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Gift Distribution Services

Harvest Endowment Foundation (HEF) Gift Distribution offers a simple, effective solution to Christians who wish to benefit several partner charities through their estate or gift planning.

When including a charitable bequest in their Will, clients name HEF as the actual beneficiary, and HEF distributes the gifts to their chosen charities. After the will has been completed a “Letter of Direction” is filed with HEF providing instructions as to the distribution of the asset to various charities. Letters of Direction are binding to HEF, but may be changed at any time. After receiving the funds from the estate, HEF distributes them according to the current Letter of Direction on file and issues a charitable tax receipt to the estate.

Likewise, when charities are chosen as the beneficiary of registered investment accounts (RRSPs and RRIFs), or of a Life Insurance policy Harvest Endowment Foundation may be named as either the primary or secondary beneficiary, and distribute funds in a similar way.

Features of HEF Letters of Direction

The Letter of Direction offers:

Flexibility – no need to change your will when you change allocations to charities

Privacy – Avoids multiple disclosure of your estate information

Simplicity – Your executor only needs to write one cheque, and receives one donation receipt

Anonymity – if desired

Gift Distribution Flow Image


Mary wants several favourite charities to share 10% of her estate. She opts to have Harvest Endowment Foundation be the beneficiary of this gift. Once her new Will is complete, she sends HEF a Letter of Direction naming 3 favourite charities – each to receive one third of her total gift. After a move some years later, she files a new Letter of Direction with HEF, naming different charitable organizations as beneficiaries of her gift. Upon her death, HEF receives the gift from her estate and directs it to the organizations named in her most current letter.

Features Explained

  1. Simplifies language in a Will or other document
    The entire gift is given to Harvest Endowment Foundation, so the lawyer need not name several charities in the Will or specify the proportion of the entire gift each would receive.
  2. Change beneficiaries easily
    Donors may change charitable beneficiaries or the proportion of total gift they would receive by drafting a new Letter of Direction with different instructions. These letters do not form apart of the will and therefore may be changed.
  3. Simplifies management of the estate for Executor
    Leaving the entire gift for charity to HEF, the Executor need only provide estate information to one charity, make only one charitable distribution and receive only one receipt.
  4. Increased level of privacy for the estate
    Donors often choose to benefit local causes with a gift. By having HEF make the distribution, these local causes are not party to estate information. Donors can also choose to make their contributions anonymously through HEF.
  5. Decreased chance for a failure of gifts.
    If one of the charities detailed in a Letter of Direction does not exist when HEF makes a distribution, a donor’s family members will be consulted in finding an appropriate substitute. If no family survives, the HEF Board will select a cause most closely resembling the original wishes of the donor. If the gift is made directly in the Will and the charity does not exist as specified, the gift will fail.

Is there a cost for this service?

Where HEF makes distributions to any of its partnering organizations, no fees are deducted from the gift prior to distribution.

More information…