Canadian Charities and Ethical Issues

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2011 Budget and new “ineligible individual” category: How this can affect your Canadian registered

Here is my article Budget 2011 and new “ineligible individual” category: How this can affect your Canadian registered charity.

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2011 Federal Budget - What’s new for Canadian Registered Charities

I had the privilege today of attending the Budget 2011 Stakeholders Lock-up.  Here are the parts of the budget that relate to registered charities and other qualified donees.   Also below are some of the highlights of the budget.

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2012 Canadian Federal Budget - March 29, 2012 and its impact on charities

On March 29, 2012 Finance Minister Jim Flaherty released the Federal Budget at approximately 4PM.  There are about 10 pages of information dealing with charities in the almost 500 page document.  Here are the pieces of the 2012 Canadian Federal Budget that affect the Canadian charitable sector.

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2014 Federal Budget and its Impact on Canadian Charities

Today Finance Minister Jim Flaherty introduced the Canadian Federal Budget 2014.  The budget had a large number of provisions dealing with non-profits and charities. Here are some excerpts from the Federal Budget in one PDF document.    Overall I was very pleased with the provisions of the budget dealing with charities.

Abusive Canadian Charity Tax Shelter Schemes

This article discusses certain ‘charitable’ gifting schemes which threaten to undermine the public and regulators confidence in the charitable sector. This article also discusses a plan to deal with this problem.

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Blumbergs 2013 Receipting Kit for Canadian Registered Charities

Here is the Blumbergs’ 2013 Receipting Kit.

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Blumbergs submission on the importance of transparency to the charity and non-profit sector

Canadians want charitable donations to benefit legitimate charities

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Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2011

We recently reviewed the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return database for 2011 as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project.  We provided an overview of the whole charity sector in the Blumbergs’ Charity Sector Snapshot 2011.  We have taken a subset of the 2011 T3010 data to look at only registered charities based in Ontario.  This article provides a snapshot of the registered charity sector in Ontario based on the 2011 T3010 filings.  Here is a PDF of the Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2011.

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Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Audits and Canadian Registered Charities

This article provides information and suggestions as to how a Canadian charity should, and should not, deal with CRA audits.  It also discusses possible CRA responses and the likelihood of each response. 

If you are being audited by the Charities Directorate of CRA you may find my article useful.

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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 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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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 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.

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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How Much Should A Canadian Charity Spend on Overhead - an article by Mark Blumberg

Canadians are increasingly asking “How Much Should A Canadian Charity Spend on Overhead?”  Is this the right question?
Here is my June 2010 article on the subject which was just published in the Canadian Donor’s Guide: view PDF

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Is it legal and ethical to take over a dormant Canadian charity? - my Charity Village article

Here is an article I wrote for Charity Village entitled “Is it legal and ethical to take over a dormant Canadian charity?”

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Managing Risk with Volunteers in Canadian Charities

32 ideas for managing risk with volunteers. Volunteers are very important for many charities.  However, one should manage the risks associated with volunteers and here are some thoughts.  

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Model Contractor Agreement for a Canadian Registered Charity Carrying Out Foreign Activities

Here is a sample contractor agreement for a Canadian registered charity conducting foreign activities I prepared it for the Capacity Builders Charity Law Information Program (CLIP) in order to assist charities with understanding what such an agreement could look like.

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Offshore Tax Havens, Harmful Tax Competition and International Development

Offshore tax havens are very detrimental to the Canadian tax base and under cut our social programs.  However, the effect of offshore tax havens on the developing world is far more devastating.  I was reading a very good article by Peter Gillespie of the Canadian charity Inter Pares called “Going Offshore”.  It reminded me that a long time ago I wrote a paper on offshore tax havens (THE OECD’S REPORT ON HARMFUL TAX COMPETITION: Is ‘Harmful Tax Competition’ Actually Harmful?) in which I look at the defenders of tax havens and apologists for the wealthy not paying their fair share and refute the arguments that they make. 

If you are interested in understanding the international development issues relating to tax havens and tax avoidance there is The Tax Justice Network (TJN) which is an international, non-aligned coalition of researchers and activists with a shared concern about the harmful impacts of tax avoidance, tax competition and tax havens. They have a website at:

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So how much do Canadian charities receive from foreign sources according to the T3010 Returns?

There has been a little political firestorm last week over US foundations funding of certain Canadian environmental charities.  So how much revenue actually comes to Canada from foreign countries including the US?  The answer seems to be about $831 million.  That is from Line 4575 “Total revenue received from all sources outside Canada”.  If you are interested in who got what then read on.

Here is my note of the top registered charity recipients of Total revenue received from all sources outside Canada.

Just to provide some perspective Canadian charities had revenue of over $192 billion dollars and spent about $2.6 billion outside of Canada every year.

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Top Receipting Concerns for Canadian Registered Charities by Mark Blumberg for the OBA Institute

Here is a copy of my paper delivered at the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) Institute 2011 entitled Top Receipting Concerns for Canadian Registered Charities.  I was delighted to be co-chairing the program and that there were 90 lawyers out for the sessions.

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Top Ten Canadian Charity Law Issues by Mark Blumberg

So much is written about legal issues relating to charities in Canada. In this article I try to distill the ten most important things you need to know about charity law in Canada.

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Updated Canadian Registered Charity Legal Checklist by Mark Blumberg

Here is an updated version of the Canadian Charity Legal Checklist.  For those who are interested in reviewing legal compliance for their registered charity they may find the checklist helpful.  

Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?


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.
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