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.
For those who read our blog you will know that we are very pleased with the new Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”) that came into effect in 2011. It is a very easy to use modern corporate act that allows a tremendous amount of flexibility and was a wonderful improvement over the old Canada Corporations Act. It is also a major improvement over many of the provincial non-profit corporate acts. Although establishing a non-profit corporation was relatively easy there was one problem with using the Online Filing Centre.
We recently looked at Which Canadian charities received funds for political activities from foreign sources in 2016? We hope that you find the article interesting.
The Canadian charity and non-profit sector are an important part of the Canadian economy and have a huge impact on the lives of Canadians. With the registered charity sector (approximately 86,000 organizations) the public has up-to-date and detailed information. Unfortunately, with the 80-100,000 non-profits that are not registered charities (we don't even know how many there are) we have almost no information on the size and scope of that sector and there is little transparency on individual non-profits that are not registered charities.
The Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector has started having meetings and inviting witnesses. We covered the details of the mandate at Senate appoints Special Committee on the Charitable Sector to look at laws and policies and impact Here are the dates of the recent meetings (with either a link to the transcript or video webcast).
On May 10, 2018, Corporations Canada announced that for new Federal corporations that are newly incorporated, such as Federal non-profit corporations under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (CNCA), Corporations Canada would be providing the Canada Revenue Agency Business Number (BN) immediately after incorporation by email.
I am still surprised at the number of Canadian fundraisers that I meet who have not read the CRA's Fundraising Guidance or have read it but don't remember any of the details! Here is the Fundraising Guidance on the CRA site and here is a PDF version of the CRA Fundraising Guidance as of May 2018. If your Canadian registered charity is fundraising then you should be aware of this guidance. CRA is auditing charities that are not complying with the requirements and in some cases revoking them. I have put up a number of letters from CRA on our website that CRA wrote to charities as part of the revocation process. These letters show the actual implementation of the fundraising guidance.