How We Work

American Friends is recognized by the US Internal Revenue Service as a publicly supported 501(c)(3) charitable organization.  Gifts to American Friends are tax deductible for US taxpayers to the extent allowed by law.  Gifts of land and conservation easements are not subject to Canadian capital gains tax because American Friends’ is a Prescribed Donee – a charity based outside of Canada whose purpose is to hold title to land in Canada or to transfer land to a registered charity in Canada for conservation purposes. (more…)

American Friends has two programs to accomplish its mission and goals and to utilize its innovative dual country preferential tax status.

Conservation Lands Program

Conservation Lands Program: Gifts of Fee Title or Conservation Easements

Working as a US land trust that has adopted the Standards and Practices of both the Land Trust Alliance of the U.S. and Canada, American Friends accepts donations of qualified conservation lands and partial interests (conservation easements/covenants) in ecologically important land in Canada from US taxpayers. American Friends projects involve a Canadian partner organization (a qualified “Grantee”) to ensure that there is a capable project manager and land steward in the province in which the protected land is located.

Donating to American Friends provides US donors with an ideal tax scenario. The value of the gift is eligible for a deduction against US income tax and is not subject to usual Canadian capital gains tax. Gifts of land do not have to be Eco Gift certified.

American Friends’ Land Trust Partners propose their priority projects involving US landowners for consideration under the Conservation Lands Program. The Canadian organization commits to steward the donated land or conservation easement just as it would if the gift had been made to it.

In the future, American Friends may consider conveying donated land and easements to the Canadian partner entity or another qualified conservation partner for perpetual stewardship.

General Support Program

General Support Program: Gifts to Benefit Canadian Organizations

American Friend’s General Support Program offers US donors the opportunity to receive a US income tax deduction for their charitable gift of money or securities. Through this program, Americans can financially support Canadian conservation organizations while enjoying potentially significant US tax benefits. Donors can make their gifts to Americans Friends together with a recommendation that American Friends consider subsequently making a grant to a specific Canadian entity. American Friends only provides funding to Canadian conservation organizations qualified as “Grantees.”

For more information, see: Land Trust Partners Overview or the Current List of Land Trust Partners.) To comply with Internal Revenue Service requirements for charitable gifts, donors must follow specific donation procedures and use the forms provided. (For more information, see Donate.)

American Friends Helps Canadian Conservation Organizations

By offering US donors who support Canadian conservation the opportunity to make their gifts of land or interests in land, cash and securities tax deductible, American Friends is helping Canadian conservation organizations increase the pace and sustainability of land protection north of the border.

American Friends’ services are paid for through charitable donations from individuals, corporations and foundations, together with a variety of fees associated with its work, including application fees and annual renewal fees paid by participating Canadian conservation organizations. Transaction fees on all gifts are an essential source of revenue and may be paid either by the participating conservation organization or the donor.  (Fees paid by the donor are not considered to be charitable contributions.)