Authored by Nevena Urosevic, Associate Director of Legal Affairs
On September 12, 2015, the Government of Canada announced the creation of the Syrian Emergency Relief Fund. The Government has promised to match every dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities, up to $100 million, in order to bring some relief to the conflict in Syria. This new initiative is effective immediately and up until February 29, 2016 [Note: the Government had previously announced the deadline was December 31, 2015, but has since extended it]. Only donations made to registered charities between September 12 and February 29, 2016 will be matched by the Canadian Government.
The news release states that the fund “will help meet the basic needs of conflict-affected people in the region, as well as in official development assistance-eligible transit countries for refugees.”
Is your charity collecting funds for Syria or does it have plans to do so? If so, the following conditions apply:
- The maximum amount that one individual Canadian may donate is $100,000
Further conditions are that the gift must be:
- Monetary in nature
- Made to a registered Canadian charity that is receiving donations in response to the Syria crisis and specifically directed to be used for that purpose
- Used by the registered charity for the Syria crisis
- Declared to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (“DFATD”) by the registered charity by March 18, 2016 [The previous deadline was January 15, 2016, but the Government has since extended it].  
Do you want to donate to help ease the suffering in Syria? Looking for a charity you can trust? CCCC is compiling a list of its certified members who are collecting donations in response to the crisis. It will be posted on our Give Confidently website shortly (giveconfidently.ca).
 The Syria Emergency Relief Fund Declaration Form is not available yet but will soon be posted on the DFATD website.
Noteworthy is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Every organization’s circumstances are unique. Before acting on the basis of information contained in this blog, readers should consult with a qualified lawyer for advice specific to their situation.