A statutorily defined term for the amount of any property, service, compensation, use, or other benefit that the taxpayer or related person received, obtained, or enjoyed, or is entitled, either immediately or in the future that is consideration for, in gratitude, or in any other way related to the gift.
A meeting of the members, which must take place once every fiscal year. While there are no specific requirements for the agenda of an annual general meeting either provincially or federally, the following business should be attended to by the members and reflected in the minutes of the meeting:
-consideration of the financial statements
-consideration of the report of the auditor, if any
-report of the directors
-selection or appointment of directors as necessary or desired
-review of membership.
An individual or organization that aids a cause, institution, or individual, especially with a gift of money.
The performance of compassionate, helpful, or charitable acts intended to produce good.
The recipient of funding or other assistance intended to be of benefit to the recipient.
Benevolent organization is not a technical or legal term but is a term Benefic Group employs to describe charitable organizations, public and private foundations, and not-for-profit organizations, as well as for-profit corporations, trusts, joint ventures, and other entities devoted to benevolence.
Benevolent sector is a term Benefic Group employs to describe all entities and individuals who are not agencies of the state and are dedicated to doing and producing good. The benevolent sector is also sometimes referred to as the voluntary sector, the independent sector, or the third sector.
Governance rules for managing the internal affairs of a company or organization.
Formerly known as Revenue Canada, Canada Revenue Agency is responsible for administering the Income Tax Act, and its Charities Directorate administers the registration and compliance provisions applicable to Canadian charities.
A registered charity that primarily carries on its own charitable activities. Less than 50% of the charity's directors can be related persons. As well, at least 50% of the funds the charity receives must come from unrelated donors.
The individuals responsible for managing or supervising the management of the affairs of the benevolent organization. Registered charities require a minimum of three directors.
A statutorily defined term that represents the amount by which the fair market value of the gifted property exceeds the amount of advantage, if any, that a donor has received or will receive for making a donation or gift. The eligible amount of gift is used to determine the donor's tax benefit from the gift.
Once registration is revoked, a charity can only donate to an eligible donee, which the statute defines in respect of a particular revoked charity as a registered charity:
-of which more than 50% of the members of the board of directors or trustees of the registered charity deal at arm's length with each member of the board of directors or trustees of the revoked charity
-that is not subject to a suspension of tax-receipting privileges
-that has no unpaid liabilities under the Income Tax Act or the Excise Tax Act
-that has filed all its information returns, and that is not subject to a security certificate under the Charities Registration (Security Information) Act
For the purposes of this website, references to a federal corporation refer only to a corporation that has been incorporated pursuant to Part II of the Canada Corporations Act as a corporation without share capital.
In Canada, the four recognized heads (or categories) of charity are:
-relief of poverty
-advancement of education
-advancement of religion
-community benefit -- in ways the law recognizes as charitable
A non-cash gift of property, including inventory, capital and depreciable property such as securities, artwork, equipment, and cultural and ecological property. The CRA does not consider services contributed as gifts in kind on the basis that services do not constitute a transfer of property.
A series of graduated penalties that may be imposed by the CRA (as lesser sanctions than revocation) for breaches of the rules and regulations governing the operation of registered charities. These sanctions may take the form of cash penalties, suspension of tax receipting privileges, and suspension of the ability to receive funds from other charities. In addition to the sanctions, the Canada Revenue Agency, Charities Directorate publicizes some of these breaches on its website (www.cra-arc.gc.ca).
A gift made during a person's lifetime and not upon death in a will.
A constating document that establishes the existence of, and outlines the objects and purposes of, a federal not-for-profit organization. (In British Columbia, the comparable constating document is called a constitution.)
Members of not-for-profit corporations or societies fill the governance role comparable to that of shareholders in for-profit corporations.
A minute book is a document containing certain records of a corporation. It is kept at the records office of the corporation, and must be kept up-to-date. A Minute Book usually contains:
-governing documents
-documents filed with the Registrar of Companies or Corporations Directorate
-members' register
-directors' register
-members' minutes and resolutions
-directors' minutes and resolutions
-documents approved by directors
-Canada Revenue Agency documents (optional).
