Charities & Not-for-Profit

Miller Thomson has one of the most sophisticated charities and not-for-profit practices in Canada. We provide voluntary sector organizations with legal services designed to meet all of their needs. We advise Canadian and International organizations on all aspects relevant to their activities including, tax, regulatory matters and cross border funding.  We offer these specialized services in both English and French.

The members of our group have expertise in the particularly complex regulatory income tax regime under which our clients operate. The role we assume is either that of a General Counsel (available to provide an organization with access to a broad range of services and support from other key practices at Miller Thomson), or that of a Special Counsel who provides specialized charity law assistance together with the organization’s usual legal counsel. Our lawyers represent charities successfully in contentious CRA audits. We write text books on charity law, including tax and other regulatory regimes. We also present at all major Canadian legal and sector conferences on charities and not-for-profit issues. Our lawyers are active in government relations on behalf of the charities and not-for-profit sector.

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Miller Thomson earns top rankings in Chambers Canada 2019

Miller Thomson earned a top “Band 1” ranking for two practice areas in the 2019 Chambers Canada Guide. Our Charities and Not-For-Profit group is regarded as being “leaders in the charitable sector,” and praised for their ability  to “help find solutions in complex situations.” Our Agribusiness group...

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Susan Manwaring to appear before special Senate committee on charitable sector

Social Impact group lead Susan Manwaring has been invited to appear before the special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector. The Committee is specifically looking into the funding of the charitable sector with a focus on new sources of funding...

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Miller Thomson lawyers recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2019

In the just released 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada, 144 Miller Thomson lawyers from across the country have been recognized for their expertise in 47 areas of law. This includes 6 lawyers who were awarded “Lawyer of the Year” in...

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Sarah Hansen, Troy McEachren and Kristina Shaw named 2018 Zenith Award winners

Miller Thomson Partners Sarah Hansen, Troy McEachren and Kristina Shaw are recipients of the 2018 Lexpert Zenith Awards celebrating Mid-Career Excellence. The Zenith Awards recognize lawyers across the country who excel in their area of law and in social responsibility....

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Miller Thomson recognized in 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

In the recently released 2018 edition of the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory, 90 Miller Thomson lawyers across 35 areas of law have been recognized for their industry-leading advisory expertise.  These rankings are the culmination of an extensive annual peer review process...

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Miller Thomson earns top rankings in Chambers Canada 2018

Miller Thomson earned a top Band 1 ranking for two practice areas in the 2018 Chambers Canada Guide. Our Charities and Not-For-Profit group is regarded for “its novel and innovative approach to complex matters arising within the charitable and non-profit market,”...

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Susan Manwaring on federal panel of charitable sector experts reporting to Minister of National Revenue

Susan Manwaring served on the five-member Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities that presented its report to the Minister of National Revenue at the end of March 2017, following extensive consultations with the public and the charitable sector. The report...

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Miller Thomson to release comprehensive Federal Budget review on March 22

Our in-depth analysis of the Federal Budget will be released later this week. Corporate tax lawyers Ron Choudhury and Rahul Sharma, and Social Impact lawyer Nicole D’Aoust will be at budget lock-up in Ottawa on March 22 to bring you the latest tax measures...

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Miller Thomson partners on first federally-funded social impact bond

On October 28, 2016, Canada’s Minister of Health, the Honourable Jane Philpott MP, along with Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (“HSFC”) and MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, announced Canada’s first ever federally-funded social impact bond (“SIB”). A SIB is...

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Susan Manwaring named to federal panel examining political activities of charities

Susan Manwaring, lead of the national Social Impact group, has been named to the consultation panel that will make recommendations to Minister of National Revenue Diane Lebouthillier in order to clarify the rules governing the involvement of registered charities in political activities. The panel,...

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Natasha Smith speaks at the CAGP’s 26th National Conference on Strategic Philanthropy

Natasha Smith speaks at the CAGP’s 26th National Conference on Strategic Philanthropy on the topic of, “Creative Solutions to Fortify Your Succession Plan: A Consideration of How to Retain and Best Utilize Young Talent From The Next Generation” on April...

