Planned Giving and Canadian Charities

November 12, 2010

Determining the “Cost” of Life Insurance Policies as a Charitable Gift when transfer to charity

Here is a letter from CRA in response to a question about valuing a life insurance policy when it is transferred from a non-arm’s length person to a donor and subsequently gifted to a qualified donee.  It deals with the deemed fair market value rules.  Determining_the_Cost_of_Life_Insurance_Policies_as_a_Charitable_Gift.pdf

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July 12, 2010

What is “cost” of life insurance when donating to registered charity?

In this letter CRA discusses “Whether the adjusted cost basis is a reasonable proxy for “cost” of an interest in a life insurance policy in applying the deeming provisions of 248(35) with respect to a gift to a qualified donee in certain circumstances.”

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June 03, 2010

Bequest giving in Canada - article by FLA Group on importance of bequest fundraising

Here is an article by FLA Group entitled “Legacy Marketing Overview March 2010”  The article has some interesting statistics and thoughts on the importance of encouraging bequest giving. I agree that Canadian charities do not spend enough time doing this type of planned gift and we are far behind places like the UK.  Hopefully this article will encourage some to put more time and resources into this area.

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June 01, 2010

Leaving a Bequest to a Canadian Charity - using a lawyer to avoid legal problems with bequests

Here is a short article Leaving a Bequest to a Canadian Charity - using a lawyer to avoid common legal problems with bequests - June 2010, which discusses the value of using an estate lawyer who is knowledgeable about bequests.

May 01, 2010

CRA letter on charitable donation of publicly listed shares and whether gift

Lengthy letter from CRA on “Whether donations to registered charities of shares listed on a designated stock exchange constitute gifts for the purpose of the deduction for gifts under subsection 110.1(1) of ITA?” and the answer is yes.

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March 04, 2010

Canadian Budget 2010 announces disbursement quota reform for Canadian charities

The Canadian federal government announced disbursement quota reform in the 2010 Budget to remove the 80/20 expenditure requirement for registered Canadian charities.  For many charities this will have no real impact - they were handily satisfying their disbursement quota requirements and for those that were not (except in extreme cases) CRA was not using the DQ to revoke charitable status.  As one observer noted on the changes “No more 80/20 ordinary gift. No more enduring property, including 10 year gifts. No more specified gifts. No more intercharity transfer rules based on original DQ designation. Just a simple obligation to use the equivalent of 3.5% based on previous 24 month market average for charitable purposes. ... The 3.5% obligation doesn’t kick in for charitable organizations until there is $100k in assets, while for foundations it stays at $25k.”  We will probably have a revised T3010 at some point to reflect these changes and one can expect with the simpler formula that in the future CRA will more vigorously enforce the DQ provisions as this will be easier to understand.  There is no cost associated with this change and a number of other proposals to increase tax incentives from some organizations were not included in the budget, which makes sense in light of the difficult fiscal situation in addition to other reasons.

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March 02, 2010

CRA comments on gift to charity under will that is poorly drafted

This letter from CRA is a reminder that when leaving funds to a registered charity under a will the drafting is important.

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February 12, 2010

Low Cost Fundraising - Legal Issues with Third Party Events and Bequests -with lawyer Mark Blumberg

Here is a free archived webinar entitled “Low Cost Fundraising - Legal Issues with Third Party Events and Bequests”.

May 06, 2009

The Philanthropist - excellent legal and philanthropic resource is now free

The Canadian legal and philanthropic publication The Philanthropist is now both online and FREE.  You just need to register and will find some very good articles on different issues affecting charities and non-profits in Canada.  You can reach the website at:   While you are at it you can check out my new article on Mergers and Amalgamations within the Canadian Non-Profit and Charity Sector.

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February 21, 2009

Millennium Charitable Foundation Case - Federal Court (FCA) not impressed with charity tax shelters

The Millennium Charitable Foundation Case deals with abusive charitable gifting schemes.  The Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) sided with CRA in this matter.  It is well worth reading for anyone concerned with the charity sector.

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January 06, 2009

Why a major gift combined with a bequest to a charity may be more tax effective than just a bequest

This short note discusses why a major gift combined with a bequest to a Canadian registered charity may be more tax effective than just a bequest to that same charity.

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May 14, 2008

Bequests in Wills In Canada - Avoiding Legal and Ethical Problems When Supporting Good Causes

January 27, 2008

Planned giving and International Development Charities in Canada

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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