Here are some handy resources and links for Canadian Charities conducting activities outside of Canada.


The Canada Revenue Agency has hundreds of forms and documents that are relevant to Canadian charities operating outside of Canada on their website. Some people find the website confusing or overwhelming. The documents below are the ones most frequently accessed by Canadian registered charities that are provided by the CRA and that are relevant to Canadian Charities Operating Abroad and Canadian charities conducting International Development Activities.

RC4106 Registered Charities: Operating Outside Canada

Charities in the International Context

RC4108   Registered Charities and the Income Tax Act

RC4143   Registered Charities: Community Economic Development Programs

IC78-10R4   Books and Records Retention/Destruction

RC4409   Keeping Records

IC84-3R5   Gifts to Certain Charitable Organizations Outside Canada

Attachment to IC84-3R5, Gifts to Certain Charitable Organizations Outside Canada

IT110R3 Gifts and Official Donation Receipts

T3010A Registered Charity Information Return

CRA information letters dealing with Canadian charities Operating Abroad and International Development

Selected CRA Information Letters Dealing with Charities Operating Abroad

Cases dealing with Canadian Charities operating Abroad

Canadian Cases dealing with Canadian Registered Charities operating Abroad

Some other general resources from CRA with respect to Canadian registered charities:

CRA Main Charities Page:

T4063   Registering a Charity for Income Tax Purposes

T4033A   Completing the Registered Charity Information Return

T2050   Application to Register a Charity Under the Income Tax Act


Council on Foundations
The COF is a membership organization of grantmaking organizations and their advisors.

United States International Grantmaking (
USIG is a project of the Council on Foundations and facilitates international grantmaking by US foundations.

The Synergos Institute (
Synergos is a NGO that brings people together to address the underlying causes of poverty and inequity in innovative ways that lead to meaningful, long-term change.

Do No Harm Project (
The DNH Project helps NGOS identify ways in which their assistance and aid interacts with parties in a conflict and can discourage or encourage conflicts within societies where they work.
Mission Measurement
Mission Measurement helps foundations and charities measure the impact of their social strategies.

GrantCraft (
GrantCraft is a US site that provides practical information on grantmaking. 

Grantmakers Without Borders (
A network promoting global social change philanthropy.

Foundation Centre (
An organization that promotes philanthropy and grant making and provides very useful services.

Community Foundations of Canada (
The CFC is a membership organization of 158 community foundations in Canada.

European Foundation Centre (
Promoting foundations and corporate social responsibility in Europe.

CAF America (
CAF America provides grantmaking services.

Tides Foundation ( and Tides Canada Foundation (
Tides Foundation and Tides Canada provide cross-border philanthropic services between Canada and the US. 
InterAction is the largest coalition of U.S.-based international NGOs focused on the world’s poor and most vulnerable people with 165 members. 
BOND (British Overseas NGOs for Development) is the UK’s broadest network of voluntary organisations working in international development. Founded in June 1993, BOND aims to improve the UK’s contribution to international development by promoting the exchange of experience, ideas and information. 
ACFID is an independent national association of Australian non-government organisations (NGOs) working in the field of international aid and development 
The International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) is a global network that brings together humanitarian and human rights NGOs as an advocacy alliance for humanitarian action. 
RedR Canada is part of an international organisation that relieves suffering in disasters by selecting, training and providing competent and efficient personnel to humanitarian aid agencies world-wide. 
The Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) is striving to make humanitarian action accountable to its intended beneficiaries: those people whose lives are at risk due to armed conflict or other calamitous events. HAP is a partnership of member agencies that share a commitment to making humanitarian action accountable to disaster survivors.  The members of HAP seek to comply with and promote HAP´s Principles of Accountability through capacity-building, self-regulation, quality assurance certification and advocacy. 
Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief
The Code of Conduct is widely accepted as a good standard in disaster relief. 
People in Aid has a Code of Good Practice dealing with HR issues and international development. 
The Sphere Project was launched by a group of humanitarian NGOs that has produced a handbook, a broad process of collaboration and an expression of commitment to quality and accountability.  The handbook is very useful. 
ReliefWeb is the global hub for time-critical humanitarian information on Complex Emergencies and Natural Disasters 
Aid Workers Network is a free service set up to enable aid workers to share practical advice and resources with each other.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Travel Reports & Warnings 

US Government Travel Warnings, Country Specific Information & Travel Alerts 


CONCORD is the European confederation of relief and development NGOs.  Its national associations and international networks represent over 1600 NGOs which are supported by millions of citizens across Europe.

The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP)
The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) is the world’s largest civil society alliance of social movements, International NGOs, trade unions, community groups, women’s organizations, faith and youth groups, local associations and campaigners working together across more than 100 national coalitions/platforms. GCAP is calling for action from the world’s leaders to meet their promises to end poverty and inequality. In particular, GCAP demands solutions that address the issues of; public accountability, just governance and the fulfilment of human rights; trade justice; more and better aid; debt cancellation and gender equality and women’s rights.

Some Interesting Articles:

Drowning in Paperwork, Distracted From Purpose
There is an interesting US report entitled Drowning in Paperwork, Distracted From Purpose which discusses many US foundation practices that are harmful and distract charities from their important work.  I think that the lessons of this 43 page report are probably just a relevant to Canadian Foundations. 

Five Ways to Promote Ethics in Your Organization
This article by Larry Checco talks about ethical standards for non-profits and provides a few good tips.  I particularly like point 5: “Legal Should Not be the Litmus Test” 

Overhead costs
Overhead costs get a lot of attention.  Here are a couple of interesting articles.  We need to remember no overhead = no organization. 

A brief article on effectiveness in the international development context and another criticizing the first article 

Impact Measurement and Accountability in Emergencies: The Good Enough Guide 

BOND’s Wiki on Quality Standards
The UK organization BOND (no relation to James) has a Quality Standards Group that helps NGOs doing development work develop practical ways of improving the quality of their work. 

For further information on legal resources for Canadian Non-Profits and Charities, especially those with foreign activities, please visit

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If you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities please contact Mark Blumberg at or at 416-361-1982 x. 237

This page contains numerous links to other web sites and these links are provided for the convenience of those interested in learning about Canadian charities operating outside of Canada and Canadian charities operating inside Canada and we are not responsible for the content or endorse or approve of any of products, services, publications, information contained at the targeted web sites or mentioned on our site.