Articles

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Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) for Canadian Registered Charities and Non-profit Organizations

This article discusses Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and how it impacts Canadian Registered Charities and Non-profit Organizations.

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Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation and its impact on charities and non-profit organizations

On July 1, 2014 Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will come into force.   Here is a brief article describing some of the key points of CASL and how it will impact Canadian charities.

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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 and Terrorism: Preventing Abuse of Your Favourite Canadian Charity

Charities, by virtue of their reputation and access to resources, in some cases make a tempting target for terrorists who are trying to acquire funds and/or legitimacy. Canadian charities need to be diligent in ensuring that their resources are used appropriately and not diverted to non-charitable uses, including terrorism. This article provides some basic guidance as to steps a Canadian charity can take to avoid having their resources misappropriated for terrorism or other inappropriate uses such as fraud.

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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 Non Profit and Charity Legal Audits: Forget about It!

Increased media, donor and regulatory scrutiny has resulted in more charities conducting informal legal audits to prevent problems, rather than reacting to them.

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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 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.

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Canadian Registered Charities Recently Revoked by CRA for cause or as a result of audit - 2014

On a number of occasions we have assembled a list of Canadian charities that had lost their registrations for cause.  We have now updated the list to August 2014.  This list contains over 5 years information on charities deregistered as a result of audit, which used to be referred to as “for cause”.  This list does not include registered charities who were revoked for “failure to file” their annual return or asked for voluntary revocation or those that were revoked for the sole reason that they were corporately dissolved.

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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.

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Cases Involving Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities

Here is the full text of certain recent Canadian cases decided in the last few years that should be of particular interest to Canadian charities that operate outside of Canada.  The 3 Federal Court of Appeal cases, namely the Tel-Aviv Foundation case, The Magen David Adom case and the Bayit Leplitot case, all deal with Canadian charities conducting foreign activities.

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Charities Directorate presentation “Major Non-Compliance Issues” by Canadian registered charities

Here is a copy of the powerpoint slides from a presentation delivered by Danie Huppé-Cranford to the International Committee on Fundraising Organizations (ICFO) Annual General Meeting, May 14, 2010 entitled “Compliance Overview - Major Non-Compliance Issues”.

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Charity Village article on the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA)

Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf recently posted an article on Charity Village providing some comments and information regarding the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA). Here is a link to the Charity Village article on the ONCA

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Compliance Issues with Successfully Funding Aboriginal Groups

I had the privilege of presenting a presentation today on Compliance Issues with Successfully Funding Aboriginal Groups for The Circle of Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s All My Relations Gathering in Toronto.

Here is a copy of my plenary presentation: Compliance Issues with Successfully Funding Aboriginal Groups.

Also I delivered a workshop which went further into these issues at here is slide deck for the workshop

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CRA Fundraising Consultation - One giant leap forward in guidance for Canadian registered charities

In April 2008, CRA released a Consultation on proposed policy regarding fundraising by Registered Charities (RC4456-e) (“Fundraising Consultation”).  This document is a relatively short six page overview, and CRA has recently provided charities with a more detailed document entitled “Background information for proposed policy on fundraising by Registered Charities” which is 29 pages (“Background Document”).  The background document provides greater detail, further definitions of terminology and CRA’s positions on various points.  In this article I will discuss the content of the Fundraising Consultation and Background Document, discuss and analyze the criticisms from others of these documents, and provide my own comments.

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CRA Releases Consultation on Proposed Policy on Fundraising by Registered Charities

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CRA releases its Guidance on “Upholding Human Rights and Charitable Registration”

CRA has released its guidance “Upholding Human Rights and Charitable Registration”.  Any Canadian charity dealing with human rights issues will want to read this document.

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CRA revocation letter to the Corban Foundation on forgivable loan program

Here is an interesting series of letters from CRA to the Corban Foundation in the 1990s relating its revocation as a registered charity.  It deals with the meaning of a gift,  and various programs to provide tuition assistance to those attending Christian schools.  It provides CRA’s views on the legal arguments and cases.

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CRA Top Ten Compliance Issues by Terry de March, Director General, Charities Directorate

This excellent slide presentation by Terry de March of the Canada Revenue Agency, Charities Directorate, highlights the most important compliance problems for registered Canadian face. Many charities could avoid problems by reading this article and ensuring compliance with the issues raised.

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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Enhancing the ONCA Transition for registered charities by reducing redundant charity review

In this submission to the Ontario Government, Mark Blumberg argues that Canadian registered charities that are Ontario corporations should not have to undergo essentially redundant regulatory review by the PGT when they make changes to their objects or move over to ONCA.  

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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