John Bromley

May 22, 2024

[Ep. 402] Reshaping the Way You Give to Charity with John Bromley

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I’m Jessica and I’m a money expert, speaker, Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada®, host of the More Money Podcast, and am currently writing my first book with HarperCollins Canada (2025).
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We talk a lot about investing, budgeting, and spending our money… but what about giving it away? An often overlooked but important element of personal finance is making sure our money flows through our communities and helps make the world a safer, kinder and better place. That’s why I invited founder and CEO of Charitable Impact, John Bromley, on the podcast to discuss the importance of philanthropy, how to give in alignment with your values, and how to donate to make the biggest impact. Make sure to check out after this episode Charitable Impact. I stumbled upon it and just think it’s such a great tool to help you donate your money to multiple causes through one simple account while also giving you that oh-so-nice charitable tax receipt for tax time.


  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 02:46 The Importance of Charitable Giving
  • 10:50 Addressing Problems in the Charity Sector
  • 17:17 Assessing the Effectiveness of Charities
  • 32:15 Choosing Charities Based on Personal Values
  • 38:58 Donating Non-Cash Assets and Estate Planning


  • Charitable giving should be an essential part of every financial plan.
  • Donors should align their giving with their personal values and passions.
  • Assessing the effectiveness of charities requires a combination of passion and knowledge.
  • Giving throughout the year and separating the act of giving from the decision of where to donate can lead to more impactful giving. Incorporating charitable giving into one’s financial life is important, regardless of wealth.
  • Different approaches to giving include setting aside a percentage of one’s salary or making regular contributions from unexpected windfalls.
  • Consider personal values and preferences when choosing charities to support.
  • Leverage social networks to make giving more enjoyable and impactful.
  • Explore options for donating non-cash assets and integrating charitable giving into estate planning.
  • Instill a culture of giving in future generations.

Things I Mentioned in the Episode

Follow Charitable Impact

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Hello, hello, hello, and welcome back to the More Money Podcast.

This is your host, Jessica Moorhouse, and this is episode 402.

We only have a few more weeks left of the show until I get on summer break.

And I wanted to make sure these last few episodes were amazing.

And for this episode, I really want to focus on a topic that doesn’t get enough attention on this podcast and in general in the personal finance community, which is charitable giving.

And that’s why I invited John Bromley on the show.

He’s the CEO of Charitable Impact, which is an online giving platform for Canadians to develop, navigate and carry out their charitable goals.

And what I thought was so interesting about Charitable Impact is it really does help you make the really tough decision of, okay, who should I donate to?

I think often, if we’re presented with like, hey, can you donate to my run for the cure?

Or hey, there’s this GoFundMe or whatever, we’re like, oh yeah, absolutely, I’ll donate to that.

But then if it’s not in our face, if we’re not thinking about where should I give my money to, we just don’t donate.

And sometimes it’s, for me even especially, I make a concerted effort to do a donation at least once per year in a lump sum.

Usually at the end of the year, around kind of the holidays.

But I even realize and having lots of guests on the show who do come from charitable backgrounds and philanthropy, it’s actually really important to give more regularly.

These charities actually really prefer getting those more regular come deposit so they can kind of rely on that and budget accordingly.

And charitable impact is kind of a great way to set that up.

You can donate money and it kind of gets into an account.

You get that charitable receipt, that tax credit receipt, which is lovely, but you get to choose what charity you want it to go to or multiple charities, and you can change it up.

So basically, it’s like you’re making the donation first, and then you get to choose who gets it later, which I think is a really interesting concept.

But we talk a lot about that.

We talk about charitable giving in Canada and some of the stats out there.

We’re actually becoming a little less charitable.

And you know why it’s so important to integrate donations into your budget?

Because, I mean, I think we as a world, a community, global community or local community, we all benefit.

I feel good when I donate and I know it’s going to benefit somebody else who is in need.

And you know, we really can be the solution.

And I think, you know, sometimes we need to remember our dollars have power, they can really change the world.

And we need to just, you know, go forth and take action.

So with that, let’s get to that interview with John Bromley.

Welcome John to the More Money Podcast.

Thanks so much for taking the time to come on the show.

I’m happy to be here.

Thanks for having me.

You’re so welcome.

I was really looking forward to talking to you because, I mean, obviously, you’re very much in the kind of charity philanthropic space.

And that’s a topic that I feel like often gets forgotten in the personal finance space.

But I really do think charitable giving, philanthropy, giving back in whatever form, whether it’s your time or money should be an essential part of every kind of financial plan, right?

Because we may not realize it, but we really, our dollars really do, and our time, our effort really have an impact on others.

And I think sometimes we don’t really, like, we can’t really digest that because sometimes we don’t see it.

We make a donation and then we’re like, well, I don’t know what happened with that.

But I know this is a really important topic for you.

So to kind of get started, you’re the CEO of Charitable Impact.

Do you want to kind of start talking about your journey to get to where you are?

Because you used to work in corporate finance, which I thought that was very fascinating.

And why you wanted to be part of this organization?

Yeah, so I did used to work in corporate finance.

And that’s what I thought I wanted to do with my life, to be honest.

And if I started all over again, I would probably do the same thing because, you know, I learned so much doing it.

I really do appreciate finance, even more so than accounting, I find it more fun, economics, all that kind of stuff.

But you know, I just didn’t find the sort of culture fit I wanted for myself in the working world of corporate finance.

And that led me to just start to explore other things.

