Canadian Charity Statistics
March 10, 2013
Statistics Canada has released further information on Canadian donors for 2011
Statistics Canada has recently released donor information for 2011. Every year Stats Can puts out this information and people write about it. Stats Can notes: “Charitable donations reported by taxfilers increased 2.6% from 2010 to just under $8.5 billion in 2011. At the same time, the number of people reporting charitable donations on their 2011 income tax return decreased by 0.6% to 5.7 million.” Looking at what tax filers claim as the basis for charitable donations is problematic on a number of levels and the “Note to Reader” is completely inadequate and getting worse. You have about $300 million dollars per year are now claimed as part of abusive gifting tax schemes in which almost none goes to charity. Furthermore, Canadians often give to charity in circumstances in which receipts are not issued. As well, not all Canadians who receive receipts use them on their tax filing. Canadian charities in 2011 issued approximately $13 billion in receipts and only $8.5 billion were claimed on tax returns.
I have discussed the issue before at “StatsCan stats on charity sector interesting - but notes even more interesting” http://www.canadiancharitylaw.ca/index.php/blog/comments/statscan_stats_on_charity_sector_interesting_-_but_notes_even_more_int/
Here is information from Stats Can:
“Charitable donors, 2011
PDF version http://www.statcan.gc.ca/access_acces/alternative_alternatif.action?teng=The Daily, Wednesday, February 13, 2013: Charitable donors, 2011&tfra=Le Quotidien, le mercredi 13 février 2013 : Dons de charité, 2011&l=eng&loc=dq130213a-eng.pdf
Charitable donations reported by taxfilers increased 2.6% from 2010 to just under $8.5 billion in 2011. At the same time, the number of people reporting charitable donations on their 2011 income tax return decreased by 0.6% to 5.7 million.
In 2011, 23.0% of all taxfilers claimed charitable donations. The highest percentage of taxfilers declaring a donation occurred in Manitoba (25.9%), followed by Saskatchewan (25.0%) and Prince Edward Island (24.9%).
Nationally, the median donation was $260 in 2011, meaning that half of those claiming a donation gave more than $260, and half less. This was unchanged from 2010.
The median donation was down slightly in all of the Atlantic provinces and up slightly in the Prairie provinces and Northwest Territories. It remained stable in all of the other provinces and territories.
Donors in Nunavut reported a median charitable donation of $470, the highest among the provinces and territories for the 12th consecutive year. Donors in Alberta had the second-highest median donation at $400.
Among census metropolitan areas, donors in Abbotsford–Mission, British Columbia, had by far the highest median charitable donation at $630. This was the 10th year in a row in which they had the highest median charitable donation. They were followed by donors in Calgary with a median of $400, Vancouver and Victoria at $390, and Kelowna and Saskatoon at $380.
Note to readers
Canadians contribute in many ways to charitable organizations. These data include only amounts given to charities and approved organizations for which official tax receipts were provided and claimed on tax returns. It is possible to carry donations forward for up to five years after the year in which they were made. Therefore, donations reported for the 2011 taxation year could include donations that were made in any of the five previous years. According to tax laws, taxfilers are permitted to claim both their donations and those made by their spouses to receive better tax benefits. Consequently, the number of people who made charitable donations may be higher than the number who claimed tax credits.
All data in this release have been tabulated according to the 2006 Standard Geographical Classification used for the 2006 Census.
A census metropolitan area (CMA) is formed by one or more adjacent municipalities centred on a population centre (also known as the core). A CMA must have a total population of at least 100,000, of which 50,000 or more must live in the core.”
March 06, 2013
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.
The Canadian charity sector is a vital part of Canadian society and economy with revenue of over $212 billion and expenditures of over $205 billion.
The Sean Blumberg Transparency Project is in memory of my youngest brother Sean Blumberg. Sean was a sweet, kind person, a great brother who helped me on a number of occasions with many tasks including the time consuming and arduous task of reviewing T3010 databases and making them into something useful. As part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project, Blumbergs will be releasing information on the Canadian charity sector to provide a better understanding of the size, scope, complexity and challenges of the sector.
Please review the caveats at the end about the reliability and usage of T3010 information.
Thank you to Celeste Bonas, an intern at Blumbergs, for helping with this project and to my late brother Sean for being such an inspiration.
Blumbergs Canadian Charity Sector Snapshot 2011
February 14, 2013
CRA publishes new web page on “How to get information about a charity”
The Charities Directorate has just published a new page which sets out how members of the public can obtain information about registered charities.