The primary purpose of a private foundation is generally to make gifts to organizations that are qualified donees. A registered charity is designated as a private foundation if 50% or more of its directors are related persons, and/or if more than 50% of its funding comes from related persons.
For purposes of this website, references to a provincial society refer only to a society incorporated pursuant to the Society Act of British Columbia.
The primary purpose of a public foundation is usually to raise money to make gifts to organizations that are qualified donees. A registered charity is designated as a public foundation if fewer than 50% of the charity's directors are related, and more than 50% of its contributed capital comes from unrelated donors.
Donees that qualify under the Income Tax Act as authorized recipients of gifts from other charities and can issue an official donation receipt with consequent tax benefits to individual and corporate donors. They are primarily registered charities and registered Canadian amateur athletic associations (RCAAA).
A registered charity will be designated by the Canada Revenue Agency as a charitable organization, a public foundation, or a private foundation, depending on its structure, its source of funding and the way it operates.
The process by which an organization applies to Canada Revenue Agency, Charities Directorate to be designated a registered charity.
The removal of an organization's charitable status, either on a voluntary basis or for cause.
The form number of the application to register a charity under the Income Tax Act. This form is filed when applying for charitable registration.
The form number of the annual public information return, which a registered charity must file disclosing the financial and operational data of the past year. Portions of this form are made public and posted on the Canada Revenue Agency's website.
The analysis of taxpayer's assets and projected income to determine the most tax-efficient way to structure the taxpayer's affairs.
A gift made upon death by will.
An individual with significant accumulated wealth.

Papers & Presentations

Understanding the Waqf in the World of the Trust
Paul Stibbard, David Russell QC, and Blake Bromley, 2012
At the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law in Istanbul, Blake presented a paper that examined the Islamic waqf which is comparable to the common law private foundation. Written in collaboration with Paul Stibbard from England and David Russell from Australia, the paper considered the theological inception of the waqf as well as its historic evolution in the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, India and under Anglo-Mohammedan Law. The Oxford University Press journal Trusts and Trustees recently published the paper under the title, "Understanding the Waqf in the World of the Trust".
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Charity in 2021: Peering Through a Crystal Ball � presentation to European Association for Philanthropy and Giving
Blake Bromley, 2011
At an event for the European Association for Philanthropy and Giving, Blake was asked to describe what he thinks the charitable environment will look like in the year 2021. Along with stating that donors will increasingly turn away from charities, and instead look to social enterprise and corporations to cure society's ills, Blake believes, "charities, donors and the advisory community need to unite and look to innovation in philanthropy because they have nothing to lose in abandoning the chains and constraints of the traditional paradigm of charity." Download this paper
Relevance of England�s Charity Trust Law to China�s Charity Law
Blake Bromley, 2010
During this presentation delivered at the Sino-UK Charity Legislation Seminar in Suzhou, China, Blake explores the idea of trusts in the British legal tradition and the challenges the concept poses in China. He also discusses cultural ways of understanding trust principles and recommends creating a comparable legal instrument based upon the "ethical DNA of the Chinese people". Blake sets out the 'Bromley definition' of trusts as the basis for creating a uniquely Chinese way of protecting "indigenous social innovation". Download this paper
Evolution of China�s Charity Law
Blake Bromley, 2009
Blake has been the principle foreign consultant to the committee drafting China's charity law. In this article, published in Offshore Investment as a follow up to his 2009 article "China and Charity � the giving begins", he asserts that with Chinese charity law in its infancy, a "powerful and progressive" regulator is of more importance than the law itself. He concludes by recommending that China seek not to "import legal theory" but should instead import the process of the evolution of English charity law which reflects the values and traditions of compassion in that country. Download this paper
Reasons to use Charities in the Offshore World
Blake Bromley, 2009
