New Article from Drache Aptowitzer LLP Voluntary Disclosure and the Difference Between Non-profit and Registered Charities

Voluntary Disclosure and the Difference Between Non-profit and Registered Charities
In the legal profession, we know what to do if we have made a mistake. Those that regulate us (Law Societies across the country) remind us about our professional obligations, how to control the damage and the importance of seeking help as soon as a mistake is discovered. So, what do we advise our non-profit and registered charity clients when they tell us they have made a mistake, or more commonly, when we have found through our review of their organization that they have made a mistake involving the provisions of the Income Tax Act ?…

Standford Social Innovation Review Winter 2018

Standford Social Innovation Review Winter 2018
Building a Canadian Social Finance Fund Government and its partners can achieve transformative change by taking a big leap By Stephen Huddart & Tim Draimin Winter 2018
Excerpt: A social finance fund in Canada would stimulate innovation in the public service and bring new dynamism to the social sector, renewing the relationship between government, philanthropy, and the private sector at a time when meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals demands an all-out effort. Transformative change will require not only collaboration within government and across sectors, but also new sources of capital, new approaches to managing risk, and new uses of data..

ALIGN Bulletin Human Service Agencies and Christmas Considerations December 2017

With the holidays come many considerations for human service agencies. Find out more about the legalities of office parties, staff mental wellness, the ethics around accepting gifts and more!

Imagine Canada – New 2017 Study

The study from Imagine Canada 2017 profiles data from 56 Imagine Canada Caring Companies and LBG Canada companies. In 2016, these leading businesses invested $468 million with an average contribution to charities of 2.5 per cent of pre-tax profits…

Government of Canada – Speech from Minister Jean-Yves Duclos at the 10th Social Finance Forum

November 10, 2017 “The Government of Canada is committed to developing a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy – not simply for Canadians, but with Canadians.” The minister hailed social finance and social innovation as ways to solve big problems and helping those most in need…

Alberta Findings – Vital Signs Reports October 2017

So far, twenty-two community foundations across Canada helped shed a light on local priorities  during Vital Signs week this October by getting word out about their Vital Signs reports. Meanwhile, even more foundations are hosting Vital Conversations to get communities talking about how to put this vital knowledge into action.As more and more communities join the Vital Signs movement, they collectively help paint an increasingly detailed picture of the strengths and challenges facing Canada today.

National report on belonging
Community reports across Canada


Poverty, stress and high prices worry Calgarians in Vital Signs report

Editorial: Building a stronger city


Nearly one-fifth of Edmontonians feel socially isolated: Report


Vital Signs takes pulse of city, area well-being

Northwestern Alberta

2017 NW Alberta’s Vital Signs report released

Crime still considered region’s top issue: Vital Signs

Canada Social Report: September 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors

Canada Social Report:
A Compendium of Social Information

Originally inspired by the dismantling of the long-form Census in 2010, the Canada Social Report acts as a major hub for social information.  It is a resource for the entire social sector – to give all of us a strong voice and a powerful evidence base for informed policy conversations and the formulation of intelligent policy solutions.

See the September 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors, and the spring 2017 edition of the Municipal Monitor

2017 Alberta Nonprofit Survey

CCVO 2017 Alberta Nonprofit Survey  is the only source of province-wide “state of the sector” research that documents the ongoing experience and health of the nonprofit sector.The completed report is frequently used to help inform the decision-making of nonprofit leaders and boards, the Government of Alberta, foundations, and community stakeholders.

SAGE New Report “Law & Governance of Secondary Data Use: Obligations of Not-For-Profit Organizations in Alberta”

SAGE is excited to announce that, with the support of PolicyWise, Kiran Pohar Minhas has produced a report titled “Law & Governance of Secondary Data Use: Obligations of Not-For-Profit Organizations in Alberta”. This is a new and innovative area and the paper presents the legal and governance issues for, and the obligations of not-for-profits when sharing and re-using information beyond data collection for service delivery. The report aligns with SAGE’s vision of building data management capacity in the community services sector.