Here is the link to the CRA page: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/cntct/nfrmtn-eng.html
Here is the text of the CRA page (but better to visit the actual page as there are a number of links contained on the CRA website:
“How to get information about a charity You can get general and specific information about registered or revoked charities online, by contacting the charity, or by making an informal information request or a formal access to information request with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
To find information about registered Canadian amateur athletic associations and other qualified donees, go to Other qualified donees listings.
Search for a charity on the Charities Listings
The CRA maintains the Charities Listings, a public, searchable list of Canadian registered charities that you can use to find out if a charity is registered, revoked, annulled, suspended, or penalized. You can also find a charity’s contact information, general activities, and financial information, which may show how much of the charity’s resources are devoted to charitable activities.
Once you have searched the Charities Listings, you can either:
•view the results online in full view or in Quick View (a user-friendly display that includes graphics);
•download the results by following the download instructions; or
Complementing the Charities Listings is Charity Focus, a tool that was developed by Imagine Canada in partnership with the CRA that provides an in-depth year-to-year comparison of a charity’s financial information. Charities can also upload documents such as mission statements, program information, annual reports, and financial statements to Charity Focus.
Contact the charity
The charity itself is in the best position to explain and provide information about its programs and status.
To find a charity’s contact information, go to the Charities Listings.
The confidentiality provisions of the Income Tax Act (section 241) prevent the CRA from discussing the affairs of a particular organization without the consent of an authorized representative.
However, certain information about registered or revoked charities is available to the public.
The CRA can provide:
•a copy of a charity’s governing documents, including its statement of purpose;
•a copy of the public portions of a charity’s application for registration and notification of registration, including any conditions or warnings;
•the names of the individuals who at any time were a charity’s directors/trustees and the periods during which they were its directors/trustees;
•a copy of the public information from a charity’s annual information return and financial statements;
•a copy of letters the CRA has sent to a charity about the grounds for revocation or annulment;
•a copy of letters or notices the CRA has sent to a charity about a suspension or an assessment of tax or penalty (other than the amount of revocation tax); and
•a copy of a charity’s application, and information filed in support of that application, for:
◦re-designation as a charitable organization, private foundation, or public foundation
◦designation as an associated charity
◦permission to accumulate property.
The CRA cannot provide:
•information about a charity’s donors;
•confirmation that an application for charitable registration has been denied;
•confidential information about a charity’s officials;
•confidential information from a charity’s annual information return; or
•information relating to a charity’s dealings with the CRA, such as:
◦whether the charity is under investigation or audit
◦the status of an investigation or audit
◦the next steps of an investigation or audit
◦how and where the CRA gets its leads.
Make an informal information request
•are handled directly by the CRA’s Charities Directorate;
•are generally answered sooner than formal requests; and
•usually provide the same information as formal requests.
If you are a member of the media and you would like to make an informal information request, contact a media relations representative.
If you are a charity, donor, or member of the general public and you would like to make an informal information request, contact a Charities Directorate client service representative.
Make a formal access to information request
•have processing fees;
•are handled by the CRA’s Access to Information and Privacy Directorate in consultation with the Charities Directorate;
•generally take longer to process than informal requests; and
•usually provide the same information as informal requests.
If you are a member of the media and you would like to make a formal information request, contact a media relations representative.
If you are a charity, donor, or member of the general public and you would like to make a formal information request, go to Access to Information Request Form.
For more information, go to Access to information and privacy at the Canada Revenue Agency.
•Information available to the public from a registered charity’s information return”
February 11, 2013
House of Commons Finance Committee releases report today on Tax Incentives for Charitable Giving
Today the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (FINA) released its much anticipated report on Tax Incentives for Charitable Giving in Canada. The report discuss “Charitable Donations and Donors in Canada”, “The Regulation of Charities”, “Tax Incentives and their Estimated Federal Fiscal Cost” as well as specific proposals such as Charitable Donations Tax Credit Thresholds and Rates and Donations of Real Property and Shares of Private and Public Corporations. There is also discussions of bequests and tax fairness as well transparency and accountability of charities.
Here is the list of recommendations from the Finance Committee:
LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Subject to the government’s stated intention to balance the budget in the medium term, that the federal government explore the feasibility and cost of eliminating or lowering the capital gains tax on charitable donations of real or immovable property or the shares of private corporations to charities, provided that the proceeds of disposition are donated to a charity within a fixed period.
2. Subject to the government’s stated intention to balance the budget in the medium term, that the federal government explore the feasibility and cost of adopting a stretch tax credit.
