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Athabasca University


How big does my gift have to be to make a difference?

All gifts, big and small, help Athabasca University. What is important is your support, not the size of your gift. When you give, you join proud alumni and friends of the university who share your commitment and enthusiasm for AU.

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Can I decide how my gift will be used?

Your gift will have the greatest impact when you dedicate it to one of the areas of greatest need as determined by Athabasca University. We have identified a number of priority initiatives that are critical to our students and the university. That said, if you have a particular area of interest, we would be happy to work with you to direct your gift accordingly.

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Does my gift qualify as a tax deduction?

Athabasca University is a registered non-profit organization; therefore, gifts to the university are tax deductible. When you give, we will mail you a charitable donation tax receipt that you can use for income tax purposes. Our charitable registration number is 10673 5830 RR0001. There are some instances, such as sponsorships, where gifts do not quality for a tax deduction. We will advise you of this when we discuss your gift.

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What is the tax credit cut-off for gifts that I make?

We must abide by Canada Revenue Agency guidelines that state: "Tax-deductible gifts must be postmarked on or before December 31st of any given year to qualify for a tax-deductible receipt for that year."

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Can I use my spouse or partner's tax receipt on my tax return?

Yes. If both you and your spouse/partner are filing claims, either of you can use a tax receipt, regardless of the name on the receipt itself.

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How do I donate shares?

Securities and mutual fund and trust units traded on the major Canadian and U.S. stock exchanges may be donated by transferring ownership directly to the university. You do not need to sell the securities before donating them, offering significant tax advantages. You can instruct your broker to transfer securities electronically to the university's broker or re-register the securities in the university's name and provide us with the stock certificate (electronic transfer is recommended). A tax receipt will be issued for the closing value of the securities on the day they become the property of AU. They will be sold by AU, and you may direct the proceeds of the sale to a particular project. To discuss a donation of shares, please contact us.

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If I live in the United States, is my gift tax deductible?

Contributions to Athabasca University are tax deductible against Canadian source income. If you live abroad, and you will be filing a tax return with the Canada Revenue Agency, use your AU tax receipt on your claim. It is always a good idea to check with your financial and legal advisors to get a complete list of your options. For more information, please visit the Canada Revenue Agency website or contact us.

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What should I do if my receipt information is incorrect?

We strive to ensure that donor records are accurate. If the information on your receipt is incorrect, please contact Beverley Watters, Manager of Fund Development and Services, at beverleyw@athabascau.ca or 403-294-7322. We will be pleased issue you a corrected receipt.

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When do I get my receipt(s) if I'm making monthly gifts by post-dated cheques or credit card?

We issue one receipt per calendar year. This reduces administrative costs and eliminates the need for you to keep track of monthly receipts. A receipt for your total yearly gift will be sent to you in January of the following year and each January thereafter, or in the month following your final payment.

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When do I get my receipt(s) if I'm making monthly gifts through payroll deduction(s)?

Gifts made through payroll deductions will be reflected on your T4 slip. No receipts will be issued as you can use your T4 in the same fashion as a charitable donation receipt. If you are making continuous gifts through payroll deductions, our records will reflect that you are making an ongoing pledge to Athabasca University.

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What happens when I make a pledge over a period of time?

When making a pledge, our office records your payment schedule according to your wishes. We send payment reminders before your scheduled payment is due. If we do not hear from you within 60 days, we will send a follow-up reminder. After 120 days, we will assume you would like your pledge deactivated. Pledges can be reactivated at any time.

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How can I double the value of my gift?

Some companies offer a matching gift program to their employees, retirees or directors. If you work for a company that has a matching gift program, please ask your human resources office for a matching gift form. Submit the completed form with a copy of your receipt to our office, and your company will match your gift to Athabasca University. If you are not sure whether your employer matches gifts, we would be pleased to obtain this information on your behalf.

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What if I don't want to be publicly recognized for my gift(s)?