Stats Canada Online Chat Session to Discuss Latest 2016 Census Data

Stats Canada Online chat session to discuss the latest 2016 Census data! Friday, August 4, 2017 12:30 to 13:30
As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, Statistics Canada will publish the latest chapter in the story of our country and its people. The third series of results from the 2016 Census of Population will be released on August 2, 2017, on Statistics Canada’s website ( These results will focus on the language distribution of the Canadian population, as well as families, households, and marital status in 2016. Want to learn more? Join our chat session with Statistics Canada experts to discuss these findings!

Canada Revenue New Videos from Gifting and Receipting Video Series

As a part of the Canada Revenue Agency’s continued effort to clarify the rules and terms that commonly confuse charities, the Charities Directorate has recently made available  an educational series on “gifting and receipting”. This series is intended to help charities learn about the rules that relate to receipting and the types of donations in which registered charities can issue a donation receipt  Check out the latest videos!

Drache Aptowitzer LLP Newsletter July 2017

Drache Aptowitzer LLP Newsletter July 2017 has some great articles for charities! Here are just two

Powers and Limits of an Executive Committee July 2017
It’s a very common practice, especially in organizations with larger boards, to have a subgroup of the directors form an executive committee that makes core decisions. But some caution must be exercised when deciding which powers to delegate to an executive committee – or indeed, to any subgroup of directors. Depending on the law that an organization is formed under, there may be restrictions on which of the directors’ powers can be delegated rather than exercised as a full body…

Withholding July 2017
Charities spend a great deal of time and energy focusing on audits from the Charities Directorate. While this attention on the Directorate is justifiable it is important to recognize that charity regulation is only one function of the Canada Revenue Agency (the “CRA”) and that charities are answerable to the CRA for many of its activities. One particularly troublesome area seems to be the T4 habits of charities. Even where there is no issue with a specific expenditure on a particular individual for a charitable activity….

CYDL Releases New Reports From the Longitudinal Study Experiences of Alberta Children and Youth Over Time, 2005-06 to 2010-11.

Four new reports have been released from the CYDL’s longitudinal study, Experiences of Alberta Children and Youth Over Time, 2005-06 to 2010-11. This longitudinal, cross-ministry study is an analysis of over two million Albertans and their use of government services over the span of six years.

Findings like those shown in the infographic above can be found in four new reports:

The longitudinal study is ground-breaking in it’s multi-year, cumulative approach to the service use of Albertan children and youth as studying experiences over several years of development adds a valuable level of richness.

All current deliverables from this project can be accessed here.

Imagine Canada -Special Senate Committee on Charities and Nonprofits Proposed

Imagine Canada – Special Senate Committee on charities and nonprofits proposed
As previously reported, Senator Terry Mercer has introduced a motion that, if approved, would see a Special Committee formed in the Senate with a mandate to carry out a wide-ranging study on the future of the charitable and nonprofit sector. On June 2, Senator Mercer kicked off the debate on this motion, outlining the kind of issues he hopes would be considered, including the future of philanthropy, the legal and regulatory framework, financial sustainability, labour force development, and volunteerism. The Committee would hold hearings over an 18-month period and present a report in late 2018.

In the coming days, Imagine Canada plans to write to all Senators encouraging them to support the motion. They encourage you to reach out to Senators in your region to express your support for this initiative.


Senate Motion Introduced to Review Impact of Charitable Sector on Canada – AFP May 27, 2017
Senator Terry Mercer, CFRE, has introduced a motion to appoint a Special Committee that would examine the impact of laws and policies governing charities, and to review the impact of the entire sector on Canada.

The Special Committee would be created specifically to “examine the impact of federal and provincial laws and policies governing charities, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and other similar groups; and to examine the impact of the voluntary sector in Canada.”

Imagine Canada Survey – How Can the Canada Summer Jobs Program Be Improved for Nonprofits?

This brief survey serves to understand your organization’s experiences with the Canada Summer Jobs program. Please ensure that the best suited person at the organization (someone with experience in applying to the program—CFO, CEO, HR lead, or Program Director) answers the survey.

