Blog

March 12, 2011

Webinar “Responding to International Disasters: Fundraising and Coordination with Nicolas Moyer”

On February 28, 2011 I did a webinar with the Coordinator of the Humanitarian Coalition, Nic Moyer, entitled “Responding to International Disasters: Fundraising and Coordination with Nicolas Moyer”.  You can watch the 1 hour webinar at: https://ocsa.webex.com/ocsa/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=TC&rID=3061432&act=pb&rKey=dcef805e9eec9dae It is free of charge and was prepared as part of the Charity Law Information Program (CLIP) which is supported in part by a contribution from the Charity Partnership Outreach Program of the Charities Directorate of CRA.

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March 09, 2011

C470 Bill on Canadian Charity compensation passes House and now is on to Senate

The House of Commons has had a third reading and passed C-470 on March 8, 2011.  On March 9, 2011 it received first reading in the Senate and there will be second reading on March 21, 2011.  If this bill passes the Senate, then Canadian registered charities will have to disclose the names of executives and employees whose compensation is over $100,000 per year, and not just the top 5 executives and employees, as of the 2012 financial year.

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March 08, 2011

CRA discusses new anti-avoidance rules and designated gifts for Canadian charities

The CRA has posted a note on the new anti-avoidance rules and designated gifts for Canadian charities that were introduced in the March 2010 Federal Budget.

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March 08, 2011

Toronto Star writes about a number of bad Canadian charities, some affiliated with Xentel

This Toronto Star article discusses various charities, including The Organ Donation and Transplant Association of Canada, the Children’s Emergency Foundation, Pediatric AIDS Canada, that CRA has recently shut down.  It also discusses the telemarketer Xentel DM (now called “iMarketing Solutions Group Inc.”) and their conduct.  If you are wondering what registered charities are allowed to do or not allowed to do with fundraising you may want to read the CRA’s Guidance on Fundraising at http://www.globalphilanthropy.ca/index.php/blog/canada_revenue_agency_guidance_on_fundraising_by_canadian_charities/  Do all charities a favour and don’t donate when you are getting a cold call from a charity that you are not involved with.  If you want to donate go to their website, do research and donate online.  Here are some other tips on donating wisely: http://www.globalphilanthropy.ca/index.php/blog/comments/how_to_effectively_donate_to_a_canadian_charity_-_some_suggestions_from_a_c/

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March 08, 2011

Charity Sector Watchdogs: An Intelligent Development? in Charity Village by Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf

Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf wrote an interesting article on Charity Sector Watchdogs in Canada.  He quotes Cathy Barr (Imagine Canada), Anderson Charters, owner of CharityCan.ca (a great database), Ken Berger (Charity Navigator), Kate Bahen (Charity Intelligence) and myself.

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March 03, 2011

CRA Statistics for the number of visits to the Charities Directorate Website

Here is some information from the Charities Directorate on statistics for the Charities Directorate website

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March 01, 2011

Keep up-to-date with charity legal and compliance issues in Canada - join CRA charity newsletter

The Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) sends out a “Charities and Giving - What’s new” newsletter every couple of weeks with links to new documents on the Charities Directorate webpage.  As CRA notes it “Notifies you about additions to the Charities and Giving Web pages, including Charities Newsletters, policy statements and commentaries, new guidelines, draft guidelines for consultation, and information about outreach activities.”  Canadian charities, directors of charities and staff persons of charities may wish to join the newsletter.

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February 26, 2011

Industry Canada releases Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Regulations with Executive Summary

On February 26, 2011, Industry Canada published the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Regulations under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act.
It provides an Executive Summary as well.

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February 26, 2011

Number of Canadians Concerned about Charity Fraud Up Considerably - but should they be?

CanadaHelps and Capital One did a survey of Canadians about charity fraud which shows that the public’s concern about being defrauded is up considerably.  This is part of an initiative by CanadaHelps and Capital One to highlight dangers of charity fraud as part of Fraud Awareness Month.  Charities should be concerned about the results and their potential impact on donations and confidence in the sector.  I was interviewed by Global TV and by the Vancouver Sun on the issue. While fraud has gone down considerably over the last couple of years, media coverage of some cases has resulted in heightened concern about the issue.

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February 26, 2011

CRA revokes the registration of The Organ Donation & Transplant Association of Canada

The Canada Revenue Agency has revoked the registration of The Organ Donation & Transplant Association of Canada excessive fundraising and administrative fees and for involvement in an “international donation arrangement” in which “the Organization paid $35,000 to allegedly acquire property with a purported value of $2.4 million” which is about 1.5% of the value claimed.  For those interested in avoiding problems with gifts in kind you might want to check out a free seminar that I am delivering for the Charity Law Information Program on gift in kind donations and problems with them at http://ow.ly/3jsBh

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February 23, 2011

Toronto tax preparer jailed in tax fraud scheme - false Canadian charitable donation claims

Here is a press release from the Canada Revenue Agency about a Toronto tax preparer jailed in tax fraud scheme for issuing false receipts.

