What’s The Law: Eliminating The Disbursement Quota: Gold Or Fool’s Gold?

Introduction The federal budget in March 20101 announced the elimination of a significant part of the disbursement quota for charitable organizations and changes to related provisions. The reform of the disbursement quota came after a substantial effort by associations representing charities, such as Imagine Canada and the Canadian Bar Association, to reform the disbursement quota. Charitable…

Letter From The Editor

Welcome to the Spring 2010 issue of The Philanthropist. Our February issue focused on some of the big challenges facing the Canadian nonprofit sector. We heard from you that you like the approach and look of the “new” Philanthropist, and that these are indeed the big questions facing the sector. In this issue, we explore…

What’s The Law: A Sketch Of The Income Tax Treatment Of Endowments

“Endowments” are held by many Canadian charities. However, the source of these endowed funds and the nature of the legal conditions applicable to these endowments vary widely. More and more often charities that hold endowments are seeking input on how they can or should spend their endowments. The answer to whether they can only spend income…

The End Of Endowments?

The economic swells of the last 18 months stress-tested the system of charitable endowments. Headlines announced spectacular losses to these long-term funds. My favourite was the headline to a Vanity Fair article that chronicled “Harvard’s Big, Dumb Financial Train Wreck.” The world biggest endowment lost $11 billion of its $36.9 billion.1 While it is tempting…

Index to Volume 20 of The Philanthropist

PREPARED BY MAURA BROWN, MA Subject Index A ACCOUNTABILITY. Religious activities Religious persons and religious institutions 2006(Vol. 20, No. 2), pp. 87–89 ACCOUNTABILITY. Religious institutions Tort accountability for religious activities 2006(Vol. 20, No. 2), pp. 87–130 ADVANCEMENT OF RELIGION As a head of charity 2007(Vol. 20, No. 4), pp. 257–93 ADVANCEMENT OF RELIGION Head of…

New Disbursement Quota Rules Under Bill C-33

Introduction The disbursement quota is a prescribed amount that registered charities must disburse each year in order to maintain their charitable registration. The purpose of the disbursement quota is “to ensure that most of a charity’s funds are used to further its charitable purposes and activities; to discourage charities from accumulating excessive funds; and to…

New CRA Policy on Umbrella Organizations

Introduction This article provides a brief overview of the draft policy entitled Guidelines for the Registration of Umbrella Organizations (“Guidelines”) that was released by Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) on July 29, 2005. The Guidelines discuss the eligibility of umbrella organizations for charitable registration and are available on CRA’s Web site at <http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/charities/ consultations/umbrella-e.html>. What is…