Tax incentives for charitable giving are generally restricted to domestic charities. There is a growing interest in locating charities in offshore tax havens. The reasons to select an offshore jurisdiction relate to accumulating capital, controlling corporations, and carrying on businesses with charitable funds. This paper suggests that if going offshore to a jurisdiction with low tax rates it is often better to keep the funds outside of the restrictions of charity law so as to enable greater flexibility and innovation. Download this paper
Evolution of China's Charity Law
Blake Bromley, 2009
This article looks at the massive increase in domestic charitable giving in China after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake disaster. It also reviews Blake�s involvement in advising the officials of the Ministry of Civil Affairs responsible for drafting the proposed Charities Act. It deals with some of the reasons Charity Law in a Communist society with a developing market economy should be conceptually different than that in a Capitalist society. Download this paper
Finding the Cultural Context for Altruism
Blake Bromley, 2009
This paper, delivered in China, is an analysis of the universal aspects of charity, such as altruism, in the context of culturally defined and historically developed national traditions in China. The paper considers the conflicting values of self-benefit in tax incentives for giving versus the altruistic agenda of benefitting others. Download this paper
Funding Terrorism and Charities
Blake Bromley, 2008
Blake Bromley was called to be an expert witness in front of Mr. Justice Major's inquiry of the Air India bombing. This was the written submission analyzing the methods available for charities to fund terrorist activities under the Income Tax Act. Download this paper
Shekels that Shackle: Tax Incentives and Philanthropy
Blake Bromley, 2008
Reflections on the extent to which fiscal benefits for charitable giving are accompanied by constraint on application, which prohibit innovation and creativity. The argument is made that philanthropists should consider foregoing tax incentives, so as to achieve greater good through unconstrained, benevolent use of their funds. Download this paper
Innovative Concepts for Charity Legislation in China
Blake Bromley, 2007
Blake Bromley has been the primary legal consultant to the drafting committee of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, creating the proposed charity law for China. This paper is a compilation of policy proposals, which he has put forward to the drafting committee. The majority of these proposals have been circulated to senior officials in Beijing by the Min of Civil Affairs. The proposals include providing fiscal incentives to charitable gifts by way of matching grants rather than tax deductions. This paper has been translated into English.
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Winning the Battle for Hearts and Minds: The Role of Charities in the War on Terrorism
Blake Bromley, 2007
Beginning with an analysis of the parable of the Good Samaritan in the Patriot Act, this paper reflects on the problems in strict money laundering approach in Draconian anti-terrorism dealing with charities. Charities are the best frontline agents in the war on terror and intimidating or scaring the majority of good actors out of working in the most problematic situations or countries is too high a price to pay for reducing the trickle of funding from bad actors.
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Guidance on Public Benefit and the Advancement of Religion: Charity Commission Consultation (part I and II)
Blake Bromley and Kathryn Chan, 2007, 2008
Blake Bromley and Kathryn Chan were the only persons from outside the United Kingdom who made submissions to the Charity Commission's Consultation on the meaning of public benefit in the Charities Act 2006 and on the meaning of public benefit in the Advancement of Religion. Download this paper
Philanthropy Is the New Tax Planning
Blake Bromley, 2006
This is a paper Blake gave at Lake Como, Italy, to professional advisers to global families with nine figure fortunes. It sets some strategic considerations in balancing tax incentives with altruistic, legal, and pragmatic concerns. It suggests that sometimes for-profit vehicles are more effective than charities in achieving innovation as well as social benefit. Download this paper
Reflections on Charities and the Anti-Terrorism Act � Oral Presentation to Canadian Senate Committee
Blake Bromley, 2005
Blake Bromley was identified by the research staff of the Special Committee on the Anti-Terrorism Act of the Canadian Senate Committee as an expert on charities and terrorist funding. He was invited to appear before the committee and respond to members' questions. This is his opening remarks. Download this paper
A Civil Law of Gift for All Canadians: Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance
Blake Bromley, 2005
