Charity and Not-For-Profit

Ethnocultural agencies often trip over charities law

By Staff

Ethnic and cultural charities are full of good intentions but often fail to understand the law, says Toronto charity lawyer Taras Kulish.

Kulish, a senior associate with Steinberg Title Hope & Israel LLP says helping charities and non-profits working on projects in their native countries is often about education.

To that end, Kulish is one of the organizers of a seminar Nov. 23 to help clarify the law and the requirements incumbent on charities.

The event at the Old Mill Toronto will be hosted by the Ukrainian Canadian Bar Association, Ukrainian Canadian Social Services and the Ukrainian Professional Business Association, but is aimed at all ethnocultural focused charities.

“Whether you’re working to raise money for projects in Jamaica, Haiti, Ukraine or Israel, everyone is welcome to come and listen to some wonderful speakers and experts in the field,” says Kulish.

Titled Churches, Charities and Not-For-Profits: The Law and You, the event starts at 5.30 p.m. and runs to 9.30 p.m. Admission is $15, made possible through sponsorship.

"This will be an interactive educational evening with lawyers and other professionals to learn about the law as it relates to charitable, non-profit organizations and their responsibilities in operating them,” says Kulish adding there will also be a networking opportunity to meet the subject matter experts.

“Many new charitable, non-profit organizations start up in the Slavic community every year and their board members are generally unfamiliar with the legal requirements they must meet to remain in good standing. And this is probably true across many other cultural and ethnic groups.”

He says the danger is those same organizations may risk losing their charitable status with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) through a simple error.

“It’s not that they intend to do anything wrong, it’s just that they are generally ignorant of the law, especially if these charitable and humanitarian initiatives are outside of Canada,” he says.

Kulish will be speaking on the definition of a charity and charity law while other speakers and panellists include Dana De Sante of the Ontario Public Guardian Trustee and Alesia Nahirny, executive director of Transparency Canada.

Dan Pinnington, vice president claims prevention and stakeholder relations, at Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company (LAWPRO) will speak on Have a lawyer on your board? Some Risk Management issues to consider.

Other topics include Ten Practice Tips for Directors; Running a Charity, the Inside Perspective; Accounting Issues and the CRA; Fundraising; Traps for Churches; Charities and Not-For-Profits; Privacy Issues and Concerns; Money Laundering; and Terrorist Activities.

Space is limited to 60 people at the Old Mill Toronto, 21 Old Mill Rd., Toronto. Register by email at

To Read More Taras Kulish Posts Click Here