And at the time, you know, I’ve got two, I’m lucky to have two loving parents that are still around.

And at the time, you know, this is 20 years ago, I was like, Oh, you know, what should I do?

You know, mom, dad, what do you think?

And with my dad in particular, he started to say, well, why don’t you look at this?

Why don’t you look at that and help me out with some things while you continue going along your own path.

And that helping him out with a few things led to me learning more about charity, you know, from a legal perspective, compliance, sort of fundraising, all the aspects that drive the charity sector, because he happened to be, you know, he’s my dad, but he just happened to be one of the pioneers of charity law in Canada.

So I stumbled into learning a whole ton about charitable giving.

And from there, I would say that I kind of accidentally became an entrepreneur.

You know, I never had a goal or a pathway that I saw to become an entrepreneur.

I never thought that way really in my life.

Yet, when I got into the charity space and learned it really deeply, something that’s difficult to do because there’s nowhere really to go to learn about giving, I ran into things that needed addressing.

And because I understood the sector so well, thanks to my dad and getting to work with some of many of his clients, I birthed Charitable Impact, which in short was to address problems that donors have.

You know, so much of what we do on the charity world is focused on charities themselves.

And that’s really important work.

But who’s out there working for the donors, helping them understand how to go about giving, how to manage themselves and their data along that pathway?

And essentially, that’s what Charitable Impact does.


Joanne, I’m curious when you were kind of at the beginning stages and looking at the charitable space, what were some of the problems you saw within it?

Because I think as a donor, we have no clue.

It’s a very foreign industry.

I don’t know anything, really, about how lots of these organizations function.

And I know at least the minimal stuff that I do know is when I’m looking for charity to donate to, I want to take a look at how much is going to, you know, administration and marketing.

So I don’t want to donate to a company where almost nothing is going back to the actual cause.

It’s all going to just funding the organization.

You’re like, well, what’s the point of that?

So I’m curious when you were at that stage, what were some things that you’re like, this is a problem, how is no one talking about this?

Well, you kind of just answered my question in that.

So what I saw was what you just described.

I saw a whole bunch of people who were well-intentioned, you know, educated, knew what they cared about.

You know, they could identify, you know, oh yeah, that’s important, but I actually care more about this and here’s why, but didn’t quite know how to go about creating change for it.

And sometimes that was at the level of, oh, well, how do I identify a charity?

You know, are there ways to determine quickly whether or not a charity spends too much on fundraising and administration?

Something you just said.

The answer is yes, there’s very quick and easy ways to do that if you know where to look.

But then also, you know, the problems kind of ramp up from there.

Oh, maybe something in the higher network space, I just sold my company.

You know, I’ve got this big, you know, tax issue.

I care about resolving that at some level, and I care about giving back.

How do you go about do it?

But I don’t know all the charities that I give $10 million to right now.

How do I go about doing that?

Oftentimes, helping people structure projects.

Oh, you know, is there a charity for that?

Maybe not.

Is it Charitable at Law?

If yes, how do I go about doing it?

So really sort of creating the architecture and strategies for people to carry out their giving, starting from a place of good intention where they know what they care about, but not necessarily what to do about it.

And that’s the problem I saw.

And in addition to seeing that problem, I saw that generally speaking, no one was there to address it.

So, I mean, outside of very niche places that really were only accessible to the most serious hardcore charity people and or the high net worth crowd, and usually actually the ultra high net worth crowd, not even the really rich people, just the really, really rich people.

And that wasn’t cool because everyone cares about something changing the world and everyone has something to give back towards creating that change, whether it’s money or time or talent, or connections that they have.

And so I got really excited about addressing that, in part because I saw the problem as so obviously, and it was weird that no one was really addressing it.

And secondly, and this I wear a bit as a burden, but I really actually thought, and I continue to think, I actually had the skill set to address it.

Like I understood enough of sort of human behavior mechanics, finance, thank you corporate finance, and the charity world and what it’s built on top of, both sort of philosophically and legally regulation wide to address it.

And again, that’s where Charitable Impact was birthed from.

So I know a big part of Charitable Impact is obviously curating some of those charities so people can be more aware of them, of the ones that have the biggest impact.

So what does that mean?

Do you, you know, is it kind of true that some of those really big charities that have been around for decades that do a ton of marketing, maybe aren’t necessarily the best places to donate to just because they are so big, the CEO is making a lot of money.

You know, sometimes when you see some of these numbers and you do some digging, it’s kind of outrageous that.

You’re like, I’m sorry, that CEO for this charity that’s all about donating to dying children or something like that is making a million dollars.

You’re like, that doesn’t make any sense.

So what are some of the criteria that you started looking at?

Like this is important for people to know this is a charity that will really provide the most value for your dollar.

Well, that’s a really interesting question.

And I’ll try to give you some sense of what we do there.

And I’m happy to get into everything you just said.

But so first of all, we start with our brand promise, which is you’re giving your way, our support, right?

So at its base, Charitable Impact doesn’t curate charities.

It says, here are all the registered charities in the country.

Every single one of them is there.

You can have the confidence that these are all legitimate charities.

So go ahead and choose anyone you want.

And then we provide publicly available information on them all, which includes things like, hey, how much do they spend on fundraising administration?

So you can start to find that more easily.

So that, for example, if you, Jessica, or anyone listening, kind of goes, oh, I don’t want to give to one of those charities that spends more than X percent on fundraising administration, you can find that out and please don’t do that.