CRA Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities

CRA Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities March 31, 2017
A Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities was appointed by the Minister of National Revenue in September 2016. This report presents the Panel’s recommendations which are designed to clarify and broaden the ability of charity’s to engage in political activities for charitable purposes while remaining absolutely nonpartisan…

Alberta Gets a “C” on Social Performance

The Conference Board of Canada on Canada’s Social Performance
Canada is a “B” performer and places 10th overall on our society report card, but poor rankings relative to peer countries on income inequality and poverty highlight the scope for improvement. Ten indicators were used to evaluate the overall social performance of Canada and 15 peer countries. Canada is a middle-of-the-pack performer on most of the indicators—it gets two “A”s, five “B”s, and three “C”s…

Canada Social Report – October 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors

Monitoring the daily policy announcements of Canadian federal and provincial/territorial governments provides both a searchable record of action and a dynamic view of the country’s social policy priorities. Now Available Canada Social Report – October 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors

Share Your HR Strategy Story

Share your story on innovative HR strategies being used successfully by nonprofit organizations across Canada for a chance to win up to $500 in team-based professional development for your nonprofit organization. They’ll also be turning the best stories into a range of video, audio and social media content, giving you and your organization national exposure.

The 2017 Alberta Nonprofit Survey is Now Open!

CCVO 2017 Alberta Nonprofit Survey
The Alberta Nonprofit Survey is conducted annually by the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations. It is the only source of province-wide “state of the sector” research that documents the ongoing experience, evolution, and health of the nonprofit and charitable sector. The final report is frequently used to help inform the decision-making of nonprofit leaders and boards, the Government of Alberta, foundations, and community stakeholders. This year’s survey includes questions provided by the Government of Alberta.

Newly Released 2017 Canadian Nonprofit Sector Salary & Benefits Report

Charity Village – Newly released 2017 Canadian Nonprofit Sector Salary & Benefits Report reveals current compensation trends
Compensation at nonprofits across the country continues to rise slowly for some nonprofit professionals, according to the new 2017 Canadian Nonprofit Sector Salary & Benefits Report. To better understand nonprofit compensation, we surveyed more than 1,000 participants who represented more than 14,000 individual employees from nonprofits across Canada. The results are gathered in our 2017 salary and benefits report, now available for online purchase.

CSAE Canadian Association Financial Operations Report

CSAE Canadian Association Financial Operations Report is designed to help your not-for-profit organization benchmark and confidently justify its expense allocations. This is an extraordinary comparative tool on financial operating ratios and expenses within Canada’s not-for-profit community. Based upon primary research, the report provides an in-depth look into key operating ratios within Canada’s association sector and serves as a reliable benchmarking tool on revenue sources and expenses. The report’s data is segmented by organizational type, size and geographic location.

Imagine Canada Making Sure your Charity Reports Political Activity Correctly

The latest Sector Monitor survey (Dec 2016) found that far more charities are engaging in political activities than has commonly been believed. Fully 31% of charities responding to the survey indicated they had engaged in at least one political activity over the previous year. However, only about one in ten of them reported this political activity to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on their T3010 Information Return. To help charities avoid this pitfall, we look at reasons for this under-reporting and offer some practical tips to aid reporting.

Drache Aptowitzer LLP Charity Updates January 2017

Community Interest Corporations and Community Contribution Companies By: Sukhdeep Singh Sembi
As our readers know the new government has taken steps to revamp the restrictions on political activities by charities, by dismantling the political activities audit program and by promising a new approach following consultation with the public and members of the charities industry. It is important however to note that the changes may not only effect the charity realm…

Receipting Issuing and Donor Goodwill By: Arthur Drache, C.M., Q.C.
Each year in January and February we review our list of charitable donations made and start checking to see whether we have received receipts for the donations. Over the years we have found that inevitably there will be some problems though generally the issuing of receipts has become more expeditious with the advent of internet donations which usually generate fairly swift issuing of receipts by e-mail…

Charter Challenge to Political Activities of Charities By: Alexandra Tzannidakis
When the Liberals came into power last year, the new Minister of National Revenue announced that she was putting a halt to the “political activities” audit of charities that the previous administration had been conducting for the past few years. In practice, this meant that the charities in line to be audited under the program were given a reprieve, but those that were already in the course of being audited were not. One of the latter charities, Canada Without Poverty (“CWP”), is now bringing a constitutional challenge against the political activities law…

Head in the Cloud, and Books and Records on the Ground By: Kara Johnson
If someone asked you “where” your cloud storage is, would you know the answer? The “cloud” is the common term used when data is stored remotely but yet accessible (to your multiple devices) through the internet. Given that the data is now ‘remote’ we often receive questions from clients as to whether keeping books and records in this way meets their obligation under the Income Tax Act…

CRA’s Report on the Charities Program 2015-2016 is now available.

