Here is a recent Charity Village article by Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf entitled Setting a new tone: The newly released report on the political activities of charities. The article discusses The Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities and we have discussed that report and charities and political activities in general in certain earlier blogs such as here.
The Canadian Charity Law Association (CCLA) is pleased to present: Charities, Regulation and Donors - some international perspectives on June 22, 2017 at 8:30AM in Toronto. The 1/2 day program will cover 4 thought provoking topics (see bios below) and have two excellent international guests. The room can only hold 33 people so if you are interested book quickly.
In this article Some of the Canadian charities that spend the most on political activities? I have not only listed some of the Canadian charities that spent the most on political activities but also showed readers how they can find and sort the information themselves. There is more to charities than just political activities and you can do your own searches depending on what information you need.
Here is an article entitled Total revenue received from all sources outside Canada by Canadian Registered Charities in 2015 which lists the Canadian charities that received the largest contributions from outside of Canada.
Here is a note I prepared called Some recent blogs on charities and political activities by Mark Blumberg. Yes I know the title is very original. I came up with it myself.
In a press release entitled "Minister Lebouthillier welcomes the Panel Report on the public consultations on charities and political activities" CRA noted the receipt of a report on charities and political activities. That report was reflective of the vast majority of the "nearly 20,000" submissions received as part of the consultation.
Mark Blumberg will be co-presenting on "How community foundations can lead and engage in small ‘a’ advocacy" in Ottawa at the Community Foundations of Canada 2017 Conference on Saturday May 13, 2017.
David Callahan, is the editor of Inside Philanthropy, and he is one the top progressive experts on philanthropy in the US. His article "Second Thoughts: Why I Changed My Mind About Philanthropy and Public Policy" has nothing to do with Canada - but it has everything to do with the dilemma that the Liberal government is going to be dealing with over the next year or two as to how much "political activities" is too much for charities. I would argue that the current rules give lots and lots of room to charities to conduct political activities - but yes not enough for maybe 50-100 groups. At what point do we prioritize the sector over those groups?
We have just released our Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Sector Snapshot 2015. Lots of interesting statistics and information on the Canadian charity sector. As well if you want information on individual charities or want to sort charities based on about 20 criteria checkout our charity data site at www.charitydata.ca.
This recent article in The Guardian entitled Charity regulator to crack down on political advocacy after complaints discusses how the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has cracked down on certain political activities by charities in Australia and how the ACNC is asking for less secrecy and more transparency in dealing with charity compliance issues.
The Charity Commission has released a case report that deals with political activities of a UK charity and also its funding of a non-charity. This case report is interesting from a Canadian perspective as there have been people in Canada advocating for changes to the rules relating to Canadian charities and political activities and also "direction and control" by Canadian charities when they are providing resources to non-qualified donees (such as foreign organizations). This particular case report covers both of these types of issues.
In August 2016 we launched a website to improve transparency on Canadian registered charities. It is at www.charitydata.ca We have just made a number of improvements to the website.
The CRA released a report today entitled Report on the Charities Program. It has lots of useful information on the charity sector, regulation of charities, statistics relating to the Charities Directorate and various new developments.
The CRA has recently completed a 2 1/2 month consultation with Canadians on the ability of Canadian charities to conduct political activities. Here is the full text of the CRA press release on the closing of the political activity consultation on December 14, 2016:
Mark Blumberg recently presented a webinar for the Canadian Charity Law Association (CCLA) to discuss CRA’s consultation on political activities and the importance of Canadian charities conducting political activities. The deadline for submissions to CRA has been extended to December 14, 2016.
CRA recently announced that the deadline for online submissions for its political activities consultation has been extended to December 14th, 2016. The CRA is looking for feedback on the rules and CRA's guidance relating to political activities. You can email your submissions to CRA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your charity is considering conducting political activities here are some basic questions you might want to ask:
I recently wrote an article for Hilborn entitled "CRA consultation on political activities – to submit or not to submit?" Here is the text of the article:
I am pleased to be co-presenting to the ICN a webinar on "CRA Regulations and the Political Activities of Charities".
We are proud to present the Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2014. The data subset used is the CRA's 2014 T3010 data but only for registered charities based in Ontario.
As many know the CRA has launched a consultation on political activities by Canadian charities. The Canadian Charity Law Association will be having Mark Blumberg present a webinar on the consultation and various ways of responding or not responding to it. The webinar will be on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 12:00PM EST. You can register here for the webinar. It is free but there is limited space.
As part of the CRA focus on political activities the CRA did some educational activities and awareness raising about the rules for Canadian charities conducting political activities. Here is a copy of the Charities Directorate Political Activities Education and Information Plan.
Here is a CRA Questions and Answers on Charity Sector regulation and political activities from 2012 that was obtained through access to information. It discusses the Charities Directorate's role, strategic priorities, how charities will be selected for audit, and other matters.
Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?
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.