Small and Rural Charities Initiative (SARC)

As the federal charities regulator, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) launched a series of consultations with small and rural charities in October 2007 to better understand the unique service needs and compliance challenges of small and rural charities.

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Profile of small and rural charities

For the purpose of the Small and Rural Charities Initiative, small charities are defined as registered charities with total annual revenues under $100,000, as reported annually on Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return. Rural charities are registered charities that have a postal code where the second character is "0", for example, K0A 1A1 (The coding used by Canada Post to identify rural areas).

Small and rural charities depend more on earned income from non-government sources and donations than on government funding. Small and rural charities also tend to have few, if any, employees and rely mainly on volunteers to deliver their services, leading to concerns for both retention and recruitment.

In 2006, there were 83,372 registered charities in Canada. Small charities accounted for 54% and rural charities accounted for 22% of all registered charities. In all, 14% of charities met the definitions of both small and rural charities.

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