Why the Absence of Global Charity Headquarters in Canada?

This article is the fifth in a series on Canadian Charities Working Internationally. Canadians like to think of themselves as both internationally minded people and as coming from a tradition of humanitarian action. However, few stop to ask why global charities are never headquartered in Canada. There is no major international charity with affiliated entities…

Risk Issues And Social Enterprise In Canada

Foreword SiG@MaRS, the Social Innovation Generation program at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, provides services to social entrepreneurs who come to MaRS to get help with their social enterprise or social purpose business. Regardless of the stage of development, the issue of incorporation comes up: “Should I incorporate as for-profit, not-for-profit, or a charity?”…

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…

Considerations in Corporate Giving

This article is an edited version of a paper presented at the National Symposium on Charity Law, May 10, 2007, Toronto.  This article addresses certain tax aspects of corporate giving, specifically, the tax aspects of giving that are specific to corporations as opposed to individual donors. Accordingly, it is not an exhaustive review of the tax…

Natural Justice, Members, and the Not-For-Profit Organization: “Fair Play in Action”

“Natural Justice is but fairness writ large and juridically. It has been described as “fair play in action”.1 Introduction In recent years, a number of cases have emerged that have considered the application of natural justice rules to the decisions of not-for-profit organizations. The emergence of these cases is not surprising considering the ever increasing…

Charities and the Rule Against Perpetuities

Introduction Charitable status is a legally privileged status. The law in numerous ways, ranging from the trivial1 to the noteworthy,2 confers legal advantages upon charities. These legal advantages are often misunderstood. This is true in terms of the technical dimensions to the various advantages. It is also true at the more fundamental level of understanding…

For the Record: Three Views on Bill C-21: Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act

Editor’s Introduction The three briefs in this For the Record comment on Bill C-21, the proposed Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act introduced by the former Liberal Government. The Bill died with the election of the Conservatives to government in early 2006. The three briefs come at the Bill from different perspectives—two more critical of it than…

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…

Gifts, Partial Gifts, Split Receipting, and Valuations

Introduction: The Meaning of “Gift” Common Law The meaning of “gift” has important implications under the Income Tax Act (Canada),1 and the term appears in several sections in the Act. In particular, it appears in sections 110.1 and 118.1, which grant a deduction or a credit for the fair market value of a gift made…

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…