3. Subject to the government’s stated intention to balance the budget in the medium term, that the federal government examine the feasibility and cost of extending the carry-forward period for claiming a charitable donation, including gifts of ecologically sensitive lands or gifts of certified cultural property.
4. Subject to the government’s stated intention to balance the budget in the medium term, that the federal government explore ways to increase charitable giving in the corporate sector — including through a review of the current donation contribution
limit — and the cost of such potential initiatives.
5. Subject to the government’s stated intention to balance the budget in the medium term, that the federal government explore the feasibility and cost of the promotion of bequests to charitable organizations and transfers of property to a charity as a result of a will.
6. That the federal government undertake a technical review of the Income Tax Act as it relates to charities, including the definitions of the terms “charity”, “charitable donation”, and “gift”, to ensure greater simplicity and reduced administrative compliance costs for charities.
7. That the federal government continue to monitor charitable giving trends and characteristics, and make such data available.
8. That the federal government further promote charitable giving by reminding and educating Canadians of existing tax incentives for charitable donations and their benefits.
9. That the federal government work with the charitable sector to promote the use of “mobile giving”, educating Canadians on the advantages and convenience when making charitable donations using new technology.
10. That the federal government continue to explore social finance instruments as a way to further encourage the development of government-community partnerships.
11. That the federal government continue to explore ways to reduce the administrative burden or “red tape burden” on charitable organizations, including — but not limited to — a review of the possibility of streamlining the excess corporate holdings provisions for private foundations, duplicative requirements, and the possibility of introducing administrative reporting on a sliding-scale basis, proportional to the size of the charitable organization.
12. That the federal government continue to recognize that promoting increased transparency and accountability in the charitable sector will support greater confidence among Canadians and their willingness to donate more generously. As such, the
federal government should explore options to continue to improve accountability and transparency in the charitable sector, such as potentially giving the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) a greater ability to disclose serious non-compliance by qualified donees and to disclose the annual returns of such donees, establishing a requirement for charities to demonstrate annually their “public benefit”, adopting measures as proposed in Bill C-470 as passed at third reading in the 40th Parliament, and allowing the CRA the ability to disclose some or all information contained on the Non-Profit Organization Information Return.
Here is a copy of the House of Commons Finance Committee report on Tax Incentives for Charitable Giving in Canada.
The full report is also available at http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/HOC/Committee/411/FINA/Reports/RP5972482/411_FINA_Rpt15_PDF/411_FINA_Rpt15-e.pdf
Here is the French version of the full report: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/HOC/Committee/411/FINA/Reports/RP5972482/411_FINA_Rpt15_PDF/411_FINA_Rpt15-f.pdf
February 09, 2013
Chronicle of Philanthropy article “Congress Urged to Require Charities to File 990s Online”
Here is an important article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy outlining an initiative to try and have charities electronically file their annual returns in the US and have this information more easily accessible online at no charge. Although Canadian charities cannot file their T3010s online they are put online by CRA and available in electronic format for anyone to search at no charge.
Congress Urged to Require Charities to File 990s Online
February 02, 2013
Blumbergs Financial Snapshot of the Canadian charity sector 2011
The T3010 is a great resource on the Canadian charity sector. We recently reviewed the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return database for 2011 as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project. The database covers 82,848 of the approximately 86,000 registered charities that had filed their T3010 and were processed into the CRA’s Charity Listing database by November 2012. Canadian registered charities are currently required to disclose on the T3010 in Section D or Schedule 6 certain financial information on assets and liabilities, as well as revenue and expenditures. We thought it would be interesting to look at the total financial figures for all the Canadian registered charities. They are presented as both excel format and also inserted into the T3010 itself at the end. The Canadian charity sector is a vital part of Canadian society and economy. As you can see from this article it has revenue of over $212 billion and expenditures of over $205 billion.
Here is the note Blumbergs Financial Snapshot of the Canadian charity sector
January 16, 2013
How many registered charities are there in Canada?
I took a look at the CRA website and here are the numbers of Canadian registered charities.
Charitable organizations 75,912
Public Foundations 5,130
Private Foundation. 5,218
Total registered charities 86,260
December 11, 2012
Canadian Private Foundations – Who had the largest total expenditures
We recently reviewed the private foundations contained on the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return for 2011. In this case we looked at the approximately 500 private foundations on the database who had the greatest total expenditures according to their T3010 filings. There are some interesting surprises on the list.
In the note we have created a table of 500 private foundations based on the amount they spent in 2011. We have also listed how much each of those foundations had in terms of assets in their 2011 fiscal year. Finally, we have included a column which sets out the amount percentage of the total assets spent by the foundation in that year.
Canadian Private Foundations – Who had the largest total expenditures?
December 04, 2012
Which Canadian Charities Spent Money on “political activities” and how much did they spend
We recently reviewed the T3010 information for 2011. 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.
Canadian registered charities are currently required to disclose on the T3010 “Did the Charity Carry on Political Activities During the Fiscal Year?” (line 2400) and “Enter the Total Amount spent by the Charity on these activities” (line 5000)
Please review my caveats at the end about the reliability and usage of T3010 information.
Here is a list of Canadian registered charities that identified they carry on political activities with their legal name, the province that the charity is based in, the total amount spent by the charity on political activities and the total amount spent on charitable activities.
Which Canadian Charities Spent Money on political activities and how much did they spend
November 21, 2012
Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute - corporate law, CRA compliance and more
On November 28, 2012 we will be having the Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute in Toronto. It will be a full day of practical legal and ethical compliance information geared toward charities, professional advisors and those interested in regulatory issues affecting charities.
Delighted to have 120 registrants so far for the program.
Some of the highlights include:
•head of the Determinations Division of the Charities Directorate of CRA, which determines whether charitable applications will be accepted, will talk about issues with applying for charitable status;
•lawyers from the Ontario government will discuss progress and issues with the new Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act (ONCA);
•a representative of Corporations Canada of Industry Canada will provide a short primer on the Canada Not-for-profit Corporation Act (CNCA) and transition requirements as well as deficiencies with the applications that Industry Canada is receiving and common questions asked by practitioners.
•a top corporate lawyer will focus on lessons learned, issues and challenges with the CNCA and what to expect with the ONCA;
•hearing directly from CRA about changes relating to political activities of Canadian charities, other policy developments and upcoming guidances;
•discussion of major challenges with receipting and unacceptable donor restrictions;
•recent changes in transparency and availability of charity information from a transparency expert;
•update from Mark Blumberg on the charity sector, recent developments and the ongoing political processes in Ottawa affecting charities and donors;
•and much more.
Here is a link to the information and registration page: http://charitylaw.eventbrite.com
The Blumberg’ Canadian Charity Law Institute will be a one day conference on November 28, 2012 in Toronto covering important information on compliance for Canadian registered charities.
Those who are involved in the governance of charities or advising charities will find the conference essential to keeping up with recent developments and understanding the regulatory framework.
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
8:00 - Light Breakfast and Registration
8:45 - Introductory comments
9:00 - New Federal Non-Profit Act (CNCA)(Coleen Kirby, Industry Canada)
10:00 - Comments on the CNCA (Wayne Gray, McMillan LLP)
10:45 - Break
11:00 - New Ontario Non-Profit Act (ONCA) (Ontario Government, MCS - Jennifer Lee and Joanne Gort)
11:45 - Comments on the ONCA (Wayne Gray, McMillan LLP)
12:00 - Lunch - Presentation on State of the Sector and Recent Developments (Mark Blumberg, Blumberg Segal LLP)
1:00 - Issues in applying for charitable registration (CRA) – (Linda Desrochers, CRA, Director, Assessment, Determinations and Monitoring Division)
2:00 - What’s new from the Charities Directorate of CRA: Political activities, 2011 and 2012 Budgets and upcoming Guidances (Linda Desrochers, CRA, Director, Assessment, Determinations and Monitoring Division)
3:00 - Break
3:15 - Receipting and Gift acceptance issues (Mark Blumberg, Blumberg Segal LLP)
4:00 - Transparency -new tools and expectations (Steven Ayer, Common Good Strategies)
4:45 - Concluding comments
There are a limited number of spaces available for this conference.
The price is $145 for the day. It includes lunch, breaks, coffee and drinks, HST and handouts.
Blumberg’ Canadian Charity Law Institute will be of interest to staff at non-profits and charities responsible for compliance issues, professional advisors such as lawyers and accountants who advise charities and non-profits, and board members of Canadian charities.
If you have questions please call Kaitlin Grandy at 416-361-1982 x. 242.
Tickets are fully refundable until November 1, 2012 but not thereafter. If you register and are unable to attend, you are welcome to substitute someone else from your organization at any time. Dates and locations may be subject to change should circumstances arise. All efforts will be made to notify you as soon as possible in this event.