This paper, which was presented to the Standing Committee on Finance in 2005, examines the differences between the common law and the civil law of "gift," and proposes that Parliament introduce a concept of "contribution" into the Income Tax Act to avoid conflicts between federal tax legislation and provincial private law. Download this paper
Submissions to House of Lords on Draft Charities Bill (part I and II)
Blake Bromley and Kathryn Chan, 2004
Blake Bromley and Kathryn Chan were the only persons from outside the United Kingdom who made submissions to the House of Lords. These submissions deal primarily with anticipated problems in a statutory definition of religion, which requires demonstration of public benefit. Particular attention is given to potential problems in applying the Human Rights Act (1998) to the definition of religion in charity law. Download this paper
Comments on the Dec. 20, 2002 ITA Amendments on Split Receipting
In December 2002, Parliament introduced changes to the charitable gift provisions in the Income Tax Act, which reflected some civil law concepts of gift. The problem is that gift is a property law concept and is governed by the common law and civil law and not the ITA. Possibly in recognition of this problem, Parliament has not enacted these provisions as of April 2009. Download this paper
1601 Preamble: The State's Agenda for Charity
Blake Bromley, 2002
This paper is a historical view of the social legislation enacted by Elizabeth I in the sixteenth century, and compares it to the charitable purposes set out in the Preamble to the Statute of Charitable Uses, 1601. The thesis is that the preamble reflects Elizabeth I's agenda for social action rather than a grassroots agenda. Download this paper
Flaunting and Flouting the Law of Gift: Canada Customs and Revenue Agency's Philanthrophobia
Blake Bromley, 2001
This paper argues that CRA prefers to implement its administrative policies rather than promote the rule of law. It examines the extent to which CRA has systematically excluded the civil law concepts of gift in its policies and publications and why this is improper in a bijural Canada. It also looks at the idiosyncratic way that the common law concept that a gift must be a transfer made "without consideration" and the inconsistency that receiving a meal in return for a gift is an unacceptable consideration whereas having a building named after the donor is considered to be of no benefit to the donor.
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The Definition of Religion in Charity Law in the Age of Fundamental Human Rights
Kathryn Chan, 2000
This paper considers whether the historical, common law definition of religion that applies in the Canadian charitable sector is consistent with our human rights framework, and specifically, the freedom of religion and equality rights guaranteed under the Canadian Charter. Download this paper
Answering the Broadbent Question: The Case for a Common Law Definition of Charity
Blake Bromley, 1999
In the twentieth century Blake was a passionate advocate for the historic tradition of maintaining the definition of charity within the jurisdiction of the courts rather than having a statutory definition. This paper responds to many of the issues raised in the Broadbent panel's recommendation that Parliament enact a modern definition of charity. Download this paper
John Pemsel Goes to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2001:
The Historical Context in England

Blake Bromley and Kathryn Chan, 1999
This paper reviews the historical context of John Pemsel's case before the House of Lords in 1891, which proved to be the turning point towards the modern law of charity. It reviews the decisions of the dissenting law lords who disagreed with Lord McNaghten, who articulated a concept of charity based upon the relief of poverty, advancement of education, advancement of religion, and other purposes beneficial to the community. The Pemsel case primarily turned on the issue whether the advancement of religion without relieving poverty was charitable. Download this paper
Table Talk: Dumbing-Down the Law of Charity in Canada
Blake Bromley, 1999
Blake understood the frustration that many charities and their professional advisors experienced when seeking to register charities. This frustration was the context in which the Broadbent report gave rise to a series of regulatory tables. In this paper, Blake argues that the problem resides not so much with the examiners but with the law. Download this paper
New Rules for Charitable Giving
Blake Bromley, 1997
This paper deals with the changes to the Income Tax Act, which removed the tax advantage for gifts to "agents of the Crown," and improved the rules for gifts of capital property and publicly traded securities. It also documents the changes between the rules to counter loanbacks proposed in the February 2007 federal budget and those actually enacted in July 2007. Download this paper
Developing a Legal Infrastructure for the Charitable Sector: Lessons from the History of the English Common Law
Blake Bromley, 1996