We can accommodate your request. We are proud to recognize the generosity of our donors through published donor lists (print and online) and donor recognition events. If you would prefer to (a) not have your name published with regard to a specific gift; (b) not have your name published with regard to any gifts, or (c) not be invited to donor recognition events, please contact Beverley Watters, Manager of Fund Development and Services, at beverleyw@athabascau.ca or 403-294-7322.

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Will I still receive a tax receipt if I choose to remain anonymous?

Yes. Anonymous donors must provide personal information for tax purposes, but that information will remain confidential within the Development and External Relations Office. In all university and public announcements, the gift(s) will be labelled 'anonymous' if requested by the donor.

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Can I specify where I want my gift to go?

Yes. There are numerous projects and programs that would welcome your support. The university has identified a number of funding priorities. If you have a particular area of interest and would like to discuss it supporting it, please contact us.

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Can I set up a scholarship or bursary in my name?

Yes. Scholarships and bursaries may be named in honour of individuals and organizations. Our experts work closely with the Student Awards Office to discuss options for every donor and to prepare the terms and conditions for both annual and endowed awards. For more information on scholarship or bursary opportunities, please contact the Development and Excternal Relations Office at development@athabascau.ca or call 403-294-7322.

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If I set up an award, can I find out who receives it?

If your gift is a named scholarship, fellowship or prize, you can find out the name of the award recipient. We will also be pleased to send you a copy of Athabasca University Scholarships and Awards Guide so that you can see how your award is listed.

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How can I give in my will?

Legacy gifts are an effective way to support projects and priorities at Athabasca University. If you are considering such a gift, we strongly encourage you to consult with your family and advisors to ensure that a particular option is right for you. Our legacy giving experts will work with you and your advisors to make arrangements that suit your financial needs and support your areas of interest. For more information on legacy giving options through a will or bequest, please contact Tara Friesen, Manager of Alumni Relations and Philanthropy, at tfriesen@athabascau.ca or 403-294-7319.

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I want to make a bequest to the university, but I am not sure of the wording. Is there someone I can talk to?

Our legacy giving experts will be pleased to offer you advice on the terms of your gift. Please contact Tara Friesen, Manager of Alumni Relations and Philanthropy, at tfriesen@athabascau.ca or 403-294-7319.

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Can I designate some of my RRSPs and RIFFs to the university?

To donate RRSP or RRIF accumulations, you should make a provision in your will for the same amount to be bequeathed to the university. In this way, the tax payable on the RRSP/RRIF will be at least partially offset by the benefits of the charitable donation receipt issued by the university to your estate. For a compete overview of options, contact us.

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Can I support AU by including making it a beneficiary of my life insurance policy?

A gift of life insurance can be made to the university by transferring ownership of an existing policy or purchasing a new one. In order to be recognized as a charitable gift for tax purposes, Athabasca University must be designated as both the policy's owner and beneficiary. The university issues charitable tax receipts for the premium payments made by the donor to maintain the insurance, plus any cash value that exists within the policy when it is donated. The donor may determine with the university the purpose the proceeds of the policy will eventually support. To discuss options, please contact us.

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Does the university accept gifts-in-kind?

Real estate, special collections, books, works of art, antiquities, equipment and professional services are all welcomed gifts to Athabasca University. Some gifts will be accepted as is and some will be sold with the proceeds from the sale used in a manner of your choosing. Many of these items are tax deductible based on the appraised value of the gift-in-kind. Please contact one of our development professionals to discuss the gift-in-kind you would like to make.

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When should I notify the university if there has been a change in my life that may affect my giving?

Please notify us when:

  • you change your address, email address, phone number or employment
  • you change your bank account (if you are giving by pre-authorized cheque)
  • your credit card expires or changes (and you are giving through credit card payments)

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Does the university decline gifts?

While AU accepts a wide array of cash and in-kind gifts, the Board of Governors reserves the right to accept or decline any gift. The Board's primary concerns are to ensure that all gifts are appropriate to the university, that they are receipted according to Canada Revenue Agency regulations and that the university can adequately and appropriately serve the donor's intent. If you have a question about the nature or designation of your gift, please contact us.

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Updated March 05 2014 by Web Services - Advancement

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