So now you are a registered charity. What is next?
It can take 4-6 months and sometimes even longer to get registered charity status in Canada with the Charities Directorate. Only about 46% of applicants are successful. Although applying for charity status may seem like the hard part, it is actually being a registered charity, including fundraising, carrying out charitable activities and ensuring compliance that are the most difficult part. Many charities do not start operations until after they have received registered charity status – this course will cover some of the first steps for a new registered charity, including the following items to consider:
• Review Notification of Registration
• Set up a bank account
• Set up credit card
• Online fundraising and issuing of receipts.
• Use proper corporate name and business names
• Having board meetings and taking minutes
• Are organizational documents up to date? Are you clear about membership?
• Board education and understanding
• Distinctiveness from non-charities
• Establishing your Canadian charity’s identity
• Update corporate information if required
• Canadian donors - past donors and receipts?
• Donor Advised Funds and transfer over funds to the Canadian charity
• Setting up a process for issuing proper official donation receipts
• Keeping books and records
• Make sure you have internal controls in place
• Employment – payroll and employment agreements
• Objects and activities – make sure they fit
• Be aware of some of CRA’s most important guidance
• Protecting IP
• Provincial Registrations – for fundraising or operating
• Do you need multiple corporate entities?
• Is information that CRA has up-to-date?
• Review T3010 and information that will need to be filed – also diarize date for first filing
Mark Blumberg is a lawyer at the law firm Blumbergs Professional Corporation (Blumbergs) in Toronto and works almost exclusively advising non-profits and registered charities on their work in Canada and abroad. Mark has written numerous articles, is a frequent speaker on legal issues involving charity and not-for-profit law. He is the editor of a blog, www.CanadianCharityLaw.ca, and created the largest portal of data on the Canadian charity sector, www.CharityData.ca Mark also edits www.SmartGiving.ca, which provides information on due diligence when selecting charities.
Mark is particularly interested in the regulation of non-profits and charities in Canada, philanthropy, transparency requirements for the voluntary sector, providing accessible information on regulatory issues, and the use of data to make more informed decisions on the charity sector.
Mark is quoted regularly in print media and frequently appears on radio and television on topics relating to philanthropy and the regulation of charities in Canada. Mark has also appeared on a number of occasions in front of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance on topics such as charity regulation, transparency, accountability and tax incentives for philanthropy. Mark has testified at the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector, the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance and the House Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.
Mark has also made presentations to the Charities Directorate Annual All Staff Meeting as well the Annual Divisional Staff Meeting of the Determinations Section of Charities Directorate. Mark presented to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) when the FATF conducted an evaluation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism in Canada in 2015.
Mark sat for 4 years on the Charities Directorate Technical Issues Working Group, which is a bi-annual meeting between the Charities Directorate, the Department of Finance and the charity sector to discuss technical and policy issues pertaining to registered charities and the Income Tax Act (Canada). Mark is a member of the Exempt Organizations Committee of the American Bar Association. Mark spent 6 years on the Advisory Committee for the Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL) at Carleton University. Mark is on the Board of the Canadian Charity Law Association.
Mark has co-authored 20 Questions Directors of Not-for-Profit Organizations Should Ask About Mergers (Published by CPA Canada) and co-wrote a chapter on International Trends in Government-Nonprofit Relations: Constancy, Change, and Contradictions in Non-profits and Government: Collaboration and Conflict in Non-profits and government: collaboration and conflict (Edited by Elizabeth T Boris and C Eugene Steuerle)
Mark frequently lectures to various industry and professional groups on charity compliance issues including the Chartered Professional Accountants Canada (CPA Canada), as well as CPA Ontario, BC and Alberta, the Canadian Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association, Canadian Association of Gift Planners, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Ontario Hospital Association, Ontario Non-profit Network, and many other organizations.
Mark has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto, an LLB from the University of British Columbia and an LLM from Osgoode Hall Law School in Tax Law.