Ethical Issues and Canadian Charities

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2011 Budget and new “ineligible individual” category: How this can affect your Canadian registered

Here is my article Budget 2011 and new “ineligible individual” category: How this can affect your Canadian registered charity.

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2011 Federal Budget - What’s new for Canadian Registered Charities

I had the privilege today of attending the Budget 2011 Stakeholders Lock-up.  Here are the parts of the budget that relate to registered charities and other qualified donees.   Also below are some of the highlights of the budget.

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2012 Canadian Federal Budget - March 29, 2012 and its impact on charities

On March 29, 2012 Finance Minister Jim Flaherty released the Federal Budget at approximately 4PM.  There are about 10 pages of information dealing with charities in the almost 500 page document.  Here are the pieces of the 2012 Canadian Federal Budget that affect the Canadian charitable sector.

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2013 Canadian Federal Budget and its impact on charities

On March 21, 2013 at 4pm, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivered the 2013 Canadian federal budget. There were a number of interesting proposals relating to charities.  Some of the highlights include a new temporary First-Time Donor’s Super Credit (FDSC) designed to encourage new donors to give to charity.  “The FDSC will increase the value of the federal Charitable Donations Tax Credit by 25 percentage points if neither the taxpayer nor their spouse has claimed the credit since 2007”  Flaherty has ignored many suggestions for increased tax incentives that would have been expensive and disproportionately benefitted the rich such as the elimination of capital gains on donations of land or private shares.

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2014 Federal Budget and its Impact on Canadian Charities

Today Finance Minister Jim Flaherty introduced the Canadian Federal Budget 2014.  The budget had a large number of provisions dealing with non-profits and charities. Here are some excerpts from the Federal Budget in one PDF document.    Overall I was very pleased with the provisions of the budget dealing with charities.

Abusive Canadian Charity Tax Shelter Schemes

This article discusses certain ‘charitable’ gifting schemes which threaten to undermine the public and regulators confidence in the charitable sector. This article also discusses a plan to deal with this problem.

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Bequests - Avoiding problems with the ultimate planned gift

Here is a copy of my article ‘Bequests - Avoiding problems with the ultimate planned gift’ which was presented at a recent Ontario Bar Association Conference.

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Bequests - Encouraging Bequests While Avoiding Legal and Ethical Issues

I recently delivered a presentation to a number of international development charities in Ottawa entitled “Encouraging Bequests While Avoiding Legal and Ethical Issues”.  It covered issues such as the CRA Fundraising Policy and its effect on planned giving and bequests, 15 steps to create a basic planned giving program with or without money, 18 legal concerns with bequests to avoid, and 6 ethical issues with bequests and planned giving to be aware of.  A copy of the presentation is in PDF here.

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Blumbergs 2013 Receipting Kit for Canadian Registered Charities

Here is the Blumbergs’ 2013 Receipting Kit.

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Blumbergs submission on the importance of transparency to the charity and non-profit sector

Canadians want charitable donations to benefit legitimate charities

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Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2011

We recently reviewed the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return database for 2011 as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project.  We provided an overview of the whole charity sector in the Blumbergs’ Charity Sector Snapshot 2011.  We have taken a subset of the 2011 T3010 data to look at only registered charities based in Ontario.  This article provides a snapshot of the registered charity sector in Ontario based on the 2011 T3010 filings.  Here is a PDF of the Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2011.

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Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Audits and Canadian Registered Charities

This article provides information and suggestions as to how a Canadian charity should, and should not, deal with CRA audits.  It also discusses possible CRA responses and the likelihood of each response. 

If you are being audited by the Charities Directorate of CRA you may find my article useful.

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Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities - A presentation on the subject

Here is a copy of my presentation on the legal requirements for Canadian charities operating abroad. The presentation discussed CRA positions and documents, case law, and various other legal, practical and ethical issues that a Canadian charity may face.

