NAWL Trust

In 1983, the National Association of Women and the Law Charitable Trust for Research and Education (NAWL Trust) was established to complement NAWL’s advocacy work. A registered charity, the NAWL Trust’s mandate includes undertaking research and education on legal issues concerning all aspects of the social, economic and political life of Canadian women. It assists in the protection of women’s civil rights and liberties by charitable means, as well as in the relief of poverty. Donations to the NAWL Trust are used for charitable activities, including those delivered by NAWL for the NAWL Trust.

Some past activities funded by donations to the NAWL Trust include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating a bilingual, free, online course — Feminist Law Reform 101. The course provides practical, accessible, and engaging tools for participants who wish to develop or improve skills to assist in feminist law reform;
  • Hosting an annual essay contest for law students on topics of interest relating to feminist research, education, and law reform;
  • Providing grants to researchers working on legal issues that affect women in Canada. Research topics included: customary law and women’s rights, intimate violence and fundamental human rights, temporary labour migration to Canada, and child protection; and,
  • Developing an alternative law school orientation guide for law students. The guide includes excerpts of writing from 28 legal feminist scholars and activists.

Historically NAWL’s operations and work have been supported by: public funding primarily from the federal government, membership fees, and funds received from foundations, individuals, and other sources from time to time. At the request of the NAWL Trust, NAWL also delivers activities funded by charitable donations made to the Trust. When NAWL was defunded in 2006 by the (then) federal government, all staff were laid off and the office was closed. More than a decade later, through the hard work of NAWL’s dedicated National Steering Committee, NAWL received a multi-year grant and operations fully resumed in 2017.

The NAWL Trust is a registered charity and relies solely on the generous donations of individuals, and grants and donations from foundations and from other eligible sources.

Charitable registration number: 14083 5885 RR0001

Our Trustees

Jane (BAS (Trent), MIR (Queens), LLB (Queens), LLM (Toronto)) is a Full Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law (Common Law) where she teaches Cyberfeminism, Technoprudence and Contracts. Jane is co-leader of The eQuality Project, a 7-year SSHRC funded partnership initiative focused on the impact of online commercial profiling on young Canadians’ identities and social relationships. Jane leads the Project stream focused on tech-facilitated violence. Among her proudest professional achievements are co-leading The eGirls Project, creating and creation of her Cyberfeminism course, and appearing as lead counsel for CIPPIC on its intervention before the Supreme Court of Canada in the Jarvis voyeurism case in 2018. Prior to joining the NAWL Board of Trustees in 2019, Jane was a member of the NAWL National Steering Committee from 2012-2017.

Kristen is a Senior Director in the Library of Parliament’s Parliamentary Information and Research Service (PIRS). She graduated from the Western University Law School in 1987, having served two years as a Director of Community Legal Services. Kristen joined the NAWL Steering Committee while in law school, and continued in that role as she articled and was called to the bar in Ottawa. After a short period of private practice in family law with the Ottawa office of a national law firm, she joined the Library of Parliament in 1990. Starting with the organization as an analyst working in a wide variety of areas of law and policy and serving a number of parliamentary committees, Kristen joined the Library’s management team in 2008 and has been an executive since 2010.

Laura is a partner in the Montréal office of Gowling WLG and a member of the firm’s Tax Group. Laura’s practice focuses on cross-border (inbound and outbound) investment structures, corporate reorganizations and advising domestic and multi-national private equity funds. She is also developing an expertise in the application of taxation rules to the technology space in particular to providers of e-businesses and blockchain technology solutions. Laura has also advised on issues with respect to employer payroll and pension obligations, Federal and Québec value added taxes (GST/HST and QST) and Québec commodity taxes (in particular with respect to fuel and alcohol). Her dispute resolution practice includes representing clients in their dealings with the Canada Revenue Agency and the Québec Revenue Agency at the audit and notice of objection stages and preparing voluntary disclosures on income tax and sales tax issues. Laura has been recognized as a Women in Tax Leader 2017 by the International Tax Review. A frequent writer and speaker at the Canadian Tax Foundation (in particular, on subjects of international financing and the impact of bilateral tax treaties), she serves as an editor of the Taxation of Executive Compensation and Retirement Journal and is a co-author of the taxation chapter of the Business Guide to Environmental Law. She is also a member of the Canadian Tax Foundation Montréal Young Practitioners Steering Committee. Laura received her LLM Taxation from HEC Montréal in 2014, receiving the Canadian Tax Foundation award for her accomplishment in obtaining the highest grade-point average of her class, as well as the PSB Boisjoli merit and HEC Montréal Board of Graduate Studies Diplomas merit scholarships during the course of her studies. Her master’s thesis focused on Canada’s thin capitalization regime. She also obtained a B.C.L. and LL.B. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) (receiving the Lieutenant Governor’s award placing first in her program). She was admitted to the Québec Bar in 2009. Laura also serves as director on the board of the Chambre de commerce roumaine du Québec. Laura practices law in English and French. She is also fluent in Romanian.

