On June 30, 2014 we reported that the CRTC had contacted Imagine Canada in respect of its June 5th publication about the breadth of CASL’s fundraising exemption for registered charities. At that time the CRTC indicated that it found some inconsistencies in the information provided by Imagine Canada and would provide clarification on July 4, 2014 in respect of the issue.
On Friday, July 4, 2014 the CRTC updated its FAQ on CASL, which included several examples relating to the fundraising exemption. Read this section of CRTC’s FAQ. You can also read Imagine Canada’s statement, released on July 4, 2014.
The comments by the CRTC in its FAQ indicate that its interpretation of the fundraising exemption will be similar to the comments made by Imagine Canada in its June 5th release (and associated FAQ). By this we mean, that for the purposes of CASL, it appears that the fundraising exemption will be interpreted fairly broadly and will include activities that may not be considered fundraising based on the guidance on this issue published by Canada Revenue Agency ("CRA").
While it is good news for registered charities to have some level of clarity on this matter, it is also important for registered charities to review their ‘fundraising activities’ very carefully and compare what is permitted by CRA and what will likely be permitted under CASL.
It is also important for registered charities to remember the fundraising ratios they must adhere to. It would be prudent for registered charities to review the fundraising guidance from CRA when analyzing their electronic messages and determining which of them may fit within the fundraising exemption available under CASL. It may not necessarily be beneficial to try to fit all electronic messages into the fundraising exemption available under CASL if doing so could put an organization offside the fundraising restrictions administered by CRA.
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