Here is a copy of the Blumbergs Canadian Charity Law List – March 2011

Blumbergs Canadian Charity Law List – March 2011

1) Japan earthquake – what can Canadian charities do?

The massive earthquake in Japan, apparently the biggest earthquake ever recorded in Japan, and the subsequent tsunami, have caused tremendous destruction. The Humanitarian Coalition is fundraising for Japan – you can find out more about them at  They are a Coalition of Care Canada, Save the Children Canada, Oxfam Quebec and Oxfam Canada.  Some Canadian charities may wish to raise funds and provide relief to those affected and here are some suggestions. 

2) Upcoming FREE CLIP Webinars on fundraising and properly issuing donation receipts

Here are some of the upcoming Charity Law Information Program (CLIP) webinars on receipting, fundraising and foreign activities with links to the registration pages that I will be delivering.  The CLIP program of Capacity Builders is supported by a contribution from the Charities Partnership and Outreach Program of the Charities Directorate. There is no charge for these sessions.  You can register for any session by clicking the link below or visiting

Topic: Fundraising 101: The CRA Fundraising Guidance in 1 Hour
Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Time: 10:00 am EST

Topic: Fundraising 201: Advanced Issues with the CRA Fundraising Guidance
Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Time: 12:00 pm EST

Topic: Dangerous Opinions – Legal and Ethical Issues with Legal Opinions on Charity Law and the Income Tax Act with lawyer David Thompson
Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Time: 2:00 pm EST

Topic: Receipting 101 for Canadian Registered Charities
Date: Thursday, March 24, 2011
Time: 10:00 am EST

Topic: Receipting 201 for Canadian Registered Charities
Date: Thursday, March 24, 2011
Time: 12:00 pm EST

Topic: Gift In Kind Donations: Fair Market Value or the Highest Price?
Date: Thursday, March 24, 2011
Time: 2:00 pm EST

3) Dangerous Opinions – Legal and Ethical Issues with Legal Opinions on Charity Law by David Thompson

Last newsletter had a link to a paper by David Thompson of Scarfone Hawkins in Hamilton, Ontario entitled “Dangerous Opinions – Legal and Ethical Issues with Legal Opinions on Charity Law and the Income Tax Act”.  It discusses the role of some major law firms in providing “legal opinions”, marketing support, and ostensible legitimacy to sordid abusive charity gifting tax shelter schemes. Mr. Thompson is presently acting for plaintiffs in a number of class action lawsuits including claims against Banyan Tree Foundation/Rochester Financial Limited/Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP.  As noted above David will be presenting a webinar for CLIP.  The webinar is free and will be held on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm EST Here is the URL to register:

4) Number of Canadians Concerned about Charity Fraud Up Considerably – but should they be?

CanadaHelps and Capital One did a survey of Canadians about charity fraud which shows that the public’s concern about being defrauded is up considerably.  This is part of an initiative by CanadaHelps and Capital One to highlight dangers of charity fraud as part of Fraud Awareness Month.  Charities should be concerned about the results and their potential impact on donations and confidence in the sector.  I was interviewed by Global TV and by the Vancouver Sun on the issue. While fraud has gone down considerably over the last couple of years, media coverage of some cases has resulted in heightened concern about the issue.

5) CRA revokes the registration of The Organ Donation & Transplant Association of Canada

The Canada Revenue Agency has revoked the registration of The Organ Donation & Transplant Association of Canada for excessive fundraising and administrative fees and for involvement in an “international donation arrangement” in which “the Organization paid $35,000 to allegedly acquire property with a purported value of $2.4 million” which is about 1.5% of the value claimed.  For those interested in avoiding problems with gifts in kind you might want to check out a free seminar that I am delivering for the Charity Law Information Program on gift in kind donations and problems with them at

6) Toronto tax preparer jailed in tax fraud scheme – false Canadian charitable donation claims

Here is a press release from the Canada Revenue Agency about a Toronto tax preparer jailed in tax fraud scheme for issuing false receipts.

7) The Canada Revenue Agency revokes the registration of Pediatric AIDS Canada/USA as a charity

The CRA has revoked the registration of Pediatric AIDS Canada/USA.  It has also reminded Canadian charities that fundraise to be aware of the rules for fundraising contained in the CRA’s Guidance on Fundraising:  In addition to high fundraising costs, CRA noted that the former charity participated in an “international donation arrangement …the purpose of participating in this international donation arrangement was to artificially inflate its expenditures on charitable activities.”