Report on the Charities Program
In a January 2016 news release, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, committed to sharing more information with the public and the charitable sector about the regulation of charities. The Canada Revenue Agency created the Report on the Charities Program to help fulfil the Government’s pledge to openness and transparency

Call to Action: Charities and Political Activities Nov. 2016

Call to Action: Charities and Political Activities
Imagine Canada has taken a lead role in developing a charitable sector position on this topic and has released a framework containing recommendations intended to add clarity to existing rules and CRA communications

Review CRA’s Online Consultation Download the Imagine Canada Framework from their resource page

Participate in  Webinar on Nov. 21, hosted in partnership with the Pembina Institute, Alberta Ecotrust, and Imagine Canada.

•Develop your own submission or use Imagine Canada’s template and send your comments to

The deadline for submissions is December 14,2016  (revised date)

New Canadian Charity Database Launched

The charity sector in Canada is vitally important. provides some information on registered charities as disclosed by those charities in their T3010 annual return. Canadian Charity Lawyer Mark Blumberg has launched Charitydata, a database that provides information from CRA T-3010 returns. This portal provides select financial and operational information on Canada’s 86,000 plus charities for up to ten years. This site provides quick, easy access to some ‘dashboard’ information which will be of interest to a variety of stakeholders. Of course we continue to encourage those wanting to learn more about a given charity to reach out to them for the full story.

Mark Blumberg’s article “CRA consultation on political activities – to submit or not to submit?” November 3, 2016

CRA New Educational Video Series “Gifting and Receipting”

CRA New Educational Video Series “Gifting and Receipting”
The Charities Directorate is pleased to announce that the first educational video of our new “Gifting and receipting” series is now available. Learn about the types of donations for which registered charities and other qualified donees can issue a tax receipt, and the various rules on receipting.

Watch the Gifting and receipting 101 video on the Videos and recorded webinars for charities and donors webpage, or on  YouTube  for a better resolution.

The Carbon Levy – Impacts for Non-profits and Charities 2016

CCVO info emailed July 29, 2016

Last month we informed you that the Ministry of Environment and Parks has committed to forming a working group tasked with understanding the impact of the carbon levy within Alberta’s nonprofit and charitable sector. This working group was to consist of representatives from the sector along with ministry personnel/subject matter experts. The non-profit charitable sector representation on the working group will consist entirely of front-line organizations that will be assembling this working group in the coming weeks. If you would like to connect to this group and/or provide feedback, please contact Ms. Karen Young, Executive Director, Engagement, with the Alberta Climate Change Office. Ms. Young can be reached at 780-644-5708 and at . Finally, in case you’ve missed it, the Alberta Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel has published a discussion document and is seeking input until September 30, 2016.   Submissions can be made via email to We have been advised that this channel also serves as a means of providing feedback on Alberta’s carbon levy.

CRA Releases Infograph to Assist Charities with Annual Filings 2016

CRA Releases Infograph to Assist Charities with Annual Filings
The continued effort to simplify correspondence to taxpayers from the CRA has recently resulted in the agency publishing an infograph to help charities understand when their annual filings are due. Charities must file the T3010 information return within six months of its fiscal year-end. The process is slightly more complicated when the charity’s fiscal year-end …..

Summary of Conversations on the Future of Policy Advocacy by Charities in Canada 2016

In May 2016, 73 charity sector leaders and experts gathered in Calgary to discuss the sector’s vision for how public policy advocacy by charities can be regulated by government. A summary of these leaders’ conversations was published this week in an article by Allan Northcott. CCVO participated in the event in May, and are currently on a working group convened by Imagine Canada on the topic of political activities.