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CRA Helps Canadians Find The Right Charity

Resource Center - Foundation

By Yvonne Chenier

In 2012 the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Charities Directorate created "quick view," a graphic display of the information presented by a charity on its annual T3010 form. Now, the CRA is tweeting about  this quick-view presentation of information.  No doubt social media will be used more in the future to spread the news about Canadian charities and what they are up to. 

To help Canadians use quick-view and be more informed about the rules for registered charities in Canada, the CRA has produced a series of videos, all available in alternate formats and written transcripts.

Since 2010 the CRA has held a series of webinars called "Giving to Registered Charities 101". These videos explain the relationship that exists between the CRA, donors and Canada's registered charities. These are good videos to direct potential donors to see what general information they should be seeking from charities and also to show charities what information the CRA is telling donors to look for.

Now, however, the CRA has gone much further. Potential donors and volunteers for charities are being encouraged to actively seek information on the charity, using the T3010 specifically. In the video "Charities and CRA, make the connection" the donor in the video is impressed when he finds out that "...registered charities have to file an annual return with the Canada Revenue Agency and that it's available online for anyone to view. Just a few clicks on their website and I could have found tons of information on the charity's activities and financial details."

In previous newsletter articles we have reminded charities about the "garbage in, garbage out" theory. The Canada Revenue Agency Charities Directorate does not necessarily analyze or correct the information provided by registered charities on their T3010 forms. The information provided is keyed in to the form shown on the website and then quick-view translates that information into a colored graphic pie for all to see. 

All charities should take the time to check the information and how it is presented on the CRA website and take steps to immediately change it if there are discrepancies.  This information is the face they are presenting to the world. And the world is getting larger as CRA tweets and publicizes how one can get this information.  

Read the full article at

Yvonne Chenier Q.C. prefers to work for clients in the philanthropic and social enterprise sectors, acting as general legal counsel and advising on planning, organizational, regulatory and governance matters. In the past 25 years she has built a private law practice and worked as a financial consultant and advisor to high net worth, aboriginal and not-for profit clients. She has also lent her expertise to a small privately owned trust company and a large Canadian financial institution. Yvonne can be reached by email or by phone at 403.800.0392.

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