Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Will cultural mags be able to meet the CRA fundraising benchmarks?

Not only does the Canada Revenue Agency make it hard for small, not-for-profit literary and cultural magazine publishers to qualify for charitable status, now it is considering a new program that may make life more complicated even for those who do manage to qualilfy.

According to the the Ontario Non-Profits Network (ONN), CRA is proposing to monitor and audit charities on the cost of fundraising as a percentage of the funds raised. Government and other grants are excluded, this is just tracking the funds raised in return for a charitable receipt.
The Ontario Non-Profit Network (ONN) is participating in the consultation with Imagine Canada, the Association of Professional Fundraisers and the Health Charities. At ONN, we are particularly concerned about the potential impact on small and medium sized charities - specifically, the difficulty in tracking and accounting for time spent on charitable fundraising as distinct from other fundraising and the proposed benchmarks on the cost of fundraising which we feel are too low for smaller charities. These proposed guidelines could adversely impact smaller charities and newer charities.

ACTION: If you know your cost of raising charitable receipted donations, want to be included in the ONN survey, or if you have time to examine the CRA documents and have concerns, we want to hear from you:
The proposed policy and supplementary information are on the CRA website. The consultation period ends August 31. Submissions should be sent to

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I very much doubt our not for profit magazines face a challenge here- except more mind numbing paperwork from an army of public servants.

This CRA action may have some of its inspiration in the MADD debacle so ably reported by the Toronto Star about two years ago. It seems that while MADD became a fund raising super machine, cash transfers to the programs managed in the field did not seem to keep pace with revenues and more to the point, reported allocations to charitable works. MADD was called on all of this by retired magazine exec John Bates who was a lead founder of the original MADD organization. MADD's tepid " we'll do better" response to the Star's and Bates' concerns could not have been lost on CRA (and was a vindication of Bates issues in particular). So call this the MADD review.

5:43 pm  

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