Advancement of Religion by Canadian charities - sample objects and activities

October 10, 2011 | By: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Mark Blumberg
Topics: News, Canadian Charity Law

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.

To read the complete draft “Consultation on Proposed Guidance on Advancement of Religion as a charitable purpose” see

http://www.globalphilanthropy.ca/index.php/blog/comments/draft_consulation_on_proposed_guidance_on_advancement_of_religion_as_a_char/


Here is an appendix to a CRA draft guidance on advancement of religion.


APPENDIX A

Examples of Purposes/Objects and Activities

The following examples are offered to illustrate some possible purposes and activities. Most applications will and should offer more detail. If the method, means or activities of advancing religion are not explicitly religious or are apparently secular, applicants should set out the religious basis for them (e.g. relevant statements of faith, doctrine, tradition, practical application of faith,). It would also be helpful to provide supporting material wherever possible.

The activities shown are only those that further or support the religious charitable purpose. Ancillary and incidental activities are not shown, although these are allowed by the law of charity if they are minor in scope. (Examples include social, recreational and subordinate activities.)

Example 1
To advance, promote and manifest the doctrine, observances and practices associated with the [specify religion] through the following the activities:
Operating a house of worship
Conducting a weekly service
Offering classes in religious education for children and adults
Operating a food bank for those in need (cite religious basis)
Maintaining a library of resources on faith and spiritual development
Occasionally organizing and leading pilgrimages to holy sites and sacred places of remembrance

Example 2
To advance, promote and manifest the doctrine, observances and practices associated with the [specify religion] by establishing and operating a house of worship and carrying on the following activities:
Building the house of worship
Conducting weekly services
Performing various rites such as naming ceremonies, weddings, funerals
Offering scripture study and religious education for children and adults
Providing pastoral care and visitation to those who are elderly, infirm, imprisoned or sick
Reaching out to those who are in need in the neighbourhood
Providing spiritual direction and guidance
Providing language training to enable the reading of sacred texts
Holding occasional social events to build community (cite religious basis)

Example #3
To advance, promote and manifest the doctrine, observances and practices associated with the [specify religion] by operating a summer camp and carrying on the following activities:
Engaging in age appropriate religious instruction and worship each day
Maintaining a place of worship at the camp
Conducting a weekly religious service
Engaging religiously trained camp counsellors
Arranging for guest speakers on faith matters

Example #4
To advance, promote and manifest the doctrine, observances and practices associated with the [specify religion] by offering marriage preparation and counselling programs in keeping with the religion and carrying on the following activities:
Conducting weekend spiritual retreats for engaged couples or married couples
Maintaining a directory of resources on family life, marriage, prayer and spirituality
Conducting spiritual retreats with married couples who wish to strengthen their relationship
Providing counselling and spiritual guidance to those couples experiencing difficulties in their marriage

Example #5
To advance, promote and manifest the doctrine, observances and practices associated with the [specify religion] by serving the poor with love and respect in response to [cite religious basis] and carrying on the following activities:
Operating a shelter, food bank, clothing depot, and meal service for the needy in the City of ________
Making presentations at local congregations or parishes and encouraging their members to volunteer at the shelter
Making available a non-denominational meditation or prayer room or space
Offering spiritual counselling upon request
Referring people to community and government resources

Example #6
To advance, promote and manifest the doctrine, observances and practices associated with the [specify religion] by spreading the faith by religious broadcasting over the internet and carrying on the following activities:
Establishing an interactive website
Broadcasting over the internet a weekly service from an actual local place of worship
Being available to respond to questions and have an exchange with viewers following the service
Posting resources and providing links to resources on the religion and faith development

Example #7
To advance, promote and manifest the doctrine, observances and practices associated with the [specify religion] by serving people with disabilities, their families and friends with love and respect according to [cite religious basis] and carrying on the following activities:
Convening regular gatherings of people with disabilities, their family and friends, to pray, share and celebrate
Organizing periodic pilgrimages to holy sites and places of healing
Sharing resources with local congregations or parishes on the needs and gifts of people with disabilities

Example #8
To advance, promote and manifest the doctrine, observances and practices associated with the [specify religion] through a fund to provide for the retirement needs associated with religious office holders and members of religious congregations through the following activities:
Establishing and maintaining a fund
Applying the principal and income therefrom to the needs of retired religious office holders and members of religious congregations including paying pensions and providing accommodation

Example #9
To advance, promote and manifest the doctrine, observances and practices associated with the [specify religion] by operating facilities for the care, maintenance and rehabilitation of the elderly in response to [cite religious basis] through the following activities:
Operating a residential home for the care, maintenance and rehabilitation of the elderly
Providing health care, nutritional and social services
Offering spiritual and religious care for residents and their families including regular worship services and spiritual counselling and prayer with individuals
Maintaining a place of worship at the home
Offering ecumenical services and a non-denominational place for meditation and prayer
Engaging with local congregations or parishes about the needs of the elderly and drawing volunteers from their members

Example #10
To advance, promote and manifest the doctrine, observances and practices associated with the [specify religion] by doing international development and relief work inspired by [cite religious basis] and through the following activities
Relieving poverty in developing nations by providing food and other basic supplies to persons in need
Providing necessities of life to victims of disasters
Forming relations and working with local religious groups
Preparing resources for use by religious groups in Canada on the religious basis for assisting people in the developing world
Providing worship resources for use by religious groups in Canada

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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