Sasha is a human rights lawyer and member of the Law Society of Ontario, with public interest litigation experience both in Canada and internationally. Her legal and academic interests lie in the area of violence against women (VAW) and access to justice for racialized communities. She earned her common and civil law degrees from McGill University, where she served as President of the McGill Law Women’s Caucus, as well as Vice President of the Black Law Students’ Association of McGill. Sasha also holds a Master’s in International Human Rights Law from Oxford University, where she graduated with distinction. After articling at the union-side labour law firm Goldblatt Partners LLP in Ottawa, Sasha worked as Legal Counsel for the Equality Effect and taught human rights law as a part-time professor in the Civil Law Faculty of the University of Ottawa. As counsel for the Equality Effect, Sasha worked with a team of international lawyers on VAW-related test case litigation before the High Courts of Kenya and Malawi. Sasha’s past experience also includes clerking at the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal and completing a fellowship at the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy, where she conducted qualitative research on the empowerment strategies of a UN award-winning rural women’s group in Cameroon. In addition to awards Sasha earned as a law student, she is also a 2011 recipient of the American Society of International Law Helton Fellowship Award.

Anne is a human rights lawyer who has worked with a wide range of equality seeking groups, legal clinics and not-for-profit organisations on test case litigation, interventions, appeals and law reform initiatives. She is proud to be one of the lawyers representing the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada in its historic human rights complaint filed with the Assembly of First Nations against the Government of Canada for providing discriminatory child welfare services to over 165 000 First Nations children and for its failure to implement Jordan’s Principle. Anne is currently a fellow of the Broadbent institue, the Co-Chair of the National Association of Women and the Law and Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. She is also a board member of the Feminist Alliance for International Action and a founding member of the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program. Anne has taught Equality Law, Social Justice and Constitutional Litigation as a part-time professor for the University of Ottawa’s French Common Law Program and, as a Ricard Foundation Scholar, completed a masters in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. She graduated from the French Common Law Program in 2007 and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2008. In 2015, Anne was admitted to the Common Law Honour Society of the University of Ottawa. She was twice nominated by Canadian Lawyers as one of Canada’s most influential lawyers and recognised as one of the country’s legal pioneers by the Canadian Bar Association’s Futures Initiatives. In 2017, she received the President’s Award from the Ontario Bar Association. Anne is from Falher, Alberta.

Other Ways to Give

Leaving a Gift in Your Will

Many of our supporters have been with us since NAWL was founded in 1974 — and their steadfast commitment to protecting and promoting women’s equality rights in Canada continues to inspire the work we do today.

These supporters often choose to kindly remember NAWL or the NAWL Trust with a legacy gift.

Frequently asked questions

A legacy gift is when an individual wants to designate part of their estate in the form of a planned future gift to a non-profit or a registered charity.

The most popular way to leave a legacy gift is to make a bequest in your will. A bequest is an instruction that a certain amount of money, a particular item of property or the residue of your estate once your other bequests are made should be given to NAWL or the NAWL Trust at your death. Upon death, NAWL or the NAWL Trust will issue a receipt for the bequest. A bequest to the NAWL Trust may result in significant tax savings.

Seek professional help from a legal advisor with experience preparing wills to make sure your wishes are honoured. Make sure when drafting your will that our full name (National Association of Women and the Law) is included — we may not receive your gift otherwise.

Seek professional help from a legal advisor with experience preparing wills to make sure your wishes are honoured. Make sure the Trust’s full name (National Association of Women and the Law Trust) and charitable registration number (14083 5885 RR0001) is included in your will. We may not receive your gift otherwise.

Here are a few clauses for you and your lawyer to consider including in your will:

To give a specific amount to NAWL, which is a not-for-profit organization (not tax-receiptable): “I give to the National Association of Women and the Law, 234 St. Patrick Street, Ottawa, Ontario, the sum of $10,000”

To give a specific amount to the NAWL Charitable Trust, which is a registered charity (tax receiptable): “I give to the National Association of Women and the Law Charitable Trust for Research and Education, charitable registration number 14083 5885 RR0001, 234 St. Patrick Street, Ottawa, Ontario, the sum of $10,000.”

To give a percentage of the estate: “I give to [the National Association of Women and the Law OR the National Association of Women and the Law Charitable Trust for Research and Education] fifty percent (50%) of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate.”

To give a specific asset, such as shares in a company: “I give to [the National Association of Women and the Law OR the National Association of Women and the Law Charitable Trust for Research and Education] 500 shares of ABC Co. Inc.”

You can also give a gift contingent upon the occurrence of a condition. For instance, “In the event that my brother does not survive me, I give to [the National Association of Women and the Law OR the National Association of Women and the Law Charitable Trust for Research and Education].”

We are here to help.  For more information about creating a gift in your will, please get in touch. And if you have chosen to include us in your will, please contact us and let us know—we would really like to thank you personally!