So what we really don’t do at some level, and we’re starting to do it through a program we have called Cause Funds, and I’m happy to speak to that.

But what we really don’t do is we don’t provide and say, hey, here are the best charities, because A, I know a lot about charitable giving, but what do I know about the impact that all these charities have?

And the analogy, and the other thing is that everyone’s sort of different.

A decent analogy there is restaurants.

First of all, these are all the restaurants, period, all the ones with business licenses, so that’s what we say.

And then we sort of say, oh, these are Japanese food and this is sort of Spanish food.

But we don’t know what people like, right?

And you might like Japanese food, but never tried Spanish food.

And so we really just say, here they all are, go and try them.

And a charity like a restaurant, they can exist, but they’re not all good.

And they’re not all good in the eyes of everyone.

So one person might rate a restaurant as really good, and another person might go to the exact same restaurant, the exact same chefs, and the exact same servers on the day and sort of have a different experience, maybe because of the way the wind was blowing at the time, or maybe just because their taste buds are different.

And so charities are a lot the same way.

And so Charitable Impact really starts from a donor-centered perspective, and it says, how do we give you the tools and create the conditions for you to have the best chance at becoming more comfortable and confident as you give?

So underneath everything, there’s an account that we give you, and it’s a giving account for you.

And with that account, you can add money into it.

It’s a charitable donation.

You get the tax seat right away.

And then from there, you can hold the money.

You can even make investments with the money if there’s enough of it there.

And when you’re ready to, when you’ve got the comfort and confidence to actually make a decision that you’re good to stick with, send the money to that charity, and Charitable Impact delivers it there for you, in which case you can send it there and let them know who you are, you can give it to them anonymously or whatever.

So we act a little bit, we’re like an intermediary between the donor and the charities where our bias is working for the donors.

If someone has questions, they can call us.

We’ve got a philanthropic advisory team.

We’re there to work with our customers and say, hey, how can we help you understand this stuff better?

And if they ask us questions about charities and we can help them figure out how to look at charities better, then we do that for sure.

But what we try not to do is tell them what charities are the best, because we frankly don’t know.

It’s kind of like going to a bank and asking them to pick a stock for you to invest into.

Well, I can tell you how to invest in stocks.

I can tell you the theory.

I don’t know necessarily without too much discussion with you what your risk parameters are, et cetera, et cetera.

Therefore, how about you pick the stock and I’ll give you the infrastructure to be able to buy that stock and track that stock and hopefully make lots of capital gains from that stock.

Well, do you think there will be a point at which the company does have a customer rating system?

Just giving the example of restaurants and then you can see with all the users what are the ones that people are liking the most or feel like they did their research and hey, here’s what my opinion is.

I don’t know if that’s something that you’re thinking about.

That’s such a great thought.

You’re hired, Jessica.

So what we know or what I know because I’ve just spent so much time working in this space is that there are people in society that really do know the merits of pretty much every registered charity in the country.

And even more than that, there are people who really know the causal areas.

So they’re like, oh, if you want to help kids who go to school without food in the morning, here are the three or four charities in your community that do that best.

So there are people that know that.

So instead of hiring them all, because that would be a huge workforce, we see a future where we give them tools, like really sort of social tools, to really be able to sort of share their opinions and thoughts on these registered charities, to help their friends and outside network get a better sense.

The goal is to have more people feel confident and comfortable when they participate in charitable giving so that they can continue to do it.

Because what the problem is, without going too far, see, fewer people today are actually participating in charitable giving than they were yesterday.

And so the question is, is that because like, we’re becoming less generous and we care about the world less than we did before?

Or is it because something over the past 20, 30 years has really changed the level at which we have really gotten comfortable with how to go about participating in community, right?

And I’m of the strong view that generosity is not the problem.

People are still very generous.

The problem is, rather, they don’t quite know how to go about giving.

And when they don’t feel good about it, they don’t do it.

Yeah, I mean, that’s a big reason why I thought it was so interesting, the infrastructure you created, where it’s like, here’s an account, you get your charitable receipt right away, and then you can decide who to donate to.

Because I’ve even found this with myself, I typically make a couple lumps, some donations to a variety of charities every year, but the hardest part is picking which ones.

And because you’re taking so much time doing research or thinking about it, and then your life gets busy, and then a month goes by and you didn’t make a donation, sometimes I’m scrambling by the end of the year to make that donation so I can get it done.

And I think this is a really great opportunity for people to make that decision.

And I’m sure you’ve done some research on behavioral economics.

It’s like, if you don’t do it now, you’re not gonna do it for, you’re gonna regret, and then a year goes by and you didn’t make that donation.

So having people take that action and then make the decisions on where you want it to go, which I thought was a really interesting, smart idea.

Cause I think that’s so true.

We’re not less generous or charitable.

I know so many people want to make an impact.

They just don’t know how.

And then there’s so many more charities than there were 10, 20 years ago.

It’s actually overwhelming to know which ones should I choose?

And maybe I want something more local and then you do a deep dive and you’re like, I don’t know what to choose.

So this is a really great, I think, funnel to kind of make that.

But yeah, kind of going off some of the things that we were just touching on, when people are looking for a charity that has, this is the one for me, obviously it’s your personal values, maybe you want something local, maybe you want something animals-based, but also what are some maybe numbers or just factors that they should look for to be like, oh, this is important.

You mentioned, I don’t want to make a donation to a company that spends more than X percentage on an administration.

