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Charities and 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 and ‎the development of policies regarding same
    • 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 (e.g. wills variation or ‎challenges to the validity of wills).‎
  • Advising foundations, charities and not-for-profit organizations ‎how best to deal with ‎endowments and long-term management of trusts, including applications to court to wind them ‎up. ‎
  • 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.‎

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 the Continuing Legal Education ‎Society of British Columbia (CLE).‎