Blumberg Segal LLP will be hosting an event “Fundamentals of Running a Private or Public Foundation in Canada 2020” on July 17, 2020. This will be a whole day event. Click here to find out more information and to register for this event.

Private and Public Foundations are an important part of the Canadian charity sector. With the COVID-19 pandemic there have been increasing demands on them to show flexibility and to ramp up giving.   There will probably be increased scrutiny of foundations over the next few months.

This program will focus on compliance issues with an emphasis on those specifically relevant to running a private or public foundation that is a registered charity in Canada.  While some foundations give out a small amount each year – others are giving hundreds of millions.  Large gifts might have been $10-20 million a few years ago but are now $100 million and over.

There are over 10,000 foundations (5800 private and 5000 public) and CRA is increasingly auditing them as CRA prioritizes higher risk registered charities with higher assets and expenditures for audits.  It is vital that directors and staff of foundation understand their legal obligations to avoid problems such as compliance agreements, penalties, revocation, and directors and officers becoming ineligible individuals.

Topics will include:

  • An overview of the private and public foundation sectors
  • A brief overview of the process to establish a private and public foundation and current challenges
  • Myths and fallacies about public and private foundations
  • Key documents to understand your foundation
  • Key issues for your foundation
  • What are the differences between a charitable organization, public foundation and private foundation
  • Constraints that apply to private and public foundations and which are most important
  • The importance of legal objects of foundations and how they can limit activities
  • Control and organization of foundations
  • The importance of the separation of charitable foundations from non-qualified donees such as an affiliated bank or for-profit entity or non-profit
  • Having more flexibility through changes in corporate documents or set up as well as possibly having multiple entities
  • Corporate law considerations, by-law and policies
  • Investments and related compliance issues
  • Maintaining your corporate foundation
  • Receiving gifts or endowing foundations and avoiding problems
  • Making grants to qualified donees and potential pitfalls to be aware of
  • Structuring gift agreements with grantees
  • Making grants to non-qualified donees in Canada and outside of Canada and the need for direction and control according to CRA Guidance
  • Top compliance concerns for private and public foundations
  • Transactions with directors and compensating directors and the complexities related to it
  • Top mistakes made by private and public foundations
  • How much should you spend on administration?
  • Rules around fundraising and grant writing
  • Disbursement quota rules and how the 2010 reforms made many changes
  • Anti-Avoidance rules and designated gifts
  • Some ideas on good governance for foundations and some grant-making good practices
  • Due diligence on grants
  • How to deal with a CRA audit and factors CRA uses to determine who to audit
  • Criticisms of foundations and strategies to avoid reputational problems

Cost: $395.00 per person (includes materials and registration fees and access to the presentation for 30 days afterwards).   [Early bird specials may be applicable]

If you have questions please call Daniela Campos at 416-361-1982 extension 252 or e-mail

Fundamentals of Running a Private or Public Foundation in Canada 2020 will be of interest to

  • staff and volunteers at private and public foundations responsible for governance, financial management and compliance issues;
  • professional advisors such as lawyers, accountants, investment advisors who advise private and public foundations; and
  • board members of Canadian foundations.

For lawyers, this event qualifies for 6 hours of Law Society of Ontario Substantive Hours but does not qualify for Professionalism Hours.   For accountants, this may count as 6 hours of Continuing Professional Development.

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