Is there kind of a number that people should be kind of keep their eye on, be like, yeah, that means 50% or 80%.

There are some guidelines that are theoretic, and it’s actually really analogous.

It’s really the same.

It’s kind of like, are there numbers to guide you when you’re picking stocks?

For example, on how much they spend on administration and people, right?

Are there real proper guidelines on how much a company should be spending on R&D, research and development, in order to succeed for sure in the future?

And what you know if you’ve spent some time in the corporate world and or the stock market world is that yeah, there’s some general guidelines there that help you establish an understanding in order to determine on a company by company or sector by sector basis what the norms start to look like.

And so the Charitable, the Registered Charity World and in particular, the Charitable Organization World is no different from that, right?

So you can say things like, well, gee, like if it’s a charity that’s been around for 10 years and more and it’s maybe spending over like, maybe, I don’t know, I would say something like 30% on fundraising and administration, there might be something going on there, right?

However, if it’s a brand new charity and they’ve never heard of them before and they’re spending like 80% on fundraising administration and you stop to think about that, it’s like, well, that actually makes sense because you know what?

In my startup world, you know, I don’t know a lot of companies that earn a ton of revenue in year one, right?

So then it comes back to, so what type of donor are you?

Are you the type of person that wants to help this fledgling new charity that might be driven by maybe young or new charity entrepreneurs I think we have a couple of people in the room that are entrepreneurs that have really great ideas but need to stay alive long enough in order for them to effectuate.

Or either type the donor that wants to come in and support something that’s totally established, in which case, sure, be a little bit more critical about the numbers and how they’re being spent.

So unfortunately, now, here’s the unfortunate part, is that answer is kind of complicated.

And so, it’d be nice, wouldn’t it be nice if you knew you were gonna enjoy the restaurant, that when you bought those shoes, you knew 100% that they were gonna be the best thing for you, and therefore, you knew the charity you’re gonna give to was gonna be super effective.

That would be nice, but it’s not like that.

And I said it’s unfortunate, but actually, when you start getting into the giving world more seriously, it’s that aspect of it, in part, that makes it interesting and fun.

So the biggest advice I give when it comes to thinking about how you go about giving and what you give, too, is I get cheesy and I talk a lot about love.

What do you love?

And partly, it’s because of the passion that love brings.

And so you’re dealing with something that you’re willing to put up with the wrinkles on.

For example, I love my children, and that helps me through the moments when they do things when I’m not sure if I should love them anymore.

And then the other thing is with things that you love, it’s not necessarily the case, but it’s usually the case.

You know something about it, right?

I know something about my children.

And as a result of combination of passion with some real knowledge about it, you actually have, you’re starting from a stronger place to determine whether or not what they’re doing is effective.

So for example, if you love the environment, you love being outside.

Every moment you have free, you spend outside, you go on hikes, in particular, you love the mountains and the trees.

Okay, I’m sitting in Vancouver right now, a place where there’s lots of that.

And you love that and you know about the trees and you know about deciduous and you know about this and you know about that, because you spend time reading it and you enjoy that.

Don’t you think you’ve got the setup to be a pretty decent donor to the environment, to be able to go in and find what happens with your charity that’s doing work in that space and determine whether or not they’re probably good, right?

As opposed to loving all that and spending all your time on that and then being like, oh, I just got asked to give to this cancer charity.

Should I give to that?

This isn’t me saying no.

This is me asking you to analyze yourself and go, if you’re really the type of donor that wants to know whether your donation was effective or not, and you don’t know anything about science and you don’t know anything about cancer and you don’t know anything about this or anything about that, how are you ever gonna assess that?

I mean, maybe the charity’s awesome.

You just have no idea, right?

So these are one of the things that I really talk about with donors is focus on some of the stuff that gives you a chance, that gives you a chance to have a pretty good idea of whether or not your donation was impactful or not.

And then from there, you can start branching out and starting to understand how to really use your time and talent to assess how to place your money well into the sector.

Now, you kind of touched on something, often at certain points in the year, we are asked to donate.

So sometimes it is our decision.

We have a plan, we have a schedule, but often maybe we don’t think about it until someone asks us, they have a charity run or we’re at the grocery store and they ask us to donate or it’s just the season, giving Tuesday or something like that, which happens in the fall.

I know from talking to a lot of people in the charitable space, it’s best to give throughout the year, not just those really high impact times, but again, they’ll take your money whenever they can.

What are some things to think about in terms of maybe shifting from this charitable season kind of schedule that most people are on to making it more a part of your daily life, your monthly life?

Should people save some money in advance for when they know there’s gonna be lots of charitable runs, which I know is probably like throughout the whole spring summertime?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

That’s such a great, you’re asking such great questions, thank you.

So the first thing that I’d wanna say is that especially when it comes to giving, and this is a little different than the stock market.

If you’re a really social person who’s driven by connections and friendships, and maybe that you’re a bit extroverted, whatever it is, I don’t know, it’s totally okay, in my opinion, to give when someone asks, particularly in that friend thing.

Oh, yeah, my friend’s riding their bike for cause A or B.

I actually don’t even know whether it’s cause A or B, but I really want to support this friend.

It’s important to recognize that that’s giving, but then you want to recognize why you’re giving and you’re giving to support your friend.

Okay, and so you should be assessing the returns you get on your giving when you’re doing that, right?

If you start going, well, gee, that’s a bad charity, and you should be reassessing how you’re giving.

