Charity Law In Canada

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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 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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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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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 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.  

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Establishing a Canadian Non-Profit or Charity - Avoiding practical, legal and ethical problems

Here is a copy of my presentation to the Canadian Association of Paralegals on Establishing a Canadian Non-Profit or Charity - Avoiding practical, legal and ethical problems.

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Ethical Tourism may be laudable but not charitable according to the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal

In the Travel Just case CRA had refused to register an organizations whose objects were very broad.  The Federal Court of Appeal agreed with CRA.  [Subsequently the Supreme Court of Canada refused an application for leave to appeal.]

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Foreign Universities Fundraising in Canada

There are many options for foreign universities who are interested in fundraising in Canada and I have discussed 6 different options. It is time to think of your alma mater or your parent’s alma mater and how Canadians can support these universities.

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Governance Changes and responding to the New Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA)

Confused about the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA)?  In this article we have summarized some things that non-profits and charities should consider.

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How Can Canadian Charity Obtain Cost-Effective Legal Services from a lawyer?

This article discusses how Canadian charities can obtain legal services in a way that will not break the bank.  This is a big problem.  According to the T3010 statistics a majority of charities spend zero on professional services which services include legal and accounting services.  This is far from desirable if one thinks that accountability, transparency, good governance and compliance with the laws are important.

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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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Imagine Canada’s new Ethics Code: Imagining a more ethical sector

Imagine has revised its Code of Ethics (or Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code) and in this article I review the changes and provide a critique of the strengths and weaknesses of the Imagine Canada’s Code of Ethics.

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Informal Legal Audits of Canadian Charities and their Foreign Operations

The Globe & Mail article I referred to above on Canadian disaster relief charities not complying with the rules provides one of many illustrations of the importance of Canadian charities understanding and complying with CRA guidelines on Canadian charities operating outside of Canada. If you make it through this giving season with your fingers crossed and without any scrutiny then consider in the new year having a informal legal audit of your foreign activities. It is the best gift you can give to your charitable loved one!

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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?”

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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