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March 30, 2008

Donations by Canadians to Prescribed Universities Outside Canada (Schedule VIII) Rc191-07

CRA has prepared two publications namely Donations by Canadians to Prescribed Universities Outside Canada (RC191-07) and Information for Educational Institutions Outside Canada (RC190-07).  These recent publications will be of interest to foreign universities interested in fundraising in Canada and Canadian students studying at certain prescribed foreign universities.

Essentially Canadian individuals and trusts may in certain cases claim a non-refundable tax credit when they donate to certain “prescribed” universities outside Canada.  As well corporations may be able to deduct a donation to these “prescribed” universities.  The list of prescribed universities is located in Schedule VIII of the Canadian Income Tax Regulations under the Canadian Income Tax Act.

Links to the documents at the CRA website are Donations by Canadians to Prescribed Universities Outside Canada (RC191-07) and Information for Educational Institutions Outside Canada (RC190-07).

March 22, 2008

Interesting notes on Equitable Relationships between North/South Civil Society Organizations

Every year the Canadian Council for International Co-operation hosts a discussion forum and this year it was on the Paris Declaration and aid effectiveness.  There are some interesting notes on equitable North/South CSO relations at http://ccic.ca/e/docs/002_aid_2008-02_roundtable_6.pdf   As well Brian Tomlinson of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation delivered a speech a few month ago entitled “North / South CSO relations - A Northern Perspective” at http://ccic.ca/e/docs/002_aid_2007-08_harnosand_speech.pdf

March 10, 2008

Under a Microscope –Transactions that Draw the Attention of the CRA by Blaine Langdon of CRA

“Under a Microscope –Transactions that Draw the Attention of the CRA” is a really useful discussion of issues relating to donations and receipting - a problem area for many Canadian registered charities.  It was a presentation delivered by Blaine Langdon of the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency.

March 10, 2008

Regulation of Charitable Giving in Canada –A Presentation by Blaine Langdon

Here is a presentation by Blaine Langdon, Senior Policy Officer, of the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency entitled
Regulation of Charitable Giving in Canada –An Update

February 16, 2008

Donation of Medicines by Canadian Pharmaceutical Companies to the Developing World

The Canadian Federal Budget, delivered in March 2007, provided an additional tax incentive to Canadian pharmaceutical companies to provide drugs to certain Canadian registered charities as long as the drugs will be used outside of Canada.

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Topics: News

February 03, 2008

Who Gives for Overseas Development: A UK study

Alliance Magazine has a summary of this UK article on Who Gives for Overseas Development? at http://www.alliancemagazine.org/online/html/aodec07d.html This article may be of interest to professional fundraisers who work on international development and humanitarian aid.  It may or may not be useful to understanding Canadian donors.  For the rest of us it appears that a large number of people give to overseas causes - but those who are better educated, women, and better off financially tend to give more.

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Topics: News | Global Giving

January 31, 2008

CRA’s 10 reasons why an application for Canadian charitable status will not be successful

The CRA recently posted their top ten list of why applications for charitable status will not be successful.  It was placed in a Consultation document entitled “Charitable Work and Ethnocultural Groups - Information on registering as a charity “.  As an aside the last time I saw a study on the difference between applications for charitable status that were accepted by CRA and those that were rejected the most important factor correlating with acceptance was use of a lawyer.  Although one does not need to use a lawyer, the process is anything but straightforward.  If one is going to use a lawyer it is important to use a lawyer who is knowledgeable about charity law and especially important if you plan on conducting activities outside of Canada that the lawyer be familiar with CRA requirements for Canadian charities operating abroad.  Just one little example they cite for denying an application “The application does not include any copy of an agreement with representatives who are supposed to help the organization to carry out its activities outside Canada.”  CRA expects when one files an application that references foreign activities to be carried out under a structured arrangement (agency, joint venture, cooperative partnership, contractor) that in fact the agreement be attached.  This comes as a surprise to some including experienced practitioners.  Also they don’t mean some nice looking agreement - they mean an agreement that complies with ALL the requirements in RC4106.  Some may see this as harsh - however, if an organization takes shortcuts and does not have the resources and advisors to put in an appropriate application for charitable status it is not difficult to imagine that some of those same people may take shortcuts later when the charity is operating.