So that’s the first comment I want to make, is it’s okay to give when asked, particularly in a social network scenario, in my opinion.

Now, if you’re getting asked by a fundraiser on the street, I do think this is where you need to stop and assess.

All bias included, okay, this is why I think it’s so important that Charitable Impact is providing, giving accounts to people.

Whether you give throughout the year or not, the first thing is just to remember that there’s two sides of every charitable gift.

One is the releasing the money from your own pocket, okay?

It’s the charitable donation at law.

You’ve now let go of the money.

The second part of it is how and where do I want that spent?

So what cause and what specific charity, okay?

So my advice is to separate those two things.

So maybe you just got a big bonus check, you know, maybe grandma just gave you some for your birthday, take a little slice off the top, put it in your giving account, that type of thinking is good for some people.

Other people will say, look, I’ve got a decent job, I want giving to be part of my life, I’m gonna take 1% of my salary and just give it away.

Every month, I’m gonna give $150, okay, boom, right?

So here now what we’re doing is we’re establishing a way to be in the giving world, contributing into an account where you’re gonna have to allocate money from, but making it a part of your life without getting too complicated about, well, gee, if I don’t know what charities to give to yet, should I even be donating money?

Because the answer to Charitable Impact is yes, you should be donating money even if you don’t know.

Because it’s like healthy eating or healthy lifestyle.

You should always be doing something healthy even if you don’t know yet whether you prefer running to yoga.

You can figure that out later by practicing and going and doing stuff with friends, okay?

So continually giving through the year or giving love sums through the year or even once a year is totally fine, but you need to make a decision what type of donor you are, how you manage your own money.

And that way, whatever you do with your other life, your vacation and your free spending life, I would say start there and do the same thing with charitable giving.

Then when it comes to allocating the money, that’s where we’d really say, okay, well, dive into what you care about.

Look to who your friends and social networkers that cares about some of the same things and get involved with them and start maybe giving money out on a social basis.

Because when you come together with people, you get more, there’s more research that can be spread out.

You can come together and have a nice dinner or a bottle of wine and have fun about it, just like we do with book clubs and other things like that.

And then there’s more shared accountability too on what we’re doing.

So I really think that the important thing is for people just to sort of think around their charitable giving budget, the way they do other things, maybe like going to restaurants and maybe like vacations and approaching it in a really type of a similar way.

I’m curious too since, because this was just happened to be the other day, I feel like lots of grocery stores around this time of year are like, hey, donate, do you want to donate a dollar to X by Z cause?

I always say no.

And this is why it’s like, I’m not getting a charitable receipt for my money.

And I know the corporation is just making, they’re just, I don’t know.

I just don’t want to be involved.

I would rather give personally, know exactly who it’s going to and where and how it’s going to be used, then let the corporation take my money and then do whatever they want with it.

Cause sometimes you’re like, wait, what charity is that?

Oh, it’s a charity that they set up?

Wait, you think it’s going to helping sick kids, but really it’s going somewhere else.

Do you have any, during your time researching it and looking into this, do you have any thoughts on that?

Do you think it’s like, oh, whatever, it’s a couple bucks.

And if you can make an impact, do it however you can, or maybe it’s best to do it, say, not right now, and then do some research on your own to see if you actually want to donate to that charity.

Because sometimes you don’t have a minute to look at, wait, whose charity is this?

What is this?

That’s another great question.

I mean, there’s sort of two, I have a love-hate relationship with that stuff too.

Also, I’d say I appreciate your cynicism.

I think that it’s like, I think it’s totally legit that cynicism, right?

You know, why are these corporations doing that?

80% of Canadians say they give to charity.

20% actually claim tax, use the tax receipt to claim it on their donation.

Okay, so there’s a pretty big spread there.

Like there’s a huge delta, huge.

So something’s going on there.

And I think when you get to 80% of people, like actually you say they give, it’s because like, I don’t know, 80% of people at some point during the year said yes at the till when they were asked, and gee, so I’m a charitable person.

I would sort of question that.

So one of the concerns I have with some of that giving is it gives people like the excuse to be like, oh yeah, I’m a charitable person because I gave a little bit of money away at the till a little bit.

And here they are making 80,000 bucks or under a thousand bucks and they gave, they rounded up on there, right?

So I have some cynicism there in terms of how it translates into the market.

Oh yeah, I’ve totally given, done my thing this year.

You know, next, right?

On the one hand, on the other hand, because so few of us participate in thoughtful, regular charitable giving, without these kind of like, you know, oh, most people are gonna say yes to a dollar types of scenarios, a lot of money doesn’t get raised for the charity sector.


So it’s also important to recognize that these types of things do raise money for the charity sector.

However, however, they only raise money for the charities that these corporations choose.

And that’s usually very biased towards the biggest, most well known registered charities in the country.

And I could explain why that is, but.

Yeah, I’m curious.


Why, why, why do they do that?

Is it just, is it taxes?

Is it just tax breaks?

No, it’s not taxes.

It’s usually because like, you know, it’s like you’re sitting in the boardroom and kind of going, oh, what charity should we choose?

And if you get really into sort of corporate philosophy and remember that rightly or wrongly, corporations are really here to return value to shareholders.

So you don’t have to agree with that, but that is the theory of corporate, you know, modern sort of corporate economics.

Then you really shouldn’t be giving money away unless it’s doing something for the value of the brand.

And so to be seen to be giving is arguably value added.

I could go on at length on that too.

And so when you kind of like, oh, what charity should we choose?

