We assist Canadian charities understand their legal and ethical obligations when operating charities in Canada or abroad and provide insights and information to non-Canadian charities interested in operating or fundraising in Canada.
The charitable sector in Canada has become highly competitive. There are over 86,000 Canadian registered charities. Donors, regulators, media, the public as well as other stakeholders, have increasingly high standards for charities and their operations. GlobalPhilanthropy.ca will assist non-profits and charities in Canada in trying to be transparent, legal, ethical and effective.
There is a list called "foreign charities that have received a gift from Her Majesty in right of Canada". As the name suggests a group that gets a "gift" from the Federal government can apply to CRA to be on the list for a period of 2 years. Being on the list means that the foreign charity can issue official donation receipts to Canadians and also receive gifts from Canadian charities. When a Canadian charity provides funds to a foreign group that is listed as a qualified donee under this category there is no need for direction and control. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation has been added till February 19, 2021. Groups that are on the list must be careful to only issue official donation receipts in accordance with the Income Tax Act of Canada.
I know the title sounds a little harsh but I recently checked a list that the CRA maintains of municipalities that are "qualified donees" or groups that are able to issue official donation receipts and yes CRA has "terminated" some municipalities like the Village of New Norway in Alberta. Actually a quick Google search brings up "As at Nov. 1, the Village of New Norway ceased to exist as such, and officially becomes part of Camrose County, as the Hamlet of New Norway." I guess if your municipality disappears then CRA will list it as terminated on their database.
There are a couple of important qualified donee categories that have increased in size - first the "List of municipal or public bodies performing a function of government in Canada registered as qualified donees" which is largely aboriginal bands and secondly, the "List of universities outside Canada registered as qualified donees".
The CRA has released recently the 2019 version C of its T3010 Registered Charity Information Return. The major changes deal with replacing political activities with "public policy dialogue and development activities" (PPDDAs). As a result of Finance's 2018 changes CRA no longer asks for much information on "public policy dialogue and development activities". CRA asks whether your charity did PPDDAs and give you a paragraph to describe the PPDDAs and how they relate to your purposes but don't ask how much you spent on them. So when a billionaire's foundation spends $500 million on this type of political activity - you probably will not be able to easily detect it. Remember we are all created equal - some are just more equal than others. In fairness to billionaires, it was not billionaires asking for this change - it was mainly a few progressive groups.
Blumbergs is pleased to announce that we will be hosting Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp again on Monday April 20, 2020. An easy enough date to remember! This is a one-day boot camp on compliance and standards issues for Canadian registered charities. You can find out more information and register for the program here. This Boot Camp will cover the differences between for-profits, non-profits and registered charities and why in some cases you may wish to have one or more of each to have maximum impact. It will focus on matters that are significant for any operating charity surrounding revenue generation rules, receipting, transparency, and protecting your charity against risks. Topical issues such as collaboration, foreign activities, political activities, the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (CNCA) and Ontario Non-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) will be touched upon as well.
Since February 2019 there has not been any update from the Ontario government about ONCA coming into force. As we have noted before the Ontario government is no longer referring to ONCA coming into force in early 2020. A few months ago we put in a freedom of information request on ONCA and the computer company developing the new ONBIS system. We wanted to know why it has taken so long to move ONCA along and when it is likely to come into force. We just received the answer to my ATIP request and needless to say it does not answer either of the questions with there being some significant redactions. Here is the FOI response from the Ontario Government on ONCA from the Blumbergs request. It is interesting and 37 pages in length but does not provide much in terms of why ONCA has been so delayed and when ONCA will come in!