8) C470 Bill on Canadian Charity compensation passes House and now is on to Senate

The House of Commons completed third reading and passed C-470 on March 8, 2011.  On March 9, 2011 the Senate passed the bill in first reading and there will be second reading on March 21, 2011.  If this bill passes the Senate, then Canadian registered charities will have to disclose the names of executives and employees whose compensation is over $100,000 per year, and not just the top 5 executives and employees, as of the 2012 financial year. 

9) CRA briefly discusses new anti-avoidance rules and designated gifts for Canadian charities

The CRA has posted a note on the new anti-avoidance rules and designated gifts for Canadian charities that were introduced in the March 2010 Federal Budget.

10) Toronto Star writes about a number of bad Canadian charities, some affiliated with Xentel

This Toronto Star article discusses various charities, including The Organ Donation and Transplant Association of Canada, the Children’s Emergency Foundation, Pediatric AIDS Canada, that CRA has recently shut down.  It also discusses the telemarketer Xentel DM (now called “iMarketing Solutions Group Inc.”) and their conduct.  If you are wondering what registered charities are allowed to do or not allowed to do with fundraising you may want to read the CRA’s Guidance on Fundraising at
  Do all charities a favour and don’t donate when you are getting a cold call from a charity that you are not involved with.  If you want to donate go to their website, do research and donate online.  Here are some other tips on donating wisely:

11) Charity Sector Watchdogs: An Intelligent Development? in Charity Village by Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf

Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf wrote an interesting article on Charity Sector Watchdogs in Canada.  He quotes Cathy Barr (Imagine Canada), Anderson Charters, owner of (a great database), Ken Berger (Charity Navigator), Kate Bahen (Charity Intelligence) and myself.

12) Industry Canada releases Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Regulations with Executive Summary

On February 26, 2011, Industry Canada published the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Regulations under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. It provides an Executive Summary as well.

13) “Keeping charity laws top of mind” – Mark Blumberg’s article in The Bottom Line – March 2011

Here is a copy of my article Keeping charity laws top of mind which was published in the accounting newspaper The Bottom Line.

14) Recently updated Canadian Charity Law Checklist by Mark Blumberg with compliance issues for Canadian charities

Here is a revised version of the Canadian Charity Law Checklist from our firm.  In addition to reminding charities of questions to ask, it also provides links to relevant resources. 


Upcoming Events

On March 28 I will be delivering a webinar with Ken Mayhew, but as we have 249 registrants we have stopped publicizing that one.

On April 7, 2011 I will be presenting to the Global Youth Conference at Victoria Park Collegiate.

On April 11, 2011 I will be presenting on the CRA Fundraising Guidance to the United Way of Canada Finance Forum in Calgary.

Over the next couple of months I will also be delivering seminars for the Institute of Chartered Accountants on fundraising regulation, receipting, and recent developments.

As noted above I will be delivering a number of webinars over the next 2 months.  For more information and a few of the topics see:

In June I will be presenting at the Alberta Government’s Vitalize Provincial Voluntary Sector Conference in Edmonton.  More information will be available at

Past Events

I delivered a seminar entitled “Governance Primer for Charity Boards” for Volunteer MBC (Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon)) and the Peel Leadership Centre on February 15, 2011.

In February I delivered a presentation to Care Canada on the CRA Guidance on Fundraising.  I also delivered a presentation to Ottawa charities on receipting and fundraising.

I hope that you found the above material helpful and please feel free to forward the e-mail newsletter to anyone you think may be interested. They can also sign up for the BLUMBERGS non-profit and charities law newsletter at

For further information on legal resources for Canadian Non-Profits and Charities please visit or

If you use Twitter you might want to follow me at: I am up to 684 followers on Twitter! 

If you want general information on registered charities in Canada you might find the archived webinars that were prepared for the Charity Law Information Program (CLIP) of Capacity Builders helpful

If you would like to retain our law firm for legal services or legal advice with respect to non-profits or charities, please contact me at or at 416-361-1982.

Mark Blumberg

Mark Blumberg, B.A., LL.B., LL.M., TEP

Blumberg Segal LLP
Barristers & Solicitors
390 Bay Street, Suite 1202
Toronto, Ontario, M5H2Y2

Tel. (416) 361-1982 ext. 237
Toll Free 1-866-961-1982
Fax. (416) 363-8451

You can follow me on Twitter at: