Canadian Charities and Free Transparency Tools - look before you donate your time or money

January 27, 2012 | By: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Mark Blumberg
Topics: News, What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA, Canadian Charity Statistics, Ethics and Canadian Charities

There are a couple of interesting websites which allow much easier searching of information from the T3010 databases.  One is CharityFocus.ca (discussed at http://www.globalphilanthropy.ca/index.php/blog/comments/charity_focus_from_imagine_canada_-_a_helpful_tool_to_analyze_canadian_char/ ).  Another interesting website is http://www.opencharity.ca Opencharity.ca allows for visitors to search not only by charity name but also directors name.

Why would these tools be useful for a charity or donor?

1) Search on http://www.opencharity.ca to see if you are listed as a director of a charity - some people are surprised that they are listed when they thought they had resigned years before or they had never consented to be a director.  Also when you read in the paper that someone has been involved with malfeasance you might be interested in knowing which other charities the person is involved with.  http://www.opencharity.ca/search

2) The charityfocus.ca interface is much easier to use than the CRA website in terms of accessing information on a registered charity both for the last year and historically over the last 10 or so years..

3) These tools will make it easier for charities to see mistakes in their previous filings which could be corrected.

4) The improved user interface will also make easier to see what is captured on the T3010 and show the limits of the information collected on the T3010.  There is little collected on the T3010 about volunteer contribution, public benefit and impact. 

5) There are also other paid subscriptions who have different information or user interface such as CharityCan and Ajah.

In terms of questions one may want to think about in donating to charity I have created along with the Charity Law Information Program a micro-site - http://www.smartgiving.ca which might also be of assistance.

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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