Every month we sit down with one of our advisors at Johnson Financial Group to discuss small business investing, wealth management and cash flow strategies that can lead to improved business strategies and experiences.

This month Ian Johnson discusses with us financial planning tips for the small business owner.

Q1. What are the top benefits of investing in philanthropy as a business strategy?

A1. Perhaps the most important strategic benefit to investing in philanthropy through your business is the connections you may be making with your own employees and many of your clients.


Q2. What factors should you consider before supporting a cause or a charity?

A2. I’m looking to see if I can identify with the particular cause in some way and conduct some research to determine whether the charity has a track record of getting resources through to its intended recipients.


Q3. How do you determine the amount to invest?
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A3. Treat charities as a part of your overall budget so it’s easier to make yes or no decisions when situations are put in front of you. Assess your contributions from both a dollar figure and time prospective and be as generous as you can be given we are fortunate to live in such a great country.


Q4. Besides donating to charities, what other ways can small business owners support their communities and or causes…and still get a tax credit?

A4. Other than donating funds directly to the charity, your business could chose to sponsor an event put on by a charity which will be a deductible expense. An investment of your time or a donation of surplus inventory are other ways of providing value that don’t affect your business cash flow.


Q5. How can I protect myself from charity-based fraud?

A5. I try and research the charity and have them send me lots of information. Beware of charities approaching you with an urgency to donate, as this could be a red flag. Research who is approaching you and their relationship to the charity. Check to see if the charity is registered with Canada Revenue Agency if you are unsure. You could also reference the Better Business Bureau to see if they held any information on the charity. A Google search may help you access a website that tracks charity performance. Charity Intelligence Canada would be an example of this type of website.