Foreign Charities Operating in Canada

Canadian Cases dealing with Canadian Registered Charities operating outside of Canada

Recent Canadian cases such the Tel-Aviv Foundation case, The Magen David Adom case and the Bayit Leplitot case, all decided in the last few years should be of particular interest to Canadian charities that operate outside of Canada.  They all illustrate the importance of understanding and following the rules for Canadian charities operating abroad.

read more

PDF Version

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.

PDF Version

Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities - by Mark Blumberg in The Philanthropist

Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities -This article published in The Philanthropist describes the permissible structured relationships and agreements, review a number of cases dealing with Canadian charities operating abroad, and highlight some of the challenges facing Canadian charities that have foreign activities.

PDF Version

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.

read more

PDF Version

Cases Involving Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities

Here is the full text of certain recent Canadian cases decided in the last few years that should be of particular interest to Canadian charities that operate outside of Canada.  The 3 Federal Court of Appeal cases, namely the Tel-Aviv Foundation case, The Magen David Adom case and the Bayit Leplitot case, all deal with Canadian charities conducting foreign activities.

PDF Version

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.

PDF Version

CRA Releases Consultation on Proposed Policy on Fundraising by Registered Charities

PDF Version

CRA Top Ten Compliance Issues by Terry de March, Director General, Charities Directorate

This excellent slide presentation by Terry de March of the Canada Revenue Agency, Charities Directorate, highlights the most important compliance problems for registered Canadian face. Many charities could avoid problems by reading this article and ensuring compliance with the issues raised.

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.

PDF Version

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.

PDF Version

Ethical Tourism may be laudable but not charitable according to the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal

In the Travel Just case CRA had refused to register an organizations whose objects were very broad.  The Federal Court of Appeal agreed with CRA.  [Subsequently the Supreme Court of Canada refused an application for leave to appeal.]

read more

Foreign Charities Operating in and from Canada

In this article I discuss various options for non-Canadian non-profits and charities interested in fundraising or operating in Canada.

read more

PDF Version

Foreign Universities Fundraising in Canada

There are many options for foreign universities who are interested in fundraising in Canada and I have discussed 6 different options. It is time to think of your alma mater or your parent’s alma mater and how Canadians can support these universities.

read more

PDF Version

How Can Canadian Charity Obtain Cost-Effective Legal Services from a lawyer?

This article discusses how Canadian charities can obtain legal services in a way that will not break the bank.  This is a big problem.  According to the T3010 statistics a majority of charities spend zero on professional services which services include legal and accounting services.  This is far from desirable if one thinks that accountability, transparency, good governance and compliance with the laws are important.

PDF Version

Imagine Canada’s new Ethics Code: Imagining a more ethical sector

Imagine has revised its Code of Ethics (or Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code) and in this article I review the changes and provide a critique of the strengths and weaknesses of the Imagine Canada’s Code of Ethics.

read more

Link to Article

Informal Legal Audits of Canadian Charities and their Foreign Operations

The Globe & Mail article I referred to above on Canadian disaster relief charities not complying with the rules provides one of many illustrations of the importance of Canadian charities understanding and complying with CRA guidelines on Canadian charities operating outside of Canada. If you make it through this giving season with your fingers crossed and without any scrutiny then consider in the new year having a informal legal audit of your foreign activities. It is the best gift you can give to your charitable loved one!

read more

PDF Version

Legal Issues for Canadian Charities Conducting Foreign Activities and International Development

Here is a copy of a presentation I recently delivered to a number of Canadian charities in Ottawa entitled Legal Issues for Canadian Charities Conducting Foreign Activities and International Development

List of Foreign Countries and the Canadian Charities that operate in those countries (2005)

In these files we list every country and the individual Canadian charities that operate in those countries according to the 2005 T3010 information.  By providing this information charities and donors will be aware of which organizations operate in each country.  This will assist charities interested in beginning a new operation to identify a source of information on a particular country or perhaps to partner with that Canadian charity instead of going it alone.  Although the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) has a good map on its website (http://www.ccic.ca/) with information on which countries each of its members operate in, the map only covers their 100 or so members and not the 12,000 or so other organizations that operate outside of Canada.

read more

PDF Version

List of Foreign Countries and the Number of Canadian Charities that operate in each country (2004)

This brief article looks at how many Canadian Charities operate in each foreign country. The Top Five countries of operation are the United States (964), Mexico (423), India (356), Haiti (285) and the Philippines (191). It is no surprise that the US is number 1 as many charities are involved with US charitable activities or use US agents, although some of the other rankings are interesting.

