As everyone knows the CRA Charities Directorate is currently closed.  I have been getting requests for data on Canadian charities by charities, researchers and others.  Typically, I just tell them to contact CRA who can send the data for free to them but as the Charities Directorate is currently closed I am prepared to disseminate the most recent material that I received from CRA in March 2020 to researchers, journalists and charities.

Keep in mind that CRA inputs approximately 84-85,000 T3010 forms every year, and this is information that is publicly available.  It is not my data.  It has not been cleaned up and it is “as is”.   Canada for decades has made this information available and it one of the few countries that has accessible charity data that is searchable.  The US, for example, is more than 30 years behind Canada.

The Ident or Identification file from CRA which contains information inputted by CRA as of February 2020 provides the following in terms of number of T3010s filed and on the system for the following years:

  • 2013  84,720
  • 2014  84,834
  • 2015  84,841
  • 2016  84,666
  • 2017  84,420
  • 2018  84,270
  • 2019  31,076

The most useful and complete data is from 2018.  It is now complete with over 84,000 charities listed.  The 2019 data is very partial with only 31,076 listed so far.  In the normal course, the 2019 data would be complete by January 2021.  With the COVID-19 crisis and the extension of the T3010 deadline (see CRA Charities Directorate announces extension of T3010 filing deadlines until December 31, 2020 in response to COVID-19), and depending on how many groups file online, we can expect that the 2019 data will only be complete by about June or July 2021.

Some may say “who cares”.   Many industries are doing weekly or quarterly reporting. Therefore the government has much more real data on them and how they are handling the COVID-19 crisis and what is needed.  With the charity sector, we will know how COVID-19 has affected us in late 2021!   Yeah!

As well if you look closely at the data you see that it is by no means complete and hopefully in the future as we move to electronic T3010 filings there will be further questions asked about charities so that we can have a better idea of the depth, importance and differences in the charity sector. Here, for example, is a blog from 8 years ago: Some questions to add to the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return

If you need data, let us know and we will try to help those we can.

I will also just mention that for many people our www.CharityData.ca website is probably more helpful than having raw charity data.  Check it out.  Below is a blurb on the website.

 

Blumbergs has created the largest Canadian registered charity information portal at CharityData.ca with up to 15 years information on every Canadian registered charity.

CharityData.ca provides an easy to use interface that is far easier to use than the CRA’s Charities Listing to analyse T3010 Registered Charity Information Return data on a particular charity. It also allows the user to sort charities under “Advanced Charity Search” by over 30 criteria.

While it is easy to see what gifts a charity gives to other charities on the CRA website but what if you want to know which charities gave funds to a particular charity?  Now you can do this on CharityData.ca by looking under the “Fundraising” tab.

The Director Search function of CharityData.ca also allows users to search over 600,000 directors by their first and last names and it is the only publicly available and up-to-date tool for searching them.

The portal is free and its aim is to increase transparency in the Canadian charity sector.

You can use CharityData.ca to search or sort by the following: Search by Name of Charity, BN, Program, Charity Type, Revenue, Province and City.

You can also sort by over 25 different parametres:

  • Relevance
  • Legal name
  • Total assets (4200)
  • Total liabilities (4350)
  • Total revenue (4700)
  • Total expenditures (5100)
  • Receipted donations (4500)
  • Total amount received from other charities (4510)
  • Total amount of tax-receipted gifts-in-kind (580)
  • Revenue from sale of goods and services (4640)
  • Total revenue received from federal government (4540)
  • Total revenue received from provincial / territorial governments (4550)
  • Total revenue received from municipal / regional governments (4560)
  • Total tax-receipted revenue from outside Canada (4571)
  • Total non tax-receipted revenue from outside Canada (4575)
  • Total Advertising and promotion (4800)
  • Occupancy costs (4850)
  • Professional and consulting fees (4860)
  • Total expenditures on charitable activities (5000)
  • Total expenditures on management and administration (5010)
  • Total expenditures on fundraising (5020)
  • Total expenditures on political activities, inside or outside Canada (5030)
  • Total other expenditures (5040)
  • Total amounts paid to external fundraisers (5460)
  • Total compensation expenditures (390)
  • Total Expenditures Outside of Canada / Foreign Activities (200)

For the most up-to-date information on a particular charity, including whether a charity is still registered you should use the CRA Charities Listing. However, for analyzing the past data of charities CharityData.ca is much easier to use.

CharityData.ca is part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project which is in memory of my youngest brother Sean Blumberg. Sean was a sweet, kind person, a great brother who helped me on a number of occasions with many tasks including the time consuming and arduous task of reviewing T3010 databases and making them into something useful. As part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project, Blumbergs has been releasing information on the Canadian charity sector to provide a better understanding of the size, scope, complexity and challenges of the sector.

 

Here is the information contained in the CRA T3010 form:

 

Information available to the public from a registered charity’s T3010 return

Public information

Most of the information in a charity’s return is available to the public.

The following information is available through the List of charities:

  • Program account details:
    • registration number (business number)
    • organization name
    • operating/trade name
    • registration date
    • fiscal period end
    • designation
    • mailing address
    • email
    • website
    • telephone number
    • public contact name or position
    • program areas
  • Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return
    • Section A: Identification
    • Section B: Directors/trustees and like officials (see Form T1235 below for details)
    • Section C: Programs and general information
    • Section D: Financial information
    • Schedule 1: Foundations
    • Schedule 2: Activities outside Canada
    • Schedule 3: Compensation
    • Schedule 5: Non-cash gifts
    • Schedule 6: Detailed financial information
    • Schedule 7: Political activities
  •  Form T1235, Directors/Trustees and Like Officials Worksheet
    • names, positions, and start and end dates of directors, trustees, and like officials
    • arm’s length relationships between directors, trustees, and like officials
  • Form T1236, Qualified Donees Worksheet / Amounts Provided to Other Organizations
  • Form T2081, Excess Corporate Holdings Worksheet for Private Foundations
    • Part I, Section A: Identification
    • Part I, Section B: Original corporate holdings percentage
    • Part I, Section C: Total corporate holdings percentage
    • Part I, Section D: Excess corporate holdings percentage
    • Part I, Section E: Net increase/decrease in excess corporate holdings percentage
    • Part I, Section F: Divestment obligation table
    • Part II, Section A: Material transactions by the foundation

The following information is available on request only:

For other ways to get charity information, go to How to get information about a charity.

Confidential information

Information in the confidential section of a charity’s return is only available to authorized representatives of the charity.

The Canada Revenue Agency may have to release confidential information in connection with certain legal proceedings, and is allowed to share some confidential information with other government departments and agencies.

The following information is confidential:

  • Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return
    • Section F: Confidential data
      • physical address of the charity
      • address for the charity’s books and records
      • name and address of the individual who completed the return
    • Schedule 4: Confidential data
      • information about fundraisers
      • information about donors not resident in Canada