My birthday is this month and in lieu of gifts this year, I’ve decided to do a fundraiser on behalf of Mercy for Animals (MFA). There used to be a branch of MFA in Canada but it was rolled in with the U.S. last year, where MFA’s headquarters are. Ordinarily I’d prefer to give to an organization specific to the country I reside in but MFA is still a presence in Canada, in much the same way People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is: they do not physically have an office here but they work closely with activists and other organizations who can still represent them.
One of the first things I learned when I went vegan in 2013 was that many animal rights organizations do not issue tax receipts for donations made here in Canada. I didn’t think much of it at the time since I’ve never found charitable receipts to make much difference on my tax return and it’s not the reason I donate anyway. It wasn’t until I tried to find a job working for an animal rights organization in Canada that I discovered this was the case for almost all of them, unless the organization focused strictly on rescuing and caring for animals we don’t wear, eat, hunt or use for some other purpose (e.g., feral cats and stray dogs). But still I didn’t give it much thought since I understood charitable status – status that is issued by CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) – as just that: charity. Rescue and relief was one thing, advocacy and prevention was another. As long as you were only easing suffering and not actively trying to prevent it, you could be a registered as a charity in Canada. Continue reading