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Robert Hayhoe and Natasha Smith present at the OBA Charity Law Primer

Robert Hayhoe co-chairs the OBA Charity Law Primer and will also speak on the topic of “Your First Opportunity to Sit on a Charity Board”. Natasha Smith speaks on the topic of “Process for Incorporating an Organization or Not-for-Profit Company”...

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Mary Childs speaks at Vantage Point program on not-for-profit advocacy

Mary Childs speaks at Vantage Point’s Board Chair Breakfast series, presenting “A Conversation on Not-for-Profit Advocacy”.

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Natasha Smith chairs and David Tang speaks at the OBA Institute seminar on Charity and Not-for-Profits Law

Natasha Smith will be chairing the OBA Institute 2019 “Privacy, land development, and other key updates in charity and not-for-profit law” seminar on February 5, 2019. David Tang will be speaking on the topic of “Land Development Issues for Charities...

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Miller Thomson at the CTF Annual Tax Conference

Our Tax lawyers speak at the Canadian Tax Foundation’s 70th Annual Tax Conference: On November 24, Catherine Brayley is a guest speaker at the Board of Governors Mentorship Dinner Gala. The dinner is an opportunity for young tax practitioners to...

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Robert Hayhoe speaks on Charity and Not‐for‐Profit Law

Robert Hayhoe will be presenting on “Ethical Issues for Lawyers Sitting on Charitable or Not-for-Profit Boards” at the 2017 OBA Institute.

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Susan Manwaring speaks on donor issues at CAGP course

Susan Manwaring presents “Emerging Donor Issues” at the Advanced Canadian Gift Planning Course for the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP).

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Andrew Valentine speaks on legal developments in gift planning

Andrew Valentine speaks on “Recent Legal Developments in Gift Planning” at the Canadian Association of Gift Planners’ National Conference.

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Susan Manwaring speaks on alternative financing for charities

Her presentation is for the Canadian Council of Christian Charities 2016 conference.

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Susan Manwaring speaks on social impact bonds

Susan Manwaring co-presents with Grant Monck at the CAGP National Conference on “Social Impact Bonds: A Creative Tool for Advisors, Charities and Government”.

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Social Impact Breakfast Seminar

Miller Thomson is hosting a complimentary breakfast seminar presented by the lawyers from our Social Impact group, who will discuss general best practices for nonprofits and charities operating in Saskatchewan, as well as cover recent developments in the voluntary sector...

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Recent Developments for Charities and Not-for-Profits

Miller Thomson’s Social Impact Group invites you to a complimentary seminar on recent developments and legal updates in the voluntary sector where we will discuss: Federal Update – What’s New? Rules for Directors of Societies and Co-operatives BC Budget –...

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Charity Advocacy and the Canada Revenue Agency. Where Are We Now?

Miller Thomson’s Social Impact Group invites you to its next breakfast seminar at our Montréal office. Topic discussed: The Canada Revenue Agency invited a group experts to make recommendations on changes that could be implemented to the rules that apply to activities...

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Where’s Grandma’s Monet? Advising the Older Donor

Miller Thomson’s Social Impact Group invites you to its next breakfast seminar at our Montréal office. Come learn more and exchange on ethical and legal issues with vulnerable donors. Topic discussed: The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the...

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( Available in French only )

Ce que les OBNL doivent savoir sur les taxes foncières et les exemptions

Le groupe Impact social de Miller Thomson vous invite à son deuxième déjeuner-conférence d’une série de quatre. Date : Jeudi 4 mai 2017 Horaire : 8 h à 9 h Réservation obligatoire par courriel : etardif@millerthomson.com L’appellation « Organisme à but non lucratif » (« OBNL ») n’est pas...

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Cybersecurity: Trends and Advice for Charities and Not-for-Profit

Miller Thomson’s Social Impact Group launches its series of breakfast seminars specifically targeting charities, non-profit organizations and social enterprises. Join us for the first breakfast on cybersecurity. **Please note this seminar will be delivered in French. Date: Wednesday, April 5,...

