Charity Intelligence

Here at Charity Files, we believe that every donor wants to make an informed donation decision.

This page carries useful resources and links for you.

The first set of resources points you in the direction of places that will help you to better understand how your charity – or any of Canada’s 86,000 charities – operates and uses given resources. We’ve also included a few Canadian laws that apply to Canadian charities, such Bill S-14, the Fighting Foreign Corruption Act.

The second set of resources deals with workplace violence and harassment. There’s a direct link between workplace violence and charity corruption. A corrupt charity almost always uses violence to silence would-be whistle blowers.

Combined, these resources and links may also help you to understand how charities work. They will help you invest in charities that will guarantee a higher return on your donation investment.

In other words word, we’re trying to empower you with “charity intelligence.”

Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Revenue Agency or CRA regulates Canadian charities through the Income Tax Act.  The agency publishes helpful financial information about Canadian charities.

Every year, charities file the Registered Charity Information Return, a report detailing the charity’s “activities, sources of revenue, and expenditures.”

A searcheable database that will help you to confirm whether or not a particular charity is registered and qualified to issue an official receipt for your donation. You can also view the charity’s contact information and Information Return.

Canadian charities depend on fundraising to generate income. According to CG Guidance-013, “the CRA expects charities to be transparent and conduct all fundraising within acceptable legal parameters.” The guidance outlines the “legal principles that relate to fundraising issues that are connected to federal (CRA) regulation of charities registered under the Income Tax Act, the policies and practices the CRA uses when it assesses fundraising in applications for registration or in audits of existing registered charities, and how fundraising expenditures should be allocated for the purposes of completing Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return.”

The guidance helps you to understand whether your charity complies with the requirements of the Income Tax Act regarding the use of resources. The Act stipulates that a registered charity can only use its resources “on its own activities” or by giving its gifts to “qualified donees.” At the centre of the guidance is the question whether the charity has “control and supervision” of the use of the resources.

This page is one of a series of webpages developed by the Canada Revenue Agency “to help charities that undertake political activities to understand and comply with the rules regarding these activities.”

The update discusses some of the measures implemented by the Charities Directorate of the CRA “to promote transparency, both in terms of our programs and the diverse activities of the charitable sector.”

Charity Intelligence Canada

Charity Intelligence Canada’s mission is “to provide Canadian donors with information that helps them make informed and intelligent giving decisions to have the greatest impact.”

Bill S-14, the Fighting Foreign Corruption Act

According the Canadian Bar Association: “The Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act is Canada’s principal law aimed at prohibiting bribery and corruption of foreign public officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business in foreign markets. On June 19, 2013, Royal Assent was granted to Bill S-14, the Fighting Foreign Corruption Act, amending the CFPOA. The amendments have significantly expanded the powers of the CFPOA to include, among other changes, clear application to Canadian charities.”

Treasury Board: “Preventing and Resolving Harassment in the Workplace – A Guide for Managers”

This guide has been designed as a tool to help managers prevent and resolve harassment in the workplace. It provides different tips and approaches but should not be presumed or construed to be complete or exhaustive.

It is written as a complement to the Treasury Board Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution, the Directive on the Harassment Complaint Process and the related guides accessible through the Prevention and resolution of harassment in the workplace on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat web site. Also please be mindful of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector.

For additional information please seek the assistance of a resource person such as a Human Resources/Labour Relations advisor, a Harassment Prevention advisor or an Informal Conflict Resolution practitioner with knowledge on harassment related issues.

Harassment at work

When people work together, misunderstanding and conflict are inevitable but this should not be allowed to escalate. As a manager, you have a key role to play in promoting respectful working relationships and helping to deal with conflict constructively. The Treasury Board Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution emphasizes the need for prevention and for creating a culture of respect. This starts with you by building good relationships, having good communication skills and creating an environment of trust, care and respect. If you think harassment is taking place, you must take measures promptly to end it.

What is harassment?

The Treasury Board policy defines harassment this way:

“Workplace Harassment

is improper conduct by an individual, that is directed at and offensive to another individual in the workplace, including at any event or any location related to work, and that the individual knew or ought reasonably to have known would cause offence or harm. It comprises objectionable act(s), comment(s) or display(s) that demean, belittle, or cause personal humiliation or embarrassment, and any act of intimidation or threat. It also includes harassment within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act (i.e. based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and pardoned conviction).

Harassment is normally a series of incidents but can be one severe incident which has a lasting impact on the individual.”

Ontario Ministry of Labour – Workplace Violence and Workplace Harassment

Everyone should be able to work in a safe and healthy workplace. The Occupational Health and Safety Act sets out roles and responsibilities of workplace parties with respect to workplace violence and workplace harassment, including developing and implementing policies and programs and providing information and instruction on these.

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A media organisation dedicated to defending and championing the public’s right to understand how charities work, use received resource, and report on fundraising and project results.