You’re kind of looking for something that the vast majority of people recognize as good.

Okay, so if you find this small homeless shelter that actually probably needs the money more than the Children’s Hospital in your neighborhood, they’re gonna choose the Children’s Hospital because everyone’s heard of it.

And most people either have kids or have heard of kids or know someone with kids and therefore it’s a good charity, right?

And so it’s often that the biggest charities get the money because they’re the easiest brands to win with, right?

When you’re just saying, look, we did something for that big brand.

Oh, you’ve heard of that big brand, so we must be good people because you’ve heard of them, et cetera.

So I think that’s why generally speaking they do it.

And I don’t think you can really shame them for that.

I mean, I think that’s logical thinking, even if it’s not the most effective way to spend charitable dollars all the time.

But here’s the other point.

I’m like you, I go shopping at stores that do the same thing.

And first of all, it’s important to acknowledge, so first of all, I say no almost all the time.

Oddly, when I say yes, it’s usually when I’m in a different country other than Canada.

Because in Canada, I know that I’m someone who participates in charitable giving anyway.

Like I give money away anyway, and so I don’t need to give, I don’t feel like I need to give a dollar or two at the till because I’m giving some percentage of my income anyway and participating and I wanna choose.

So I usually say no, but then I kinda like look behind me and I go, wait, who heard me?

Who heard me say that?

Cause it’s a little bit of public shaming and I don’t particularly like that either because it can rub people the wrong way and then that gives them more of a bad taste in their mouth with regard to giving and things like that.

So here’s what I think the future is and it’s a future Charitable Impact intends to bring about.

It’s gonna take a whole bunch of work, but the future will be, hey, thanks for buying these groceries at our store.

Would you like to add some money to charity?

And if you do, we’re gonna match it up to a certain amount and it’s gonna go into your own impact account.

I love that.

Right, so now you can sort of be like, well, yeah, as I spend money, I think I should be allocating into my, right?

Because here I am with privilege buying groceries.

And yeah, sure, I’ll take a couple percent and throw it, or half a percent, and throw it into my own impact account.

And later, when I’m thinking about also the money that I put in off my salary and other things, I’m gonna think about how to allocate that money to have the type of impact that I wanna create, right?

And this also solves the problem of, it’s not always about religion, but it makes it more obvious.

There’s a Jew and a Christian and a Muslim who all shop at the same grocery store.

Like, how is the corporation gonna choose a charity that they all agree on?

Well, Children’s Hospital, right?

Okay, or something big like that.

And again, that’s a real serious thing.

So, but do you think the Jew, the Christian, and the Muslim, and the atheist would all agree on the same charities if they were allocated the money to give themselves?

And the answer to that is no.

And here’s what’s interesting.

My hypothesis is that the corporation returns way more on their generosity, ROG.

It’s a new measurement for ROG, right?

It’s a return on giving is going to be higher when they can make the individual who’s shopping with them happier.

Yeah, when there’s more of a personal kind of connection, I think, yeah, that’s true.


So the hypothesis is that corporation actually does better by giving when they can impact the cause of the individual’s choice.

The problem is without a system like Charitable Impact, you can’t do that scalably or cost-effectively.

I’m just thinking in practical terms, the only, cause it’s like, it’s gotta be so quick, right?

So would it be like, would you like to make a donation to Charitable Impact and we’ll match?

And then you just show your phone and there’s a QR code they scan or something like that?

I mean, I’m not the technologist.

I’ve got a talented team of people who would, but that’s an important question, right?

And exactly, if it’s not super fast, it’s not gonna happen.

And by the way, and not to belabor this conversation, but that’s another reason why corporations don’t let you choose.

It’s not that they don’t want to let you choose.

I mean, I think corporations are smart at the end of the day.

They know that if the person who loves trees can choose the tree charity, et cetera, they know that’s better.

But what are you gonna do?

Have a list of 85,000 registered charities at the till, and meanwhile, the mom or dad with the crying baby is behind them.

They’re late for soccer practice, and here’s Steve at the front trying to figure out what charity wants to give 14 cents to.

Pragmatically, it doesn’t work, right?

So it’s gotta be super fast.

And it’s actually a relatively easy problem to solve with good technology.

But you have to have an organization like ours that really wants to solve it, and that is there consistently to work with the donor after they’ve added those 14 cents to their impact account.

No, I mean, I would absolutely say yes, because I have no problem with rounding up my groceries, a couple bucks to donate.

But yeah, it was always the, I’m not really into that charity that you’re giving to, or yeah, it’s a really big charity that I don’t wanna support.

I’d rather support something local, smaller, that really does need my money.

Not that the hospital doesn’t, but again, there needs to be something kind of a personal connection.

And that’s why I feel like I love giving to charity, because I do take the time to look at what’s out there, and which ones I know will have a really big impact, and that’ll make me feel good.

Whereas honestly, when I make a donation to a bigger charity, it doesn’t have the same impact on me.

Anyway, I don’t feel the same excitement of like, oh, I wonder what this is gonna do.

I’m like, this is just a drop in the bucket for them.

They don’t care.

So rather than saying that’s right or wrong, because I don’t know, what’s right about what you’re saying isn’t that like big charities are bad.

I don’t think that’s right.

I think what’s right is that you are listening to yourself and going about making decisions that are consistent with your worldview and or your values.

And I think that is definitely right.

So many people focus on, well, what’s the impact with the charity program, with the charitable activity, and they focus so much on that when it comes to charitable giving.