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The New Societies Act in British Columbia: What You Need to Know

On November 28, 2016, the new British Columbia Societies Act comes into force. Our Social Impact Group presents a complimentary seminar where we discuss what you need to know about the new Act, highlight some of the significant changes, and ensure...

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New Corporate Structures for Achieving Social Impact

Susan Manwaring speaks on “New Corporate Structures for Achieving Social Impact” at the 2013 Social Enterprise World Forum in Calgary.

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Charities Law Update

Miller Thomson hosts a breakfast seminar covering: Canada’s new anti-spam legislation New CRA rules on political activities for registered charities Update on CRA’s Non-Profit Organization Risk Identification Project BC’s Community Contribution Company legislation – in force July 29, 2013 Location...

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Charities & Not-For-Profit Update

Miller Thomson hosts a breakfast seminar outlining updates in the Charities and Not-for-Profit sector.

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2019 Federal Budget Edition

Introduction The Federal Budget was tabled by Finance Minister Bill Morneau on March 19, 2019 (the “Budget”). The Budget focuses on the government’s spending priorities for 2019 and into the future. The investments proposed in the Budget will create new...

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2019 Miller Thomson Federal Budget Review

With the tabling of its federal Budget (“Budget 2019”), the Federal Government (the “Government”) has renewed its commitment to “investing” in the Canadian middle class (and in those aspiring to join the middle class).  On the tax side, the Government...

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Ontario Gaming Regulator Launches Phase Two of Electronic Raffles Roll-Out, Offering Increased Fundraising Opportunities for Licensed Non-Profits

On January 18, 2019, the Government of Ontario announced changes to its raffle licensing framework, which provides more options and greater flexibility to Ontario charities and religious organizations wishing to fundraise through online raffles.  This is in line with the...

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Ark Angel Foundation v. M.N.R. – The Federal Court of Appeal Speaks Again on Books and Records Requirements

There has been much discussion in recent years about the audit process used by the Charities Directorate and the rules of the Income Tax Act (Canada) (the “Act”) as they relate to the onus on charities when responding to appeals...

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What’s Happening

Robert Hayhoe spoke on February 8, 2019, as part of a panel on topic “ Critically Assessing Recent Developments” as part of The Past, Present and Future of Charities and Political Activities at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at...

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Major Developments In Political Activities Rules For Canadian Charities

The Exempt Organization Tax Review, January 2019, 31-38

Robert Hayhoe and Natasha Smith author an article discussing current law governing Canadian charities’ political activities. Read the article (by subscription only)

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From Charity to Social Impact

Lexpert Magazine February 2019 Issue

Canadian society has long viewed charities (and other non-profit) organizations as being a wholly different category from businesses, sometimes called the “third sector” However, recently, we have begun to focus more on social purpose and social impact as goals, and...

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Returning Funds to Donor: Doukhobor Heritage Retreat Society #1999 v. Vancouver Foundation

In the case Doukhobor Heritage Retreat Society #1999 v. Vancouver Foundation, the British Columbia Supreme Court considered whether a permanent fund established by a charity, the Doukhobor Heritage Retreat Society #1999 (the “Society”), at the Vancouver Foundation, a community foundation,...

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Recent Court Decisions Address Requirement to Provide Membership Lists

Two recent decisions of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice shed light on how courts will interpret the requirement under corporate legislation to furnish members with a membership list upon request. Under the Ontario Corporations Act, any person may request...

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What’s Happening

Susan Manwaring will be speaking on Social Impact at the HEC Montreal Business School on February 11, 2019. Mary Childs will be speaking at a Vantage Point Seminar, which Miller Thomson LLP is sponsoring, for the Board Chair Breakfast Series...

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Health minister announces groundbreaking federally-funded social impact bond

Counsel to Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

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Christian Horizons and Menno Homes amalgamate

Counsel to Christian Horizons

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Top Ranked Practice

Miller Thomson is recognized as a top-ranking Band 1 firm for Charities and Not-For-Profit in the 2019 Chambers Canada Guide.

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Social Impact Newsletter

Read the latest issue of Miller Thomson’s Social Impact Newsletter

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