Canadian Charities Operating Abroad

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2015 Federal Budget and its Impact on Canadian Charities

This article discusses the 2015 Federal Budget and its implications for registered charities and the charity sector. 

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Blumbergs Canadian Charity Sector Snapshot 2011 -understanding the charity sector through the T3010

We recently reviewed the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return database for 2011 as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project.  The database covers 82,000 of the 86,000 registered charities in Canada that had filed their T3010 and were processed into CRA’s Charity Listing database by November 2012.  This article provides a snapshot of the registered charity sector based on the 2011 T3010 filings.

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Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2011

We recently reviewed the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return database for 2011 as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project.  We provided an overview of the whole charity sector in the Blumbergs’ Charity Sector Snapshot 2011.  We have taken a subset of the 2011 T3010 data to look at only registered charities based in Ontario.  This article provides a snapshot of the registered charity sector in Ontario based on the 2011 T3010 filings.  Here is a PDF of the Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2011.

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Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities - by Mark Blumberg in The Philanthropist

Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities -This article published in The Philanthropist describes the permissible structured relationships and agreements, review a number of cases dealing with Canadian charities operating abroad, and highlight some of the challenges facing Canadian charities that have foreign activities.

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Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities by Mark Blumberg (October 2007 Article)

This 29 page article will attempt to assist Canadian charities who are conducting or interested in conducting programs outside of Canada with some of the legal issues that they may face. It will discuss the statutory and regulatory framework for Canadian charities operating abroad, describe the permissible structured relationships and agreements; review a number of cases dealing with Canadian charities operating abroad and highlight some challenges facing Canadian charities that have foreign activities.  Canadian charities need to be aware of the rules that govern their foreign activities, some of which are contained in RC4106 (Registered Charities: Operating Outside Canada),  in order to comply with Canada Revenue Agency requirements and to avoid deregistration, intermediate sanctions, negative publicity etc. 

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Canadian Charities Conducting International Activities (2015)

This article Canadian Charities Conducting International Activities (2015) discusses the regulatory environment for Canadian charities conducting foreign activities as well as certain practical and ethical issues.  

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Canadian Charities Maintaining Direction and Control and Avoiding Being a Conduit

Canadian charities generally cannot just gift funds to foreign charities.  This article discusses appropriate direction and control over foreign activities and projects by Canadian charities.

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Canadian Charities Operating Abroad - Presentation to the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto

In this presentation I provide an overview of issues for Canadian charities operating abroad especially Jewish charities interested in operating in Israel, the US and the rest of the world.  I specifically discuss certain issues with respect to Israel and I also provide a list of all Canadian charities that identify themselves as operating in Israel or the Middle East.  The presentation also includes a list of “Jewish/Israeli” charities that operate outside of Canada ordered by the amount of the contributions over that they spend outside of Canada.

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Canadian Charities Working with Other Organizations that are not Registered Charities

In this article I discuss how Canadian charities can work with other Canadian or International Organizations that are not registered Canadian charities as long as they maintain direction and control of the Canadian resources.

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Canadian Private and Public Foundations and International Activities

Here is my article on Canadian Private and Public Foundations and International Activities.  In this article I suggest 4 ways that Canadian Private and Public Foundations can carry on foreign charitable activities outside of Canada or assist with humanitarian relief or international development.

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Canadian Sanctions and Canadian charities operating in Zimbabwe: Be Very Careful!

Canadian charities operating in Zimbabwe need to be extremely careful.  It is not the place for a new and inexperienced charity to begin foreign operations.  In fact, only Canadian charities with substantial experience in difficult international operations should even consider operating in Zimbabwe.  It is one of the most difficult countries to carry out charitable operations by virtue of the very difficult political, security, human rights and economic situation and the resultant Canadian and international sanctions.  This article will set out some information on the Zimbabwe Sanctions including the full text of the Act and Regulations governing the sanctions.

CRA’s Consultation on Foreign Activities: What is New with Canadian Charities + Foreign Activities

In this article “CRA’s Consultation on Foreign Activities: What is New and Interesting with Canadian Charities Conducting Foreign Activities” I discuss what is new in the draft consultation.

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Ethical Tourism may be laudable but not charitable according to the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal

In the Travel Just case CRA had refused to register an organizations whose objects were very broad.  The Federal Court of Appeal agreed with CRA.  [Subsequently the Supreme Court of Canada refused an application for leave to appeal.]

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Foreign Universities Fundraising in Canada

There are many options for foreign universities who are interested in fundraising in Canada and I have discussed 6 different options. It is time to think of your alma mater or your parent’s alma mater and how Canadians can support these universities.

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Model Contractor Agreement for a Canadian Registered Charity Carrying Out Foreign Activities

Here is a sample contractor agreement for a Canadian registered charity conducting foreign activities I prepared it for the Capacity Builders Charity Law Information Program (CLIP) in order to assist charities with understanding what such an agreement could look like.

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New Guidance for Canadian Registered Charities Carrying out Foreign Activities

CRA has just released a new guidance called “Canadian Registered Charities Carrying out Activities Outside Canada”.    Although the name indicates “foreign activities” this document deals with a lot more than foreign activities.  It covers the relationship between a Canadian charity and any non-qualified donee, whether in Canada or abroad.  If a Canadian charity has dealing with, for example, a non-profit that does not have charitable status then the same rules apply as a Canadian charity dealing with a foreign entity.  Essentially, almost all organizations outside of Canada are non-qualified donees.  If you are going to transfer resources to them you need to maintain “direction and control” over those resources.  This document helps a Canadian charity understand what is required for direction and control. Failure to maintain direction and control can result in a 105% penalty of the amount transferred and/or revocation of charitable status.

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Structured Arrangement versus Conduit for Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities

This article discusses the difference between an acceptable intermediary relationship between a Canadian charity and a foreign charity or NGO (a structured arrangement) and an unacceptable arrangement such as a conduit.

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Updated Canadian Registered Charity Legal Checklist by Mark Blumberg

Here is an updated version of the Canadian Charity Legal Checklist.  For those who are interested in reviewing legal compliance for their registered charity they may find the checklist helpful.  

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Which Canadian charities spent money on foreign activities and how much did they spend?

We recently reviewed the T3010 information for 2011 relating to foreign activities. The database was prepared by the Charities Directorate of CRA in September 2012 and covers about 81,000 charities (94% of Canadian registered charities) and their 2011 T3010 returns. We reviewed the Canadian charities that identified they did foreign activities through funding projects abroad (approximately 5200 charities identified spending funds abroad and only about 3550 spent over $10,000. We also list which identified they received CIDA funding and how much was spent on those arrangements. Finally, we list the amount of gift in kinds that charities issued receipts for which they may or may not have shipped abroad

Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?

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Charity Lawyer Mark Blumberg

Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.

mark@blumbergs.ca
416.361.1982
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