We assist Canadian charities understand their legal and ethical obligations when operating charities in Canada or abroad and provide insights and information to non-Canadian charities interested in operating or fundraising in Canada.
The charitable sector in Canada has become highly competitive. There are over 86,000 Canadian registered charities. Donors, regulators, media, the public as well as other stakeholders, have increasingly high standards for charities and their operations. GlobalPhilanthropy.ca will assist non-profits and charities in Canada in trying to be transparent, legal, ethical and effective.
The CRA today launched its political activity consultation. It reinforces the importance of charities being engaged in the political process. The CRA is looking for feedback on the rules and CRA's guidance. People or organizations have until November 25, 2016 to provide comments.
The House of Commons Finance Committee (FINA) has posted the pre-budget submissions that it received. There are 420 briefs including our brief Increasing the productivity of the charity and non-profit sector through greater transparency and accountability. If anyone notices any other briefs discussing greater transparency in the non-profit and charitable sector please do let me know.
The Canadian Charity Law Association is delivering some upcoming webinars. Registration is free but space is limited.
The CRA has issued a media advisory that the "Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, will launch public consultations to clarify the rules regarding the involvement of registered charities in political activities." She will make the announcement tomorrow, Tuesday, September 27, 2016 in Ottawa. This consultation will give the public an opportunity to express their views on charities and political activities.
We have provided a large amount of documents and analysis on the issue of charities and political activities in our political activity directory. We will be helping various organizations with their discussions and submissions on this important topic.
We recently obtained a copy of the CRA analysis of charities that disclosed on the T3010 they did political activities. In a note from Bryan McLean, Director of Policy, Planning and Legislation Division of CRA to Cathy Hawara the then current Director General of the Charities Directorate, Mr. McLean includes a summary of the percentage of Canadian charities that identified on the T3010 that they conducted political activities and also the names of those charities.
The work that charities do is extremely important to our society, so it is vital that various stakeholders, such as the public, the media, the government, donors, employees, boards, donors and others. have access to key information on what the charity is doing and how it is doing it. In general transparency will ultimately increase public trust and confidence in the sector by making the public more informed about the work of charities and making it more difficult for people to misuse charities. However, from a legal perspective registered charities have few requirements in terms of transparency. Registered charities must file a T3010 Registered Charity Information Return with a financial statement and various schedules with the CRA every year.