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Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities by Mark Blumberg (October 2007 Article)

This 29 page article will attempt to assist Canadian charities who are conducting or interested in conducting programs outside of Canada with some of the legal issues that they may face. It will discuss the statutory and regulatory framework for Canadian charities operating abroad, describe the permissible structured relationships and agreements; review a number of cases dealing with Canadian charities operating abroad and highlight some challenges facing Canadian charities that have foreign activities.  Canadian charities need to be aware of the rules that govern their foreign activities, some of which are contained in RC4106 (Registered Charities: Operating Outside Canada),  in order to comply with Canada Revenue Agency requirements and to avoid deregistration, intermediate sanctions, negative publicity etc. 

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Canadian Charities and Terrorism: Preventing Abuse of Your Favourite Canadian Charity

Charities, by virtue of their reputation and access to resources, in some cases make a tempting target for terrorists who are trying to acquire funds and/or legitimacy. Canadian charities need to be diligent in ensuring that their resources are used appropriately and not diverted to non-charitable uses, including terrorism. This article provides some basic guidance as to steps a Canadian charity can take to avoid having their resources misappropriated for terrorism or other inappropriate uses such as fraud.

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Canadian Charities Working with Other Organizations that are not Registered Charities

In this article I discuss how Canadian charities can work with other Canadian or International Organizations that are not registered Canadian charities as long as they maintain direction and control of the Canadian resources.

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Canadian Charity Law Checklist by Mark Blumberg with compliance issues for Canadian charities

Here is a revised version of the Canadian Charity Law Checklist by Mark Blumberg.  In addition to reminding charities of questions to ask, it also provides links to relevant resources.

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Canadian Private and Public Foundations and International Activities

Here is my article on Canadian Private and Public Foundations and International Activities.  In this article I suggest 4 ways that Canadian Private and Public Foundations can carry on foreign charitable activities outside of Canada or assist with humanitarian relief or international development.

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Canadian Sanctions and Canadian charities operating in Zimbabwe: Be Very Careful!

Canadian charities operating in Zimbabwe need to be extremely careful.  It is not the place for a new and inexperienced charity to begin foreign operations.  In fact, only Canadian charities with substantial experience in difficult international operations should even consider operating in Zimbabwe.  It is one of the most difficult countries to carry out charitable operations by virtue of the very difficult political, security, human rights and economic situation and the resultant Canadian and international sanctions.  This article will set out some information on the Zimbabwe Sanctions including the full text of the Act and Regulations governing the sanctions.

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CRA Fundraising Consultation - One giant leap forward in guidance for Canadian registered charities

In April 2008, CRA released a Consultation on proposed policy regarding fundraising by Registered Charities (RC4456-e) (“Fundraising Consultation”).  This document is a relatively short six page overview, and CRA has recently provided charities with a more detailed document entitled “Background information for proposed policy on fundraising by Registered Charities” which is 29 pages (“Background Document”).  The background document provides greater detail, further definitions of terminology and CRA’s positions on various points.  In this article I will discuss the content of the Fundraising Consultation and Background Document, discuss and analyze the criticisms from others of these documents, and provide my own comments.

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CRA Releases Consultation on Proposed Policy on Fundraising by Registered Charities

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CRA releases its Guidance on “Upholding Human Rights and Charitable Registration”

CRA has released its guidance “Upholding Human Rights and Charitable Registration”.  Any Canadian charity dealing with human rights issues will want to read this document.

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CRA revocation letter to the Corban Foundation on forgivable loan program

Here is an interesting series of letters from CRA to the Corban Foundation in the 1990s relating its revocation as a registered charity.  It deals with the meaning of a gift,  and various programs to provide tuition assistance to those attending Christian schools.  It provides CRA’s views on the legal arguments and cases.

CRA’s Consultation on Foreign Activities: What is New with Canadian Charities + Foreign Activities

In this article “CRA’s Consultation on Foreign Activities: What is New and Interesting with Canadian Charities Conducting Foreign Activities” I discuss what is new in the draft consultation.

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Establishing a Canadian Non-Profit or Charity - Avoiding practical, legal and ethical problems

Here is a copy of my presentation to the Canadian Association of Paralegals on Establishing a Canadian Non-Profit or Charity - Avoiding practical, legal and ethical problems.

Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?

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Charity Lawyer Mark Blumberg

Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.

mark@blumbergs.ca
416.361.1982
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