Money & Mission
Volume V, Issue 7 - January 7, 2015
Editorial: The Army's Reputation 2015
The editorial in the December 17 issue of Money & Mission referred to the priestly caste, now known as the religion of Zoroastrianism . The wise men who followed the star of the Christ-child are thought to have to have been members of this caste.
I recently met a former colleague who is a Zoroastrian. I had not seen him for many years, and he was impressed to hear that I am now working for The Salvation Army. He went on to make some very complimentary remarks about the Army. I was surprised that he knew so much about our work and reputation, or even cared about them. He subsequently sent me this e-mail:
“I was absolutely serious when I said that, in my view, the Salvation Army is one of the world’s best charities. As we all know, it is a Christian organization, but any person, irrespective of his or her religion, can knock on their doors for shelter or a meal, and the doors would be opened to them without asking what religion they belonged to. You have every reason to be proud of the organization.”
As we look ahead into the new year, we can be thankful that we work for an organization that is held in the highest esteem, even by those who have no ties to Christianity. Through our daily work in 2015, each of us can contribute with pride to enhancing that stellar reputation.
Tax Receipting: Private Benevolence
We wrote in our November 19 issue about the four criteria for a donation to be eligible for an official donation receipt. In this article, we will focus on the criterion which states that:
“It must not be directed to a specific person or family – the donor may specify a particular program which the gift will support, provided no benefit accrues to the donor or to anyone not at arm’s length to the donor (if the donor retains too much control, the donation will no longer be considered a gift).”
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) considers a donation that is directed to a specific person or family to be “private benevolence”. The CRA defines this as an otherwise charitable act which provides a benefit to a specific predetermined individual (or group of individuals). Since funds collected for acts of private benevolence do not meet the requirements of charitable "gifts" as defined by the Income Tax Act, a charity cannot issue official donation receipts for these gifts. Nor should a charity be involved as a conduit through which individuals make contributions for acts of private benevolence.
The following are some examples of charitable acts which do not meet the requirements stipulated by the Income Tax Act, and are viewed by the CRA as private benevolence:
(1) A corps wants to take up a collection to help support an overseas missionary who is in need of medical treatment;
(2) A donor wants to assist a family whose house and possessions have been lost to a fire.
(3) A donor wants to pay camp fees on behalf of a relative or friend who is attending a summer camp.
In all of these situations, the contributions made are designated for the benefit of a specific person or persons who were previously chosen by the donors. When a charity does not have ultimate control over donated funds, or when a benefit accrues to the donor from donated funds, these funds do not constitute a gift and are not eligible for an official donation receipt.
For clarity, while donors cannot choose the specific beneficiaries of their donations, they can still give to a specific program, as long as it is the charity which selects the beneficiaries.
Did You Know? Canada Ranked #3 In World Giving Index
In November 2014, the Charities Aid Foundation released the fifth edition of its “World Giving Index,” a composite measure based on a three-part question:
“Have you done any of the following in the past month?
- Donated money to a charity?
- Volunteered your time to an organization?
- Helped a stranger, or someone you didn't know who needed help?”
First place is shared by the United States and Myanmar (formerly Burma) while Canada takes third place. Myanmar’s ranking, which may surprise many people, is driven primarily by the very high proportion of people giving money (91%). This reflects the country’s strong Theravada Buddhist community, with its estimated 500,000 monks receiving support from lay devotees.
The World Giving Index for 2014 is based on data from 135 countries, collected during 2013 by Gallup, the polling firm. Only five of the countries in the top 20 are members of the G20 which represents the world’s largest economies. When we break out the three part question, among the top 20, Canada ranked #5 in terms of donating to a charity, shared the #3 spot for volunteering time and was #6 for helping a stranger.
Special Feature: Key Dates For January To June 2015
Jan. 14 Final divisional statements of resources issued to DHQs.
Jan. 16 Suggested date for ministry unit budgets to be submitted to DHQ (Note: Some
divisions have selected an alternate date).
Feb. 13 Deadline for all budgets to be submitted to the THQ Finance department.
Mar. 4 Presentation of budget proposals to the Territorial Finance Council.
Mar. 6 Communication of budget decisions to THQ and DHQ stakeholders.
Mar. 9 Suggested date for communication of budget decisions to ministry units by DHQs.
Apr. 9 THQ Loan and A/R statements provided to ministry units.
Apr. 10 Preliminary deposit account statements issued to ministry units.
Apr. 15 Calculation & communication of March Management Support Assessment amounts.
Apr. 16 Final deposit account statements for fiscal 2014 issued to ministry units.
Apr. 17 General Ledger closing for units with external audits.
Apr. 24 Deadline for draft financial statements and notes for units with external audits.
Apr. 27 External audits commence.
May 1 General Ledger closing for units without external audits.
May 15 Deadline to submit final draft financial statements to THQ.
May 20 Completion of external audits and approval of ministry unit financial statements.
May 22 Ministry unit audit adjustments posted.
Jun. 8 Draft consolidated financial statements submitted to KPMG.
Jun. 24 Consolidated financial statements approved by The Governing Council.
Money & Mission Editorial Team
Design Editor & Production Manager:
The Salvation Army Translation Department