Haiti Earthquake highlights difficulties for Canadian charities conducting international operations

January 16, 2010 | 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, Global Giving, Ethics and Canadian Charities, Avoiding 'Charity' Scams

The Haiti Earthquake shows quite vividly how difficult and complicated international charitable activities can be.  From logistical issues to security, careful planning, preparation and having the requisite experience and people on the ground are important.  At an upcoming conference in Toronto called Being Good at Doing Good (http://www.capacitybuilders.ca/clip/conference/index.php), supported by the Canada Revenue Agency, there will be extensive discussion of how charities must be careful to maximize their organization’s effectiveness and prevent your resources from being misused both locally and internationally.  There will be a number of excellent speakers and topics on the difficulties and requirements for international operations and some of them will incorporate updates and lessons learned from Haiti.

Some of the topics will include:

Planning for Difficulties in International Operations with David Morley, President and CEO of Save the Children Canada and Marilyn McHarg, General Director, Médecins sans frontières (MSF)

Being a Great CFO and Board Treasurer Charlie Fluit, Vice-President, Corporate Services, World Vision and Jamie Craig, Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer, CARE Canada - the two largest Canadian international development charities.

Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Settings , Marie-Luise Ahlendorf, Global Programmes Department, Transparency International, Germany

No Programing Without Security John Schafer, Security Coordination Unit, InterAction, Washington, D.C. -He is Director of Security for the 180 members of InterAction who comprise many of the largest US relief and international development organizations.

Principles Become Techniques: Applying the Lens of our Values to our Work with Marshall Wallace, Director, Do No Harm Project of CDA Collaborative Learning Projects - did you know that many projects in conflict or post conflict areas do more harm than good because of poor planning and implementation?

A Muslim Perspective on International Relief with Haroun Atallah, Finance Director, Islamic Relief Worldwide, UK

Governance, Accountability and Canadian Charities by Don McCreesh, Chair, Imagine Canada

Charity Abuse and Media Coverage, Kevin Donovan, Staff Reporter, Toronto Star

Direction and Control of Foreign Activities and Appropriate Structured Arrangements with Mark Blumberg (me), lawyer and editor of http://www.globalphilanthropy.ca

Direction and Control While Respecting Local Ownership, Rosemary McCarney, President and CEO, Plan International Canada

Financial Controls to Prevent Fraud, Money Laundering and Other Misappropriation of Charitable Resources, James Finlay, Certified Fraud Examiner, Finlay & Associates

We will also have Cathy Hawara, the Acting Director General of the Charities Directorate, Ken Goodman, the acting Public Guardian and Trustee (Ontario) and a senior legal representative from the UK charity commission. 

For further information see: http://www.capacitybuilders.ca/clip/conference/index.php

Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?


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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