Some thoughts on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and CBC’s The Exchange

December 12, 2015 | By: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Mark Blumberg
Topics: News, Global Giving

I had the pleasure of being on The Exchange on CBC on December 11, 2015 to discuss the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative ("CZI") with Bruce MacDonald, CEO of Imagine Canada.   You can watch the segment of The Agenda here (at approximately 18:35).

Here are some quick points on the CZI:

1) it allows them control of the stock and funds;

2) the funds are still personal and they can change their mind and give it all to their daughter if they decide to do so;

3) they can control the voting shares of Facebook and therefore continue to control the company;

4) they have more flexibility than a charity (or 501(c)(3) would have (especially in terms of political activities (partisan or otherwise) or investing (in one stock or avoiding prudent investment rules);

5) they don't appear to need the tax benefits of donating to a charity at this point as they are not selling their shares and would not have to pay a capital gains tax;

6) they can selectively donate to charity to avoid paying taxes when they come up for decades to come;

7) there is no legal requirement for transparency (unlike a charity); and

8) there is no requirement to disburse any funds (not even the 5% that US private foundations must disburse every year).   

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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