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.
I have just completed 4 years on the CRA's Technical Issues Working Group. Most people don't even know that it exists. The Technical Issues Working Group is fondly known as TIWG and pronounced like 'twig'. It is an opportunity twice a year for CRA, Finance, certain charities and professional advisors to discuss technical and other issues affecting the sector.
We have created two new online courses for those outside of Toronto who are not able to come to our programs. They might also be helpful to those in Toronto who cannot wait for our next session as they sometimes only occur annually. Online course are never going to be the same as in-person courses but for many they are far eaiser to access and more convenient. You can do an online course at your pace and redo sections if you wish.
The first course is "Should We Establish a Canadian Social Enterprise, Non-Profit or Charity and How to Do It?". The course is $149 and you can register at https://charity-law.teachable.com/
The second course is "Receipting for Canadian Registered Charities". The course is $225 and you can register at https://charity-law.teachable.com/
Here is our article "Comparison of the CRA’s Charities Listing and Blumbergs’ CharityData.ca" which looks at the two main public and free sources of data on registered charities in Canada.
There are a large number of Ontario non-profit corporations under the Ontario Corporations Act (“OCA”). As you may know the Ontario government has stated that it is targeting to replace the OCA with the new Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations (ONCA) at the beginning of 2020. ONCA has been delayed a number of times and although the Ontario Ministry announced it is targeting 2020, it is not certain that ONCA will necessarily be brought in by that date. On May 29, 2019 we asked the Ontario Government if there was any update or anything new with respect to ONCA and we heard on May 31, 2019 "We have no additional updates to share with you at this time about the Not for Profit Corporations Act."
Here is a Q&A from CRA about the new journalism qualified donee category.
CRA has recently updated its Charities Listing and the most notable change is the fact that they have reduced the amount of information available on each Canadian registered charity. The Charities Listing used to have up to 15 years of data for each charity, but now that has been reduced to only the last 5 years of data for each charity. There are concerns that this change reduces transparency and accountability within the charitable sector. While the information is still technically publicly available, now anyone who would like to review older data must first submit a request form to CRA and wait a few weeks instead of that information being instantly available.