Blake was constantly travelling to Eastern Europe, South Africa, Vietnam, and China to act as a resource in comparative law of charity for both civil society organizations and governments. This paper is an example of some of the historical and comparative law information Blake provided in seminars in Beijing, Shanghai, and Kunming sponsored by the Chinese People's Institute for Foreign Affairs. Download this paper
Virtual Philanthropy: Combining the Virtuous and the Vulgar in the New Paradigm
Blake Bromley, 1995
This paper philosophically discusses the "virtuous" aspects of philanthropy, such as altruism, in relation to the "vulgar," such as tax incentives. Blake argues (in 1995) that the future of philanthropic funding is gifts of assets rather than cash and that sophisticated donors are increasingly using private foundations to handle asset gifts. Virtual philanthropy is the term he uses to describe the innovations that flow when donors retain the essence of the old paradigm of charitable giving, but give it new appearances and form. Download this paper
Exporting Civil Society: Confessions of a "Foreign Legal Expert"
Blake Bromley, 1994
Blake was heavily involved in the many efforts of governments and activists in Eastern Europe and China to develop laws and a legal infrastructure to enable (and contain) civil society after the fall of the Berlin Wall after 1989. This paper explains some of the problems and follies of exporting legal concepts developed upon a history of religion, capitalism, private property, and independent courts into societies with communal property, almost no personal income tax, ideological opposition to "charity," and a judiciary and regulator subject to political control and direction. Download this paper
Industry Commission Inquiry into Charitable Organizations in Australia: A Legal Walkabout
Blake Bromley, 1994
Blake was invited to Australia to comment on the Industry Commission's proposed change to the definition of charity. This paper looks at some of the comparative differences between the tax and legal concepts of charity in Australian law. This paper was cited by the Industry Commission in its final report, which outlined Australia's decision not to proceed with legislative changes and introduce "community social welfare organizations."
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Religious, Reformation, Remedial and Renaissance Philanthropy
Blake Bromley, 1994
This paper groups the evolution of the legal concept of charity from the "pious causes" and theological concepts of charity through the key legal changes during the period of Tudor England due to the struggle with Rome during the Reformation. Charity law evolved to provide for much broader remedial and educative purposes, but was not liberated from the obligation to always have a "relief of poverty" component until the leading House of Lords case in Pemsel in 1891. Since then, charity has been open to the opera and other purposes which are renaissance in the sense that they are focused on the quality of life rather than merely relief of poverty and suffering. Download this paper
Contemporary Philanthropy: Is the Legal Concept of Charity Any Longer Adequate?
Blake Bromley, 1993
This paper examines the evolution of the legal concept of charity in the common law and the potential need for change. This paper has been cited by both the Supreme Court of Canada and the High Court of Australia.
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Parallel Foundations and Crown Foundations
Blake Bromley, 1992
This paper looks at the evolution of Crown foundations, which were the result of Blake Bromley identifying the tax advantages of the ability to deduct donations of up to 100% of taxable income when gifts were made to "agents of the Crown." Blake proposed to the government of British Columbia that parallel foundations be created for its universities and hospitals through the legislature and named as agents of the Crown, and was involved in drafting the legislation. The effectiveness of Crown foundations was so great (no comma) that in 1997, the Income Tax Act was amended to make the deduction limits to registered charities the same as those to agents of the Crown. Download this paper
Planned Giving Instruments: The Great Circle Route
This paper was the first significant planned giving paper in Canada. While categorizing the spectrum of planned giving instruments, it also demonstrates the strategic significance of canvassing the benefits and drawbacks of each instrument and circling back to the tax benefits to the donor and the financial benefits to the charity of making an immediate inter vivos gift rather than a delayed planned gift. Download this paper
Tax Planning for Charities, by Blake Bromley
This was the first conference paper given by Blake at the annual conferences of the Canadian Tax Foundation. It demonstrates some of the technical and innovative tax planning proposed by Blake, but given the many changes to the law since then, this paper should not be relied upon today. Download this paper