Charities & Not-for-Profit

The Charities and Not-for-Profit Group advises all types of charitable groups and societies, from well-known national health and social organizations to smaller community-based organizations, and private family charities.

We assist in the establishment of charitable organizations, work with them to obtain registered charitable status, and advise on legal and tax issues. We provide advice on the establishment, implementation and continuing administration of planned-giving programs.

Since many of our employees serve as volunteers in the charitable sector, we have acquired many years of collective experience:

  • Advising new and ongoing foundations, charities and not-for-profit organizations about:
  • Formulating and revising mission statements
  • Creating appropriate organizational structures (such as a society, corporation, trust or other legal entity)
  • Obtaining registered charitable status
  • Changing income tax provisions
  • Corporate governance issues
  • Involvement with public-private partnerships.
  • Advising foundations, charities and gift planners about:
  • The establishment, implementation and administration of planned-giving programs
  • The tax implications of accepting different types of charitable gifts
  • Tax-efficient gifting structures
  • Accepting significant charitable gifts
  • Separating fundraising and charitable activities into separate entities.
  • Advising foundations, charities and not-for-profit organizations as beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries of trusts or estates and representing them in related litigation.
  • Advising donors on appropriate planning for making significant charitable gifts to accomplish their philanthropic goals in a tax-effective manner.

Emerging Issues

  • The decline in government funding of charities and not-for-profit societies has created the need for alternate fundraising methods and appropriate legal strategies.
  • Increased government regulations and scrutiny of charities and not-for-profit organizations requires processes and systems for improved governance, regulatory compliance, and fulfillment of directors' duties and obligations.
  • Frequent changes in taxation legislation require that charities and not-for-profit societies re-examine their procedures and materials.

Representative Clients

  • Organizations for persons with disabilities or who are socially disadvantaged
  • Health-related and family support organizations
  • Professional, cultural, sports, educational and religious foundations and associations
  • National charities.

Activities

  • We present seminars on many topics related to charities and not-for-profit organizations including vehicles for charitable giving, the administration of estates with charitable beneficiaries, and challenges to estate planning involving charitable giving.
  • We have authored precedents, papers, handbooks and other publications including Will Precedents: An Annotated Guide for Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia (CLE).
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