Featured Articles

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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 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 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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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 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.

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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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 accurate are the T3010 charity returns when it comes to political activities?

Canadian registered charities must file the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return within six months of the end of their fiscal year, although some are not able to meet that deadline and file soon thereafter.  It is a very important form because despite its limitations it is really the only uniform way to obtain information on all registered charities in Canada.  Some people are surprised to find out that answers on the T3010 are not always reliable.  I am going to make a few comments on the reliability of the T3010 and specifically with respect to questions relating to “political activities”.

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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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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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Is your Band or Aboriginal group affected by recent CRA Charities Directorate Changes?

Many Aboriginal groups or bands either currently receive or could receive funding from Canadian charities and foundations. Some of these Aboriginal groups who are receiving funding do so on account of their special status of being a “municipal or public body performing a function of government in Canada”. There are important changes that will affect over a thousand Aboriginal groups in Canada receiving funding or donations from Canadian charities or individuals. Many of the groups may need to make an application to CRA in order to preserve their ability to issue official donation receipts and accept gifts under the Income Tax Act (Canada)

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Largest Canadian Registered Charities by Employment Compensation

About 2.7 million Canadians work for Canadian registered charities. They earn approximately $122 billion per year.  This article takes data from the CRA's T3010 Registered Charity Information Return and shows the charities that spend the most on employment compensation.  

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List of Ontario Non-Profit Corporations finally revealed for the first time

Here is a list of the Ontario non-profit corporations under the Ontario Corporations Act.  There are 59,605 Ontario corporations on the list.  The list is 1084 pages long.  Some of the Ontario corporations are active and some are inactive.  We think that it is important for organizations to be able to have a public list so that they can easily determine whether or not they are an Ontario corporation.  If you are interested in updates about the new Ontario non-profit corporations act ("ONCA") check out our ONCA and CNCA directory.   

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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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Mergers and Amalgamations within the Canadian Non-Profit and Charity Sector - The Philanthropist

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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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New Guidance for Canadian Registered Charities Carrying out Foreign Activities

CRA has just released a new guidance called “Canadian Registered Charities Carrying out Activities Outside Canada”.    Although the name indicates “foreign activities” this document deals with a lot more than foreign activities.  It covers the relationship between a Canadian charity and any non-qualified donee, whether in Canada or abroad.  If a Canadian charity has dealing with, for example, a non-profit that does not have charitable status then the same rules apply as a Canadian charity dealing with a foreign entity.  Essentially, almost all organizations outside of Canada are non-qualified donees.  If you are going to transfer resources to them you need to maintain “direction and control” over those resources.  This document helps a Canadian charity understand what is required for direction and control. Failure to maintain direction and control can result in a 105% penalty of the amount transferred and/or revocation of charitable status.

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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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