Charities struggle with many of the same operational and human resource challenges facing any other business, but they also operate in a highly regulated environment.
Once registered as charities, not only must they comply with the financial and reporting requirements set out in the Income Tax Act (Canada) and in relevant provincial legislation, but they also must satisfy the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) on an on-going basis that their activities/programs continue to be charitable.
In addition, most charities depend on fundraising, which presents a high level of risk of liability for charities and for their directors and officers. On top of all of that, the common law imposes special obligations on the directors and officers of charities.
The Charity Law Seminar Series will provide participants with a good understanding of the legal and regulatory environment within which charities and non-profits operate, and will assist charities in grappling with some of their most pressing human resource issues. While each seminar will have a distinct focus, participation in all five will provide participants with a comprehensive overview of charity law issues.
This introductory session will examine what it means to become and maintain charitable status according to criteria set forth by common law and Canada Revenue Agency guidelines. The session will expose some of the common pitfalls in maintaining charitable status, examine legal obligations of being a registered charity and discuss strategies for avoiding problems down the road.