Here is the December edition of the Blumbergs Canadian charity law e-mail list.  If you wish to receive a copy of the Blumbergs Canadian Charity Law List then please sign up at the Blumbergs’ Newsletter Page.  It takes about 10 seconds and it is free.  The Blumbergs Canadian Charity Law List is sent every month or two and it has the latest information for Canadian non-profits and charities on legal and ethical issues. Comments are always appreciated.

1) Should We Set Up A Canadian Charity and if so How

This article discusses considerations in setting up a registered charity in Canada and how to establish, organize and apply for charitable status. 

2) 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.  This presentation may be helpful to those thinking of establishing a Canadian charity and highlights some of the issues charities face when operating.

3) How Much Should A Canadian Charity Spend on Overhead such as Fundraising and Administration

Recent polling suggests that many Canadians think that charities should have no fundraising or administration costs. 39% of Canadians agreed with the statement “I expect all of the money I give to charity to go to the charity’s cause, for example, towards cancer research”.  I find the two extremes – on the one hand no overhead and no fundraising expenses at all and on the other hand that fundraising is a charitable expense and charities should be able to spend as much as they want on fundraising – to be equally problematic for the sector.  I have written previously on the importance of the CRA fundraising policy which in my mind deals with the latter group. This article discusses why low or no overhead may not be a good thing for a charity and my thoughts on what is appropriate – which will try to convince the 39% of Canadians of the importance of spending some money on overhead expenses.

4) Global Philanthropy: Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities -Estate Planning Council of Toronto

Here is a copy of my presentation Global Philanthropy: Canadians and Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities that I delivered to the Estate Planning Council of Toronto.  The presentation covers the amount of global philanthropy coming from Canada, different ways for Canadians to make this world a better place outside of the charitable realm and rules for Canadian charities operating outside of Canada.

5) Canadian Private and Public Foundations and International Activities

In this article on Canadian Private and Public Foundations and International Activities I discuss the amount of Canadian foundation support for international charitable activities and 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.

6) Structured Arrangement versus Conduit for Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities

This article discusses the difference between an acceptable intermediary relationship between a Canadian charity and a foreign charity or NGO (a structured arrangement) and an unacceptable arrangement such as a conduit.  This article will be of interest to people who use intermediaries in conducting foreign activities.

7) T3010B – New CRA Canadian Charity Information Return for 2009

The Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency is revising their form T3010A with a new form called the T3010B and it is this form, which will only be available next year, will be used by Canadian charities for fiscal years ending in 2009. 

8) Canadian Charities – Please File your T3010 on time

This article discusses the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return and the importance of filing your charity’s annual return accurately and on time and the consequences of not doing so. 

9) Is Social Enterprise or Community Economic Development considered charitable under Canadian law

This brief article discusses whether social enterprise, social innovation, social financing or community economic development (CED) is charitable in Canada.

10) Bequests -avoiding problems with the ultimate planned gift

This a copy of an article on avoiding legal and ethical problems with bequest giving I presented at an Ontario Bar Association program on estates and trusts.  In tough times, when some people may have less discretionary income, it is even more important to encourage the use of bequests as a way for average Canadians to make a sizable gift to a charity.

11) Encouraging Bequests and Avoiding Legal and Ethical Problems with Bequests in Canada

Here is a copy of a presentation I delivered to a number of international development charities in Ottawa entitled “Encouraging Bequests While Avoiding Legal and Ethical Issues”.  It covered issues such as the CRA Fundraising Policy and its effect on planned giving and bequests, 15 steps to create a basic planned giving program with or without money, 18 legal concerns with bequests to avoid, and 6 ethical issues with bequests and planned giving to be aware of. 

12) Charity questions for our political parties

Although charities are greater than 10% of our economy, in a federal election the charitable sector gets between 0 and 0.01 of the attention.  In the last election we spent far more time talking about sweaters, than charities.  In this blog I ask a few rhetorical questions (as no one is actually going to respond!) about some public policy issues involving charities and who knows the way the political parties are acting we may have a new government or a new election before we know it.  By the way, if you want a quick way to create another $5 billion for infrastructure etc just stamp out abusive charitable donation schemes that seem to benefit no one except their promoters and their well compensated professional advisors.

13) How Can A Charity or Non-profit obtain cost effective and useful legal services from a lawyer

In these difficult economic times, charities have to be careful how they expend resources.  Legal services are only a small piece of the pie but just as many charities expend huge amounts on IT with little payback so many charities do the same with legal services.  As I know a little about the provision of legal services to charities, I thought some of these suggestions for those who are not used to dealing with legal services may be helpful.

14) The Forgotten Demographic: 4-5 year olds

With hard economic times charities need to be more attentive to the 4-5 year old demographic and what they can offer.


In November,  I attended the Social Enterprise Forum at the MARS centre in Toronto.  I also attended the AFP Annual Toronto conference, which is a three day conference of fundraising professionals held last week and I will post my observations from that conference on my website soon. 

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, among other newsletters, at Blumbergs’ Newsletter Page

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

If you require legal services or legal advice with respect to non-profits or charities please contact me at or at 416-361-1982 x. 237

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
Fax. (416) 363-8451