We assist Canadian charities, their staff and boards of directors, to understand their legal and ethical obligations when operating a Canadian registered charity and provide insights and information to non-Canadian charities interested in operating or fundraising in Canada.
The charitable sector in Canada has become more challenging. It is highly competitive with over 86,000 Canadian registered charities. As well donors, regulators, media, the public as well as other stakeholders, have increasingly high expectations of charities and how they operate. We assist charities in Canada grapple with these important legal and standards issues.
Blumbergs is pleased to announce that we will be hosting Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp again on Monday April 20, 2020. An easy enough date to remember! This is a one-day boot camp on compliance and standards issues for Canadian registered charities. You can find out more information and register for the program here. This Boot Camp will cover the differences between for-profits, non-profits and registered charities and why in some cases you may wish to have one or more of each to have maximum impact. It will focus on matters that are significant for any operating charity surrounding revenue generation rules, receipting, transparency, and protecting your charity against risks. Topical issues such as collaboration, foreign activities, political activities, the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (CNCA) and Ontario Non-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) will be touched upon as well.
Since February 2019 there has not been any update from the Ontario government about ONCA coming into force. As we have noted before the Ontario government is no longer referring to ONCA coming into force in early 2020. A few months ago we put in a freedom of information request on ONCA and the computer company developing the new ONBIS system. We wanted to know why it has taken so long to move ONCA along and when it is likely to come into force. We just received the answer to my ATIP request and needless to say it does not answer either of the questions with there being some significant redactions. Here is the FOI response from the Ontario Government on ONCA from the Blumbergs request. It is interesting and 37 pages in length but does not provide much in terms of why ONCA has been so delayed and when ONCA will come in!
I was recently on a VITREO podcast entitled Episode 31: The Impact of the Community Foundation - How They Have Become Power Players in Philanthropy and What it Means for the Sector. It dealt with community foundations, donor-advised funds and perpetual gifts. There was lots of interesting perspectives and vigorous discussion between the 4 guests.
There was a recent Tax Court of Canada ("TCC") case Miller v. The Queen, 2019 TCC 204. It is not an important or exciting case - it deals with a charity tax scheme. A person buys some multimedia courseware for $7000 then claims that the fair market value is $42,000. We have seen lots of those types of cases and CRA has been successful in court over denying the deductions. What is most interesting to me is that the "donation" was in late 2003 and we are now in late 2019. It has taken this case about 15 years to be heard by the TCC.
Here is an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) request made of Global Affairs Canada in 2018 relating to "List of all Canadian non-profit organization (NGOs) and charities that applied for international development funding and were successful from Jan 1, 2011 to December 31, 2015." it is 15 pages long.
We have recently launched another online course entitled "Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) In Canada: Understanding this important and often misunderstood philanthropic vehicle? It is 1.5 hours long and covers a number of topics relating to donor advised funds or DAFs.