PDF Version

Lobbying and Canadian Non-Profits and Charities: To register or not to register

On July 2, 2008 the Lobbying Act came into force and many non-profits and charities are completely unaware of its existence or its effect on their activities.  Lobbying is defined broadly under s. 7 of the Lobbying Act and includes the development of any legislative proposal by the Federal Government, or lobbying on the passage, defeat or amendment of any bill or resolution, advocating for amendments to any regulation, “the development or amendment of any policy or program of the Government of Canada”, or “the awarding of any grant, contribution or other financial benefit by or on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada”. Canadian non-profits and charities that do political advocacy or lobbying with the federal government need to consider whether their activities fall within the requirement to register under the Lobbying Act.  This article may be helpful in understanding whether a charity or non-profit must register.

Lobbying and Canadian Charities: To register or not to register

PDF Version

Mergers and Amalgamations within the Canadian Non-Profit and Charity Sector - draft article

Here is my draft article entitled Mergers and Amalgamations within the Canadian Non-Profit and Charity Sector.  In this article I discuss “Why consider merger?”, problems and issues with mergers and amalgamations, legal mechanics of a merger, and CRA views on merger.  Non-profits and charities are increasingly working together and one of the many options available and most integrated form of cooperation is an amalgamation, merger or a consolidation.  Any comments and thoughts would be appreciated.

PDF Version

Model Contractor Agreement for a Canadian Registered Charity Carrying Out Foreign Activities

Here is a sample contractor agreement for a Canadian registered charity conducting foreign activities I prepared it for the Capacity Builders Charity Law Information Program (CLIP) in order to assist charities with understanding what such an agreement could look like.

read more

PDF Version

New Guidance for Canadian Registered Charities Carrying out Foreign Activities

CRA has just released a new guidance called “Canadian Registered Charities Carrying out Activities Outside Canada”.    Although the name indicates “foreign activities” this document deals with a lot more than foreign activities.  It covers the relationship between a Canadian charity and any non-qualified donee, whether in Canada or abroad.  If a Canadian charity has dealing with, for example, a non-profit that does not have charitable status then the same rules apply as a Canadian charity dealing with a foreign entity.  Essentially, almost all organizations outside of Canada are non-qualified donees.  If you are going to transfer resources to them you need to maintain “direction and control” over those resources.  This document helps a Canadian charity understand what is required for direction and control. Failure to maintain direction and control can result in a 105% penalty of the amount transferred and/or revocation of charitable status.

read more

PDF Version

Planned Giving Internationally in “Your Guide to Charitable Giving and Estate Planning”.

This article discusses a Canadian legal perspective on Planned Giving Internationally. It was written by Mark Blumberg and recently appeared in “Your Guide to Charitable Giving and Estate Planning”, a supplement that appeared in the Globe and Mail on Friday May 11, 2007 and was produced by the Greater Toronto Area Roundtable of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners.

Requirements for Canadian Federal Non-profit Corporations that do NOT have charitable status

Canadian non-profits that do NOT have charitable status have their own legal requirements, which are different from those of registered charities.  Such non-profits generally have greater flexibility in terms of activities, however, they do not have some of the advantages of registered charity status, such as the ability to issue tax receipts.

read more

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

Contact

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
Download vCard

Connect

Locate

Blumberg Segal LLP
Barristers & Solicitors
#1202 - 390 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5H 2Y2 Canada

Charity Law List

Join Blumbergs' non-profit and charities newsletter
View recent issue: October 2014