This is a very interesting story of one donation to a non-profit.

So much emphasis is given to the tax benefits of donating to charity even though studies show that for most donors it is a minor consideration.  For some professional advisors who want to add value to the process it seems to be about the only consideration. It was refreshing to recently read a Globe & Mail article on a $1 million donation to the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted.  The donor was Ian Cartwright, a retired Ontario Superior Court judge.  As the Association is a non-profit and not a charity he will not be receiving ANY tax benefit from his personal cheque.  He will only receive the satisfaction of knowing that his money is going to an organization and cause that he cares about.  Another shocking revelation is that Mr. Justice Carwright mailed the cheque to the association.  There was no 50 page donation agreement with preconditions, naming rights, right to have representatives on the board etc.  Can someone please help this retired man, who clearly is confused about how philanthropy works in Canada!

Mark Blumberg is a lawyer at Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto, Ontario.  He can be contacted at or at 416-361-1982 x. 237. To find out more about legal services that Blumbergs provides to Canadian charities and non-profits please visit the Blumbergs’ Non-Profit and Charities page at or

This article is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice. You should not act or abstain from acting based upon such information without first consulting a legal professional.