who bought tickets.

2.     Appeal to donors’ self-interest. People may respond to different messages—a bonus cash-back or a government matching gift.

3.     Announce the news of the tax credit on your website. To avoid confusion, clarify that this applies only to people who have not given toany charity recently, not just to your group. If donors are not sure if they qualify, they should ask the Canada Revenue Agency.

4.     Run stories about the tax credit in your emails, e-newsletters and print newsletters, and tell donors at special events.

5.     Include a special note in your acquisition campaign mailings designed to get new donors.

6.     Ask donors to encourage their family and friends to give.

7.     If you have public areas where clients wait for service, put up signs.

8.     If you have a board and volunteers who are not yet giving, use this as a reason to ask them.

9.     Go through your old donor lists and contact lapsed former donors who have not given since 2007 and encourage them to give again now.

10.     Reach out to new target audiences such as people starting their first jobs or re-entering the job market after a few years away (perhaps raising a family), newly married, new immigrants, new retirees, and people who have had a windfall such as capital gains, stock splits, or an inheritance. Work-place giving campaigns may be particularly appropriate.

11.     Include a message about the Super Tax Credit when you send out tax receipts.

12.     If and when this brings in new donors, nurture them for renewal because they will not get the same -credit next time. Recruit them as ambassadors to recruit others.

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