Charitable giving: a framework for success

There are a few questions you should ask yourself before making that donation.

Report by Tim Lonergan, CFP®, CPWA®, Senior Financial Planner

20 April 2022

Recent global events have put into sharper focus the measurably positive impact that charitable giving can have on areas of great need. The ongoing situation in Ukraine has moved many to take action in response to the humanitarian crisis unfolding there. Closer to home, there remain many worthwhile causes that desperately need support to continue their good work in our local communities.

At Westmount, we routinely advise our clients on their charitable giving plans in order to maximize the efficiency and impact of their gifts and associated tax benefits. When making charitable cash contributions to a specific organization (or organizations), we know from experience that it is often helpful to start by ensuring each organization is appropriately aligned with your goals and interests. As a starting point, we recommend asking these questions:

  • Is this organization well-established?
  • What is their mission statement?
  • How will my contribution impact the cause I care so deeply about?

Third-party resources like Give Well and The American Institute of Philanthropy offer ways to help in the vetting process. They may also offer guidance on maximizing the impact of the gift and how much per dollar goes to the actual cause.

After selecting an appropriate charity (or charities), the focus should shift toward more practical considerations, like:

  • How should I give?
  • How much should I give?
  • When is the best time to give?

Westmount’s Financial Planning Team has deep expertise and resources in charitable planning and can help you determine answers to these and other important questions. Please contact your Westmount advisor to begin a conversation on your personal giving strategy.


This report was prepared by Westmount Partners, LLC (“Westmount”). Westmount is registered as an investment advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The information contained in this report was prepared using sources that Westmount believes are reliable, but Westmount does not guarantee its accuracy. The information reflects subjective judgments, assumptions and Westmount’s opinion on the date made and may change without notice. Westmount undertakes no obligation to update this information. It is for information purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment, legal or tax advice, nor as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. No part of this report may be copied in any form, by any means, or redistributed, published, circulated or commercially exploited in any manner without Westmount’s prior written consent.

If you have any comments or questions about this article, please contact us at