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February 18, 2011

The Canada Revenue Agency revokes the registration of Pediatric AIDS Canada/USA as a charity

The CRA has revoked the registration of Pediatric AIDS Canada/USA.  It has also reminded Canadian charities that fundraise to be aware of the rules for fundraising contained in the CRA’s Guidance on Fundraising.  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/plcy/cps/cps-028-eng.html In addition to high fundraising costs CRA noted that the former charity participated in an “international donation arrangement ...the purpose of participating in this international donation arrangement was to artificially inflate its expenditures on charitable activities.”

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February 17, 2011

“Keeping charity laws top of mind” - Mark Blumberg’s article in The Bottom Line - March 2011

Here is a copy of my article Keeping charity laws top of mind which was published in The Bottom Line.

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February 15, 2011

Blumbergs Canadian Charity Law List - February 2011

Here is the Blumbergs Canadian Charity Law List for February 2011.  To sign up to this free newsletter visit: http://www.globalphilanthropy.ca/index.php/pages/subscribe/

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February 08, 2011

Top Receipting Concerns for Canadian Registered Charities by Mark Blumberg for the OBA Institute

Here is a copy of my paper delivered at the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) Institute 2011 entitled Top Receipting Concerns for Canadian Registered Charities.  I was delighted to be co-chairing the program and that there were 90 lawyers out for the sessions.

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February 05, 2011

CRA releases proposed guidance “The Promotion of Animal Welfare and Charitable Registration”

CRA has just released its “Consultation on proposed guidance for The Promotion of Animal Welfare and Charitable Registration”.  It is being released as part of a consultation and they are asking for comments by March 31, 2011.  There are over 700 Canadian registered charities dealing with animal welfare in Canada.

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February 04, 2011

Dangerous Opinions – Legal and Ethical Issues with Legal Opinions on Charity Law by David Thompson

David Thompson of Scarfone Hawkins in Hamilton, Ontario recently wrote a paper entitled “Dangerous Opinions – Legal and Ethical Issues with Legal Opinions on Charity Law and the Income Tax Act”.  If anyone is wondering how can people believe the ridiculous proposition that you one can invest $1000 dollars and get a $5000 official donation receipt from a registered charity they may want to read this article.  It discusses the role of some major law firms in providing “legal opinions”, marketing support, and ostensible legitimacy to these sordid schemes. Mr. Thompson is presently acting for plaintiffs in a number of class action lawsuits including claims against Banyan Tree Foundation/Rochester Financial Limited/Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP.

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February 04, 2011

“CRA going after the superwealthy” and their private foundations

Jamie Golombek wrote recently an article in the Financial Post on an audit initiative of CRA targeting high net worth individuals whose assets are over $50 million dollars and one of the items CRA is querying is related entities including private charitable foundations.

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February 03, 2011

Presentation by Danie Huppe-Cranford on CRA Major Charity Non-Compliance Issues Feb 2011

Here is a presentation entitled CRA Major Charity Non-Compliance Issues which was recently delivered in Toronto.

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February 02, 2011

Proulx, D. v. The Queen - FCA denies clergy residence deductions to pastoral agent

In Proulx, D. v. The Queen, the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) sided with CRA and allowed a CRA appeal from a Tax Court decision dealing with clergy residence deductions.

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February 02, 2011

Upcoming Seminar in Ottawa on Receipting and Fundraising with Mark Blumberg

Here is a flyer for an upcoming program on Fundraising and Receipting in Ottawa February 23, 2011.

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February 01, 2011

Changes to IC84-3R in February 2011 to add South African group “Education Africa”

Here is a copy of the IC84-3R Attachment published in February 2011.  The list covers a small category of qualified donees which are organizations outside of Canada to which the Canadian government has made a gift to in the last couple of years.  There are only a few organizations on the list and now “Education Africa” has been added to that list.

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February 01, 2011

Debate between Dan Pallotta, Ken Berger (Charity Navigator) and Bob Ottenhoff (Guidestar)

Here is debate organized by Network For Good involving author and fundraising consultant Dan Pallotta, Ken Berger (Charity Navigator) and Bob Ottenhoff (Guidestar).

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February 01, 2011

Governance Primer for Charity Boards - presentation to Peel Leadership Centre and Volunteer MBC

Here is an upcoming presentation I will be delivering entitled “Governance Primer for Charity Boards” for Volunteer MBC (Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon)) and the Peel Leadership Centre on February 15, 2011.

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February 01, 2011

A + B = C - Actions and Behaviors lead to Consequences - Do No Harm Project

Here is a nice simplification of the Do No Harm model.  You can read about it at http://www.cdainc.com/cdawww/pdf/issue/dnh_abcspaper_2011_Pdf.pdf

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Topics: News | Global Giving

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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.

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