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John Gallop outside his apartment building in Westmount, Que. on Dec. 2, 2020.Stephanie Foden/The Globe and Mail

The donor: John Gallop

The gift: $100,000

In normal years, John Gallop donates about $50,000 to a range of charities through a fund he set up at the Foundation of Greater Montreal. This year, because of the pandemic, he’s doubling that.

Mr. Gallop, 83, has a long history in philanthropy and he helped launch the community foundation 20 years ago. He was also among the first to create a donor-advised fund at the FGM.

Those funds have grown in popularity in recent years and they allow donors to open an account, receive a tax receipt for their contribution and then decide which charities to support. “I just think it is so useful that I’m surprised more people aren’t aware of it,” Mr. Gallop said from his home in Montreal.

Mr. Gallop had a lengthy career in technology and finance and he supports several charities with his annual gifts. He has also funded a scholarship at his alma mater, Bishop’s University, for Indigenous students studying education. “My principal luxury pre- and postretirement has been quite extensive international travel,” he said. “Years ago, I made an unwritten commitment to donate to charity each year at least as much as I was spending on my travels.”

This year Mr. Gallop is making an additional $50,000 donation to FGM’s COVID-19 response effort. The foundation has supported more than 100 non-profit organizations in Montreal since the pandemic started, ranging from the Orchestre Métropolitain to the Old Brewery Mission.

Throughout the outbreak, Mr. Gallop has become frustrated at reports that spending on home renovation has increased as families reprioritize money they’ve saved from not commuting to work or taking vacation trips.

“My motivation is simple,” he said. “Since everybody is confined to home and you can’t go to Florida, why not give it to charity?”