And first of all, let’s just stop and say that’s critically important.

But it’s also the hardest part of the entire equation in order to understand.

So let’s start adding to the equation on understanding how we go about giving to charity, how we feel ourselves about general things like, do you like big companies or small companies?

Do you like international or do you like local?

Right, because that’s part of the journey too.

And the better you feel about these things up here, the more you can kind of go, well, you know, I don’t always totally actually understand the impact and I’m not gonna spend all the time and I’m just willing to believe because I’m in a category of charity that I actually believe in.

So the probability that they’re gonna completely waste my time and money is probably low because I’m actually a believer in that, right?

And that comes back to this love piece, right?

Which is why like you really wanna focus your giving on things that you love, including loving yourself and knowing that you love to give to smaller local things as opposed to, I don’t know, bigger national things.

Not because it’s better, but because that’s who you are as a person.

One last thing I kinda wanna touch on is this idea that also sometimes doesn’t get enough attention.

Charity in your estate planning.

I know sometimes I think people often think, well, I’m not rich enough to think about you.

Philanthropy thing.

Like when you think of the word philanthropy, it sounds like you have to be wealthy in order to be a philanthropist.

But anyone can be a philanthropist.

It just means giving back and using your money in a different way.

But does Charitable Impact also take that into account?

How can investors donate some of their assets or integrate that into their estate plan?

Or maybe that’s not something integrated yet, but it might be in the future.

Yeah, so there’s two things there.

One is the assets and one is the estate.

So let’s separate those two things and they can come together at the end if they need to.

So first of all, yes, people can donate non-cash assets into their impact account with Charitable Impact.

So cash is what most people have, right?

They use a credit card to access that cash.

But we take all sorts of cash.

We can send us a wire and we’re kind of like a bank in the sense, we’re not a bank, but we’re like a bank in that we know how to deal with these assets and give us publicly traded securities.

You can give us life insurance, you can give us private company shares, you can even donate crypto to us.

Okay, we don’t let you hold crypto, but we let you hold all those other things.

So you can donate assets to us and assets can be held inside your impact account.

So what’s referred to in fancy lingo as inter vivos giving or giving while you’re alive is something that you can do and people do all the time.

And we take tons of non-cash assets.

I mean, well over half of the donations in terms of the quantum of the money we get every year comes in non-cash assets because big donations don’t usually come in cash.

They usually come in, oh, my Apple shares went from $5 to $100.

And geez, I got lots of wealth in something other than cash, right?

So by the way, the way the charity deals with that is then the charity sells the Apple shares and now you’ve got cash and you can allocate cash out to the charity that you choose.

So that’s ultimately how it works.

So you can deal in non-cash in Charitable Impact, no problem.

It’s smart to think that way.

In many cases, it’s more tax-effective to give appreciated non-cash assets than it is to give cash.

Unfortunately, everyone dies.

So maybe Google will solve that one day, but everyone dies.

And so what does happen?

So a couple of things.

So first of all, you can write charity quite easily into your will.

And you can say, like, when I die, this is what I want to have happen, right?

And then allocate this money.

So, and I encourage people to think that way.

However, and I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve spent a lot of time around this stuff.

Like the wills in a state stuff gets really complicated.


And so what I encourage people to think about is, is it more fun to give away while you’re alive when you can actually experience and have a say on how that money is gonna go?

I think the answer to that question is yes.

I’m very biased towards inter vivos while you’re alive, charitable planning and giving, partly because it’s simpler and partly because it’s more fun.

However, here’s a couple of benefits of this giving account that we have at Charitable Impact.

First of all, in your will, if you write it in, you can write your giving account in, okay?

And then that’s one place to give.

And from there, multiple charities can benefit in the future.

And as a result of that, you can start thinking around planning, like if it works for you, you don’t have to do this way.

You can just say, send it out to all these charities.

But you can say, you know what?

My children are awesome, or this friend of mine is awesome, or my grandkids are awesome, and I want them to take the charitable dollars that I leave at death and have them distribute it.

Oh, I like that.

So when I die, send my money to all my different grandkids, split it up evenly between all their giving accounts and let them give it away.

And so in this regard, with a structure like ours, the option, of course, is to allocate the money out to the charities you want, and there’s totally up to you.

You could either do it all that way, or some of it that way, or all of it the way of giving it to someone else for them to give away after your death, leaving them instructions or just believing in them.

Estate type of planning is really important.

I encourage people to think about charities in that way.

But ultimately, especially if you’ve got excess disposable income and you’re comfortable, have fun with giving and create impact while you’re here and model that decision making for the next generation, who without you doing that, won’t appreciate as much the importance of giving.

And if that doesn’t happen, then Canada continues to slide on the way that we’re sliding right now, which is lots of generous people not participating in charitable giving.

Yeah, I mean, just before this interview, I was looking at some of the stats and we’re at like a historic low for not giving.

So we need to change that.

I know a lot of people out there, myself included, the reason charitable giving is such an important aspect of their financial lives is because we saw that, we experienced that as children.

I saw my parents donate and they talked about the importance of giving back.

And so we need to make sure we continue to have those conversations with our peers, but also the next generation.

And I think, you know, Charitable Impact is a really important organization.

I’m really excited to have you on the show to discuss it.

It’s a very different way of thinking about it, which I think is much needed because there’s not a lot of innovation in the charitable space, especially in Canada.

And so I really appreciate you coming on.

