The Globe and Mail is doing a number of articles on giving and philanthropy this week.
The Globe and Mail is doing a number of articles on giving and philanthropy this week.
Here is a copy of the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement for the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA).
The CRA has placed some new web pages about the CNCA on its website. Here is the relevant link: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/prtng/nfpc/menu-eng.html
The official version of the regulations under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act will not be available until the next edition of the Canada Gazette Part II and should be on the Justice Canada website within a few weeks thereafter. Here is an unofficial version that you can obtain from Industry Canada and as the Act has come into force today it is probably a good idea for practitioners to have a copy of them.
The Charity Tribunal in the UK delivered a decision on public benefit and private schools which will affect almost a thousand UK private schools that have charitable status. This will be of interest to Canadian private schools that are registered charities as well as those interested in the importance of charities providing “public benefit”. The debate over public benefit and what is sufficient public benefit for certain types of charities has gripped the UK. The discussion is interesting and one that we should engage in more often in Canada.
I will be presenting on Partnering with Charities for Effective CSR.
Here is a copy of the Blumbergs Canadian Charity Law List - October 2011. To sign up and receive monthly updates go to http://www.canadiancharitylaw.ca/index.php/pages/subscribe/
The long awaited Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act will come into force on October 17, 2011. Until October 16 the current legislation (the Canada Corporations Act) can be used for incorporation but as of October 17, 2011 only the new Federal Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA) can be used for incorporation. Therefore it is best if you have signed documents to either get them in immediately or you will have to use the new forms under the new CNCA. If you use the old act you will have 3 years to move to the new act. Under the old CCA corporations will still for a few years be able to amend by-laws, of corporations, obtain supplementary letters patent, file an annual summary or surrender the corporations charter. At Blumbergs we will be busy helping organizations incorporate under the new CNCA and also transition/continue from the old act to the new act. While one does not require legal assistance with incorporation or transition for many organizations that are charities or have more complicated governance structures they may find legal assistance helpful.
According to the Globe and Mail “Canadians contributed $70-million to East Africa famine relief, a figure that will be matched by the Harper government. This brings the total government response to $142-million – $70-million in matching funds and $72.35-million that was provided earlier for humanitarian efforts in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, where more than 13 million people are affected by a devastating drought.” The matching funds are provided to Canadian charities that have the best plans and experience to operate in the region, not necessarily the organization that raised the most funds.
In 2009 the CRA released a draft “Consultation on Proposed Guidance on Advancement of Religion as a charitable purpose” which has some examples in Appendix A of objects and activities that could be used for “advancement of religion” applications.
I am working through the Charity Law Information Program of Capacity Builders to prepare a “Receipting Kit” which is a 25 page explanation of how charities should receipt. It also includes an appendix with CRA policies or guidances on receipting that is about 120 pages long. Together it will be a “Receipting Suitcase”. I don’t expect people to read the 120 pages of CRA policies and guidance but it is good for searching through to find references to “auctions” etc.
The Charities Directorate has recently released information obtained from the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return. It paints an interesting portrait of the charitable sector.
In 2009, according to the CRA and its T3010 data, Canadian charities spent 2.9 billion outside of Canada.
I will be presenting at the Pillar Nonprofit Network and Foundation Western Foundation Investment Forum 2011. Here is a copy of the agenda.
Imagine Canada is looking for peer reviewers for its new Standards Program. “Are you interested in collaborating with a team of qualified colleagues to evaluate the practices of charities and nonprofits against a new set of Canada-wide shared standards? As a member of the Peer Review Committee you will have a hand in shaping the peer review process as we pilot the new Standards Program that was designed by the sector for the sector. For details on how to apply please see the Call for Peer Reviewers”
I will be delivering a presentation to Financial Executives International (FEI) entitled From Donations to Corporate Foundations: Corporate Philanthropy at SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises)
Here is an interesting report involving a UK charity with many lessons that can be learned by Canadian charities. The UK charity raised money for the Tsunami in 2004 and the Pakistan earthquake in 2005. In 2006 there were allegations in the media that the UK charity was involved with supporting terrorism. The Charity Commission of England and Wales spent a number of years investigating. “The Inquiry concluded that from the information examined, there was no evidence to indicate that the trustees diverted charitable funds for unlawful or non-charitable purposes. However, the Commission concluded that the trustees were unable to satisfactorily verify the end use of charitable funds in both Indonesia and Pakistan. It found that the measures taken to control, monitor and document the use of charitable funds by third parties overseas were insufficient. This prevented the charity’s trustees from being able to demonstrate that those funds had been used legitimately and in furtherance of the charity’s purposes.” “The report provides various lessons for the wider charity sector which directors and trustees are encouraged to read. The lessons include the steps which trustees should take to put safeguards in place to mitigate the risk of charitable funds being used unlawfully. This is particularly important for charities working overseas and potentially working through partners. The report provides important advice on trustee responsibilities in financial management and the supervision of overseas activities, and the importance of charities having effective governance where all trustees are aware of their responsibilities in terms of setting polices, decision making, and ensuring the charity is run in line with its governing document and general law.”
On September 20, 2011 Prime Stephen Harper announced a list of projects that will receive funding under the Muskoka Initiative Partnership Program.
Here is a short article quoting Brad Pitt on why he gives to charity. It is quite interesting.
Here is an interesting article by Jamie Golombek entitled “A crazy tale of tax fraud”. Unfortunately these types of unsophisticated schemes cost hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. They are referred to as receipting fraud.
Here is a very interesting document from the Max Bell Foundation which outlines some of the difficulties and opportunities for Canadian charities and NGOs to engage in more meaningful and effective public policy discussions.
Here is an upcoming webinar “The role of the Not-for-Profit Board Treasurer”.
Here is an archived webinar that was originally recorded on March 23, 2011 entitled “Dangerous Opinions – Legal and Ethical Issues with Legal Opinions on Charity Law and the Income Tax Act” with David Thompson from Scarfone Hawkins LLP. Mr. Thompson is a class action lawyer who has launched the Banyan Tree Foundation lawsuit and more recently the class action in the case of Redeemer University and its forgivable loan program.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy has published a lengthy article by Caroline Preston entitled “Multiple Methods of Valuing Drugs Create an Unclear Picture of Aid Totals”. It covers a number of important issues for both Canadian and US charities who either receive pharmaceutical donations or who purchase pharmaceuticals to use in developing nations.
Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?
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.