Learning Experience: Local Not for Profits & Charities Attend Free Seminar

Learning Experience: Local Not for Profits & Charities Attend Free Seminar

A Learning Experience:
Local Not for Profits and Charities Seminar

Driven by our purpose to “assist business and not for profits in achieving their
goals”, LLT Chartered Professional Accountants, Catapult Business Coaching Inc,
and law firm De Jager Volkenant & Company recently offered a no cost seminar
to local charities and not-for-profit organizations, about their legal and tax
requirements.  This seminar took place on April 7, 2017.

 
“Charitable and not-for-profit organizations are a vital ingredient to sports,
social, educational, ministry and other programs in Canadian communities,
and around the world,” said Casey Langbroek FCPA FCGA of LLT and Catapult
Business Coaching. “Largely driven by volunteers these groups – large, small and everything in between – provide services and support to so many. We wanted
to offer this seminar, at no cost to them, to thank them for all they do – and for
their passion and dedication.”

Over 115 representatives of Fraser Valley organizations – a mix of volunteers,
board members, executive directors and staff – attended the half-day seminar
on Thursday, April 6, 2017. 

Here is a synopsis of each topic presented:
Charity Law Update 2016/2017

Presented by Luke Johnson
DeJager Volkenant & Company

Court cases which have a direct impact on Not for Profits and Charities were discussed: some to reinforce the Income Tax Act, and others to create awareness about fraud. In one example the Treasurer of a Victoria, BC-based charity wrote 270 fraudulent cheques to herself, over an extensive period – totalling $200,000, which resulted in the charity winding down its operations. In another, a scam was perpetrated by two “accountants” who orchestrated approximately 1700 false charitable donation receipts totalling $11,000,000.
 
The lessons: Charities must develop the right “checks and balances” to prevent these types of incidents and, if it appears too good to be true, it probably is not true! 

Not for Profits & Charities 101

Presented by Casey Langbroek FCPA FCGA
Langbroek Louwerse & Thiessen LLP

A great deal of practical information for Charities and Not for Profits was shared and explained, including:

  • The definition of a Not for Profit
  • Characteristics of a Charity
  • The tax filing requirements for each

Also discussed was the requirement for Charities to know and operate within their Purposes – as stated in the Constitution, and as registered with Canada Revenue Agency Charities Directorate. If activities fall outside, then the Purposes must be changed, and approved by Canada Revenue Agency Charities Directorate.

Comments on the most common Charity audit findings, and the completion of the Charities Information Return, and the Not for Profit Information Return were also offered.

The message: A Charity or Not for Profit is a privilege – not a right – that must not be abused.

The New Societies Act is here!
So Now What Do We Do?

Presented by Ken Volkenant

DeJager Volkenant & Company  

The transition from the B.C. Incorporated Societies to the new B.C. Societies Act.

The main themes of the New Societies Act were discussed:

  • More modernized corporate legislation
  • Rewording to address problematic areas of the former Society Act
  • Transparency and openness
  • More flexibility
  • More accountability to the public and to members.

The need for an up-to-date members’ list, and to review the new provisions for salary disclosure was emphasized. Attendees were also urged (if they had not already done so) to start the transition process now, and that this is an opportunity to change the Purposes and the Bylaws to suit current circumstances (subject to approval by Canada Revenue Agency Charities Directorate). 

The Process of a
Successful Board

Presented by Casey Langbroek, FCPA, FCGA
Catapult Business Coaching Ltd.

Highlighting Board Governance “Direct and Protect” principles, the presentation emphasized that a Board (where there is an Executive Director and staff) is there to govern, and must do so well.

A Board needs to know that there are staff policies to guide the staff, and rather than micromanaging an organization, a Board’s role is to set its own policies. These include:

  • Executive limitations
  • Purpose principles
  • Accountability principles
  • Role descriptions for Board members
  • Board Committee terms of reference
  • Board code of ethical conduct
  • CEO Certificate of Compliance, and
  • Evaluations of the effectiveness of the Board, the Chair and the CEO.

Governing well means that there must be a Strategy that the Board and Staff agree on, that steers the Staff and the organization in the right direction.

Following the seminars, participants completed a survey – designed to gather feedback and to guide future forums and seminars.

“It is so very satisfying to do this,” explained Ken Volkenant, DeJager Volkenant & Company.  “To give back to a sector that does so much to better our communities across Canada – and so very many overseas. This is all about providing educational opportunity to Not for Profits and Charities – an important and vital sector of the economy – which need lots of opportunity for relevant education, training and development.”

The 6th Annual LLT and DeJager Volkenant & Company Charity, and Not for
Profit Forum will take place April 2018.   If interested, please let us know and
we will be sure that your Charity of Not for Profit receives an invitation.

For a PDF version of the presentation’s PowerPoints, please contact
nancy.v@lltcpa.ca

Stay tuned for announcements of upcoming
LLT Complimentary Client Seminars.

  • There are 86,193 registered charities and foundations in Canada. Their top fundraising methods are collection plate for free offerings, fund raising dinners, galas and events, and sales.
  • 5,395 charities engage in foreign activities helping other overseas. and expending about $3.2 billion
  • In 2015 charities issued $15.7 billion in donation receipts
  • Close to 100,000 Not for Profits operate in Canada (the real number is unknown) that work in Canadian communities, and in other parts of the world
  • An estimated 2 million people are employed by the Charities and Not for Profit sector
  • 14 million people in Canada volunteer of their time to those organizations.
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