Click here if you’d also like to learn more about how to gift RRSPs or RRIFs.

Gifting Stocks and Securities

The most tax effective way to give.

If you own publicly traded securities that have increased in value since you purchased them, using them to make your charitable donations is the most tax effective way to give. You may donate publicly traded securities, stocks and bonds as well as mutual funds held in a non-registered investment account by transferring them “in-kind” to the National Association of Women and the Law Charitable Trust for Research and Education (NAWL Trust).

Currently, the NAWL Trust is only able to accept gifts of this nature through our charity profile page on the secure online platform, CanadaHelps. On behalf of the NAWL Trust, CanadaHelps handles the “in-kind” transfer, sale of securities, donor receipting and disbursement the proceeds to the NAWL Trust.

gift stocks and securities
Frequently asked questions

“In-kind” means that you do not sell the security and transfer cash as your gift. Rather your securities are transferred to a brokerage account through CanadaHelps and sold on behalf of the NAWL Trust. If you sell them first, you will pay tax on 50% of the capital gain.

Yes, you will receive a charitable e-receipt from CanadaHelps on behalf of the NAWL Trust for the full market value of the securities on the day the NAWL Trust receives the “in-kind” transfer and you pay no tax on the capital gain.

You can only donate securities held in a non-registered investment account. Always donate stocks, bonds or mutual funds with the greatest capital gain to save the most tax.


  1. Complete our online securities donation form. Once you have completed and submitted the form, you will receive an email from confirming all the details of your pledge to the NAWL Trust.
  2. Complete the provided Letter of Direction form  and send it to your financial advisor or investment firm. This authorizes the transfer of shares to CanadaHelps on behalf of the NAWL Trust.
  3. Once your shares are sold, CanadaHelps will send you a confirmation email with your charitable tax receipt and disburse the proceeds to the NAWL Trust.

It is our policy t o sell the shares immediately upon receipt and convert the shares to cash. Upon receipt of the transferred securities, CanadaHelps, on behalf of the NAWL Trust, will issue a charitable tax e-receipt based on the full market value of the securities on the day it receives the “in-kind” transfer (the closing bid price on that day). The transfer of shares can take a few days, or weeks in the case of mutual funds. Please allow up to 4 weeks for this process to be completed.

Donating RRSPs or RRIFs

You can designate the National Association of Women and the Law or the National Association of Women and the Law Trust as a full or partial beneficiary of your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF).

The tax burden can be considerable for registered funds, such as RRSPs and RRIFs. When someone dies, it is as if they cashed in their assets all at once and it is added to their taxable income. Generally, the largest tax hit on an estate is for the remaining balance of an RRSP or RRIF on the death of a spouse, because the Canada Revenue Agency treats this as income in the year of death.

When this happens, this means the estate could be taxed at the highest income rate. This could be more than 50 per cent when probate fees are added.

Donating your RRSPs or RRIFs would eliminate this tax—but it does require careful planning. Donors should seek independent legal and/or accounting advice when considering a gift funded from RRSP/RRIF assets to ensure that they are not caught unaware of the tax implications of such gifts.

Frequently asked questions

It is possible to use the charitable tax credit to offset tax on withdrawal while the donor is living.  When you withdraw funds from an RRSP, your financial institution withholds the tax. The rates depend on your residency and the amount you withdraw. For residents of Canada outside of Quebec, the RRSP withdrawal rates are:

  • Under $5000, it is 10%.
  • Up to $15,000, it is 20%.
  • Over $15,000, it is 30%.

If you are living in Quebec, or aren’t a Canadian resident, please speak with your financial institution as the rates differ.

To note, a probate or executor is not needed to facilitate this type of gift given the donor is still living.

Giving your RRSPs or RRIFs later can allow you access to the funds throughout the donor’s lifetime while also reducing the tax burden on the Estate.

Designating NAWL or the NAWL Trust as a direct beneficiary of your RRSP or RRIF protects the RRSP or RRIF from being subject to estate administration taxes (probate fees) or executor fees because it does not go through your Estate. Beneficiaries can be named directly on your RRSP/RRIF, with the option of listing multiple beneficiaries.

To note, for direct beneficiary designations the value of the eligible charitable gift receipt will be the value of the gift on the date of death.

It may be possible to avoid having tax withheld from the withdrawal from an RRSP/RRIF if you complete a T1213 (A Request to Reduce Tax Deductions at Source). This is particularly beneficial for larger donations.

Your financial institution or an accountant can help complete the necessary paperwork. While it can take several weeks for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to process the form, once approved and provided to the financial institution holding the RRSPs/RRIFs, the financial institution would not be required to withhold an amount in respect of tax and the full amount of the withdrawal may be transferred to the registered charity.

As with all significant gifts to a charity, careful planning is required to realize the maximum impact of the donation. Donors should seek independent legal and/or accounting advice when considering a gift funded from RRSP/RRIF assets to ensure that they are not caught unaware of the tax implications of such gifts.