With the passage of the CNCA into law and the pending introduction of the ONCA, many organizations have been revisiting their charitable purposes as part of the continuance process.  The CRA recently released a new guidance paper on drafting charitable purposes on July 25, 2013, which replaces some of its former policy statements on the topic.  While Guidance CG-019 – “How to Draft Purposes for Charitable Registration” (available at: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/plcy/cgd/drftprpss-eng.html) appears to be aimed in the first instance at organizations seeking charitable registration, the CRA has indicated that it also applies to registered charities that want to change their existing purposes.  The CRA has also recently revised its list of model charitable purposes, which provides examples of purposes that the CRA has found to be properly charitable, available at:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/pplyng/mdl/mdl-bjcts-eng.html.

Whether an organization is seeking charitable registration for the first time, or revising or updating its existing purposes, articulating charitable purposes in a way that is acceptable to the CRA is sometimes easier said than done.  The CRA’s new guidance and model purposes should be reviewed carefully during the drafting process.