FB15. If our church is successful in raising money to help this family, can the church give the money that is raised directly to the family?
FB14. Can a church set up a fund to help people in distress in our community?
Yes, churches can set up funds to help people in distress if the purposes and objects of the church as a registered charity allow for this activity.
FB13. We have heard that religious societies are exempt from filing T3010 annual returns with the Canada Revenue Agency. Is that true?
Some religious charities are exempted from filling out some of the sections of the Registered Charity Information Return (T3010). The charities exempted must be religious communities or religious orders. In order to qualify for the exemption, a religious charity must:
FB12. How can we make sure that the charitable activities our church wants to undertake will meet the criteria of the CRA with regard to public benefit?
FB11. Does this mean that our church cannot focus its charitable activities on members of its own congregation?
FB10. What does the CRA mean by “the public”, and a “sufficient segment of the public”?
Many registered charities target their charitable activities to the public at large, but others may focus on a specific segment of the public, for example, the homeless, or women who need a shelter because of family violence. The CRA does not necessarily focus on the number of people in the public being assisted.
FB9. Our church is applying to the Canada Revenue Agency for status as a registered charity. We know that this means that our church’s purposes must be exclusively and legally charitable, and that it must be established for the benefit of the public or a sufficient segment of the public. However, the Board is not sure what exactly is meant by “public benefit”?
FB8. Can a church that is a registered charity take advantage of an under- used asset to generate some additional revenue?
Yes, this is sometimes possible. The CRA, in its policy about related businesses and registered charities, has listed the use of excess capacity as one of the four links that indicate that a business is related to a charity’s purpose and subordinate to that purpose.
FB7. Is it permissible for our church to charge participants fees in programs that we offer?