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January 30, 2008

David Baines and Vancouver Sun articles on Canadian Registered Charity “Givemeaning”

David Baines, a columnist for the Vancouver Sun, has written a number of articles critical of the Canadian registered charity Givemeaning which describes itself as “an online fundraising site emphasizing creative fundraising ideas and other unique forms of charity donation.”.  The articles and discussion cover issues such as public trust, appropriate compensation for employees of a “start-up” charity, media/marketing/hype and charities, appropriateness of high overhead, CRA oversight of the area, financial transactions between charities, what is charitable, foreign operations of a Canadian charity, appropriate transparency and accountability.

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January 27, 2008

Planned giving and International Development Charities in Canada

January 24, 2008

Review of Making a Difference in Africa - Advice from Experienced Grantmakers

This interesting book provides lots of insights into grantmaking in Africa.

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Topics: News

January 17, 2008

How much charitable giving actually supports the most needy?

How much charitable giving actually supports the most needy?

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Topics: News

January 12, 2008

International Charitable Activities: A Canadian Perspective

Topics: News

January 04, 2008

Ethics and Canadian Charities that operate outside of Canada

Although the law, governance and ethics are closely intertwined there is little written about ethics of Canadian charities operating abroad. Here are some links that may be of assistance to Canadian charities that operate outside of Canada to understand some of the ethical issues that they may have to deal with.

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December 20, 2007

My Holiday Reading

I am going to read “Making a Difference in Africa: Advice from Experienced Grantmakers” by Rob Buchanan and Jayne Booker.  If I have time I will be looking at “Taking Philanthropy Seriously: Beyond Noble Intentions to Responsible Giving” edited by William Damon and Susan Verducci.

Topics: News

December 06, 2007

DISASTER GRANTMAKING:  A Practical Guide for Foundations and Corporations revised by COF

This European Foundation Centre and the Council on Foundations guide on Disaster Grantmaking sets out principles of good disaster management for charities, foundations and corporations.

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December 05, 2007

Good intentions not enough with global philanthropy

Topics: News | Global Giving

December 04, 2007

Toronto Star article “Half of GTA foreign-born”

Topics: News

November 29, 2007

CRA Issues Notice of Suspension to International Charity Association Network

November 28, 2007

Press Release for GlobalPhilanthropy.ca

Don’t Laugh - here is a press release for the launch of GlobalPhilanthropy.ca!

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Topics: News

November 28, 2007

Planned Giving in a Global World - CAGP National Conference in Vancouver- April 2008

I will be in Vancouver talking about “Planned Giving in a Global World” in April 2008 at the CAGP annual conference.

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Topics: News

November 27, 2007

Resources and Links for Canadian Charities conducting Foreign Activities

Here are some handy resources and links for Canadian Charities conducting activities outside of Canada. 

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November 26, 2007

Seymour Schulich and Philanthropy Quotes

I have included some interesting quotes on philanthropy from Seymour Shulich, a prominent Toronto businessperson and philanthropist, who recently gave $20 million to the Technion in Israel, including “I learned from a prominent Torontonian that money is like fertilizer: If you pile it up, it stinks, and if you spread it around, you can grow some beautiful things.”

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Topics: News

November 23, 2007

Thanks to The Wire

Thank you Jon and Gabriela for setting up this website in two days.

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Topics: News

November 23, 2007

Recent Globe & Mail article on compliance problems with Canadian disaster relief charities

The Globe & Mail recently wrote about Canada Revenue Agency audits of Canadian charities involved in disaster relief including the tsunami. The large number of charities that were non-compliant amongst the CRA sample will not improve the public’s confidence in the international development sector.

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Topics: News | Global Giving

November 23, 2007

Interesting Pictures from Bolivia

Topics: News

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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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