Where can people find more information about charitable impact and any other kind of resources you’d want them to check out?

Yeah, thanks, Jessica.

We’re online at

We’re on all the social medias, at we are charitable.

And I would encourage people to reach out to us.

We have a really strong team of people who are there to answer the phone and answer emails and talk to you about charitable giving.

One of the foundational goals of charitable giving, which recognizes what you just said, which is that generally speaking, there’s not as much place to learn about giving.

Is that there’s nowhere for people to go to get objective, neutral, cause neutral help with their trouble giving, to help them explore who they are and how to go about doing it.

And that’s really one of the things, the primary things Charitable Impact really exists to provide an answer for.

And so, even if you’re not using the system yet, even if you don’t have money to give away, you’re not sure you do or not, just feel free to reach out and talk to us about charitable giving and hopefully we can help you out.


Well, thank you so much for coming on the show, John.

It was a pleasure having you on.

Thank you, Jessica.

I enjoyed that conversation.

And that was episode 402 of the More Money Podcast with John Bromley, CEO of Charitable Impact.

If you wanna learn more about Charitable Impact, you can go to

You can also check them out at We Are Charitable on LinkedIn and Facebook and Instagram at We Are Charitable.

And you can also find John Bromley on LinkedIn too, if you’re one of the LinkedIn crew people.

I’m on LinkedIn, FYI, if you ever wanna see what’s going on there.

So yeah, make sure to check all that out.

I will include important links that we discussed in the show notes for this episode. is where you can find all of that good stuff.

And use this as your kind of call to action.

Make a donation today.

You’ll feel really good.

I always feel really good.

After making a donation, I always feel good, as opposed to some of the other things that I maybe waste money on.

Like, oh, did I really need that?

I don’t know.

Donut, no, I didn’t.

It made me feel good in the first bite, then after I feel terrible.

Donating money always makes me feel good.

So just a thing to think about.

Okay, so a few updates.

Like I mentioned, we’re getting close to the end of the season.

We only have next week and the following week.

We’re gonna wrap up this season.

Season 18 of the More Money Podcast, June 5th.

Next week, we’ve got Sierra Rogers on the show.

She’s an entrepreneur.

She’s the founder and CEO of Babes.

And she has a book coming out called The Outsider Advantage, because you don’t need to fit in to win.

And I absolutely loved talking to her.

Nicest person in the world.

Also give me some really great tips on Instagram, because that’s kind of how she grew her business.

Like, and back in the day, like, you know, not during like the COVID kind of explosion, way before that, she really built a business from the ground up.

So really inspiring episode.

You’re gonna love that.

Also a reminder that if you don’t know, I’m giving away books, including hers on for right now.

I mean, I’m gonna be wrapping it up probably sometime in August.

So if you go to, as where you can find all the books that I’m giving away, all the authors that have been featured on the show, I’m giving away a copy.

And other things, other really exciting things actually.

So, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned this on a few episodes, but so obviously I’ve been working on my book.

That’s still happening.

No news, no new news on that.

But once I kind of had some spare time, like I’m not dealing with book stuff right now, I was able to really dedicate some time and energy in updating my wealth building blueprint for Canadians course.

I’ve had this course since 2021.

There was over 400 students in there.

It’s by application only, though I will be kind of, I’m changing a few things, but I can’t really share now because they don’t exist right now.

I’m still working on them, but I’m gonna be doing a webinar.

I’m gonna be kind of creating a few different ways that you can enter the course.

Previously, for the past three years, it’s been you have to apply, you have to be approved by me to see if you’re a good candidate, and then you have to get on a call with me just so we can have a good chat about what your needs are, what you’re looking for, and if this course is a good solution for you.

I think I’m going to be kind of opening it up just to make it a little bit more accessible for people who, especially people who don’t want to have a call.

Some people don’t want to be on a call, and I totally understand that.

But I’m particularly very excited because I literally went through the entire course, updated it, refreshed it, added a bunch of new stuff, and it’s better than ever if I do say so myself.

So if you want to learn more about that, go to

You can apply there.

And whether you book a call or not, you get on my email list so I can send you more info about the course and any updates and kind of the new things that I’ve been alluding to that I don’t have much more information about.

So very excited about that.

Not only that though, this is the other exciting news.

Over the past several months, I’ve been working with this contractor that I’ve used to, who helped me maybe a year or two ago to totally redo all my budget spreadsheets.

She’s wonderful.

And we have done a huge update to all of my budget spreadsheets.

And they are now available.

I mean, yeah, the updated ones, obviously you can’t get the old ones because they’re gone now.

We’ve gotten some new and improved ones on my shop page,

But not just that.

Not just that, I am also finally, because I do have a little bit more capacity and I really enjoy doing it.

So finally, I’m excited to offer this.

If you buy a budget spreadsheet, then you also have access to book a budget session with me.

So basically, you have an hour with me, we go through your budget, I review it, I give you some feedback, help you just make it more efficient and workable.

And I’m very excited to be offering this.

Finally, this was an idea I had, gosh, a year or two ago, and I just was not able to offer it, and now I am.

So you can also find more information about that at

So there you go, very excited.

There’s obviously limited spaces every month that I open up for these review sessions.

So check it out, check it out.

So I think that is plenty of info for you.

Have a good rest of your day.

Shout out to my wonderful podcast team video edit by Justice Carrar and produced by

And I will see you back here next Wednesday for the second to last episode of the More Money Podcast Season 18.

Have a good rest of your week.

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