Charity Focus from Imagine Canada - a helpful tool to analyze Canadian charities

January 25, 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 Law, Canadian Charity Statistics, Ethics and Canadian Charities

Imagine Canada will be officially launching its Charity Focus website soon.  You can review the website at http://www.charityfocus.ca/

At CharityFocus.ca you can:
-review up to 10 years financial information for any Canadian registered charity in one chart rather than going into 10 seperate T3010 Registered Charity Information Returns.
-make a donation directly from the website through CanadaHelps to the charity
-see additional information uploaded directly by the charity.
-see on a map the location of a charity.
-search by amount of revenue and location ( want to see who are small charities in Saskatoon or big charities in Montreal)
-search by type of charity - eg. synagogue, mosque, church, temple or hospital or university and combine it with other searches. 
-search “All of these words” and you get a list of charities containing a word.  (eg. search Uganda and it brings up first many charities that have the word Uganda in their title - but more importantly it brings up charities that don’t have Uganda in the title but only have the word in the description - very helpful if you are thinking of operating in Uganda and want to learn from other charities.)
-search multiple categories to find a list of charities that you want to volunteer with or donate to.


CharityFocus also has an interesting feature called T3010 QuickPrep which is an interactive T3010 form which will help Canadian charities to complete their T3010.  When completing the T3010 with QuickPrep it points out some of the most common mistakes and hopefully will improve the accuracy of the information filed.

Why should a charity care about this site?  First this site gives a charity the opportunity to upload certain information.  Secondly charities should check their financial information to make sure that when they filed their T3010 the information provided was correct (or CRA did not input the information incorrectly).  It is far easier on a site like this to do so when you are looking at historical information side by side.  If there is a mistake in the information you can let CRA know.  If you made a mistake in filing your T3010 then you can file an adjustment - alternatively if CRA made an inputting mistake just give them a call. 

Check out how your charity looks at http://www.charityfocus.ca/

Don’t be too quick to judge a charity based on the T3010 information - at http://www.smartgiving.ca we discuss some of the difficulties of “rating” charities or using the T3010 information to determine whether a charity is worthy of support.

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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