Topics: News, What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA, Canadian Charity Law, Global Giving, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) formerly CIDA
Here is some information from CIDA with respect to their Haiti donation matching program
Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund
In order to better respond to the needs of Haitian citizens, the government will match eligible donations made from the date of the earthquake, January 12, until February 12, 2010. Organizations have until February 26 to submit their letters of attestation indicating the amount of donations they have collected for Haiti relief. •Donating and fundraising criteria
•Additional information for registered charities
•Information for organizations interested in submitting proposals
In response to the devastating earthquake that hit south of Port-au-Prince Haiti on January 12, the Government of Canada has created the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. For every eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians, the Government of Canada will contribute one dollar to the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund, up to a total of $50 million. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will allocate these funds to established Canadian and international humanitarian and development organizations for relief efforts that benefit the people in Haiti affected by the earthquake.
The Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund will provide effective, accountable and timely financial support to trusted Canadian and international humanitarian and development partner organizations working in the affected area.
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Donating and fundraising criteria
For every dollar Canadians contribute between January 12 and February 12, 2010 to a registered charity responding to the Haiti earthquake, the Government of Canada will put one dollar into the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund, to a total of $50 million. This overall limit may be reviewed in light of the actual needs on the ground and the ability of humanitarian and development assistance partner organizations to address those needs.
To be counted for this purpose, donations must be:
•Monetary, up to $100,000;
•made by an individual Canadian;
•made to a registered charity that is receiving donations in response to the January 12 earthquake in Haiti;
•specifically earmarked by such organizations for the purpose of responding to the earthquake;
•made between January 12 and February 12, 2010.
The requirement that donations be made by February 12, 2010 is intended to ensure that CIDA’s matching contribution to the Fund can in turn be mobilised quickly to respond to emergency needs, in Haiti.
Not all registered charities will be collecting funds for the disaster response. If you want the Government of Canada to make a corresponding contribution to the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund, you should ensure that your donation complies with the conditions set out above, that the registered charity in question intends to use the funds for earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, and that it will declare the funds to CIDA.
Both tax-receipted and non tax-receipted donations are eligible to be counted towards the size of the Fund. A donation can be made in cash, or by cheque, money order, credit card or wire transfer. Please note that original donations made by Canadian individuals by cheque must be issued from a personal bank account (of the individual) and not a corporate bank account.
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Eligible donations will:
•include amounts from a fundraising event undertaken to raise money from individuals in response to the January 12 earthquake in Haiti. This fundraising may be undertaken by school authorities, faith-based organizations, clubs, social groups, businesses, incorporated entities, or registered charity;
•exclude any donations by corporations, governments, businesses, partnerships, schools, incorporated or non-incorporated entities, and unions from their existing resources that were not raised from individuals specifically in response to the January 12 earthquake in Haiti;
•ensure no double-counting of donations (i.e. donations collected by a registered charity and given to another such organization should be declared only once to CIDA); and
•exclude donations that were made by corporations, governments, incorporated entities, registered charity, unions, or government bodies (provincial, territorial, or municipal) to augment an amount raised in a fundraising activity or event.
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Additional information for registered charities
To ensure that donations collected in response to the earthquake by registered charities will be taken into account in determining the size of the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund, the registered charities concerned are required to complete and send in an attestation form to CIDA, attesting to the amount of eligible donations received. This form (available soon) must be received by CIDA on or before February 26 in order for donations to count towards the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.
The Attestation Form must:
•be filled in completely;
•be signed by an authorized signatory of the organization (i.e. an officer or representative vested explicitly, implicitly, or through conduct with the powers to commit the authorizing organization to a binding agreement); and
•be received by CIDA by February 26, 2010.
Attestation Forms should be sent by fax, registered mail or by courier to:
Canadian International Development Agency
Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund
International Humanitarian Assistance Directorate
Multilateral and Global Programs Branch
200 Promenade du Portage, Gatineau QC
Fax : 819-997-2637
Please note that the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund is separate from the funds raised by registered charities and will be administered separately by the Government of Canada. This means that the organization attesting to the amount of donations raised will not receive a matching dollar from the government. For every dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered charity, the Government of Canada will contribute one dollar to the Relief Fund. The Government of Canada will use the Relief Fund to support priority relief efforts in Haiti of eligible Canadian and international humanitarian and development organizations.
At the close of the registered charity’s first normal financial-year cycle that follows the time of the donation, each organization will be required to submit a copy of its audited annual financial statement to CIDA. This statement must contain an audit note that certifies the amount of eligible donations declared by the organization in its letter of attestation to CIDA.
Accountability for the use of funds raised by a registered charity for the January 12 Haiti earthquake response will rest with each organization. However, each organization may be required to demonstrate to CIDA that those funds were indeed used for the Haiti earthquake relief efforts.
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Information for organizations interested in submitting proposals
Guidelines for submitting proposals to the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund
The Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund will fund established Canadian and international humanitarian and development organizations with significant in-country capacity to deliver humanitarian, early recovery and reconstruction assistance in Haiti. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) interested in applying for funding should first ensure that they meet the minimum institutional eligibility requirements.
For information on these eligibility requirements and on how to apply for humanitarian assistance funding, please see CIDA’s Guidelines for Emergency Humanitarian Assistance Project Proposals and Reports.
Allocation of funds
Registered charities fundraising for the January 12 Haiti earthquake response will not have privileged access to the Relief Fund. Allocation decisions will be based on CIDA’s humanitarian and development assistance guidelines and the ability of Canadian and international humanitarian and development organizations to access the affected populations and deliver timely, effective, and appropriate humanitarian relief, early recovery and reconstruction activities.
For further information on the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund, please contact CIDA’s Public Inquiries Service:
Toll free: 1-800-230-6349
Toll free for the hearing and speech impaired only: 1-800-331-5018
Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?
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.