January 5, 2017

New Year’s Update from Charities Directorate.

Today Canada’s Charity Directorate issued its 2016 review and update on new developments. Canada’s Charities Directorate is THE WATCHDOG of Canadian charities, the only one with “teeth” to oversee, register, and revoke Canadian charities.

In 2016, the Charities Directorate oversaw $15.7 billion in receipted donations (including $2.4 billion in donated gifts-in-kind that include securities, art work, food etc.) with a relatively small budget of $29 million and 250 full-time staff.

In 2016, there are 86,193 registered Canadian charities made up of 75,700 operating charities, 5,368 private foundations and 5,125 public foundations. The Charities Directorate received and reviewed 3,484 registration applications from groups wanting to register as a charity and registered 1,670 new charities. In 2016, 1,429 charities were revoked (mostly voluntarily closing their doors or failure to file) so the net gain in total registered charities for 2016 was 241.

The Charities Directorate undertook 726 charity audits in 2016 resulting in 20 charities losing charity status.

Tony Manconi is the new Director General of the Charities Directorate, taking the reins in July 2016 (Charity Intelligence reported on this July 29, 2016).

Going forward, the big push for the Charities Directorate is the CHAMP program to modernize its IT system and platform. Within the next 2 years, organizations will be able to apply for charity status on-line, charities will be able to file annual returns on-line (expected by late 2018), and the Charities Listing portal will better help Canadians understand the information posted about charities and make better informed choices.

* One big help to Canadians looking for information on charities would be if the Charities Directorate changed the “expense” pie chart to show charity spending in relation to revenues rather than expenses. This would give Canadians a far better Quick View of how charities use donations and revenues.

To read the Charities Directorate 2016 update: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/bt/nnlrprt/2015/Charities%20AR.eng.pdf

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