Further Information Regarding Support for Ukrainian Refugees and Humanitarian Aid

March 1, 2022

Many of you are wondering how we can provide support for Ukrainian Refugees.

In short for those of you who are a registered charity with Revenue Canada, We are not allowed to send money to a non Canadian organization. A parish cannot collect money and then forward the money outside of the country. A charity could lose their charity status if they don't follow Revenue Canada rules.

There are three ways that I see that we can contribute for support to Ukrainian refugees.

 1.  A parish can collect money and forward it to the Canadian Red Cross and  designate it for support of Ukrainian refugees. The Canadian Red Cross is a registered charity, which we are allowed to send money to as a registered  charity. I am not aware of any other Canadian Organization that is a registered charity that we could contribute to.

2. Our parishioners as individuals can contribute directly themselves to other non Canadian organizations for refugee relief. The OCA in the United States is organizing a relief fund. It's important to note that they can't give the money to the parish and then have the parish forward the money to the fund. 

Alternatively you can contribute to IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities). They have a very impressive reputation in providing support worldwide for refugees and disasters. Any receipts from these organizations in most cases will not be eligible to use on your Income Tax.

I know of one parish that is collecting cash money (not through the parish) and will have an individual forward it to someone in Ukraine to disperse.

3. A charity can send money for worldwide relief as long as it follows Revenue Canada guidelines. You would have to change your charity program goals to indicate that it is part of your charity goals. Secondly CRA rules require that the charity is in control to ensure that the money is being used for the specified purpose. This means you would need to have someone from the charity to be in the foreign country to disperse the needed supplies(dispensing money is not always recognized as helping). Or a charity can enter into a very detailed agreement with a third party that provides proof that the supplies were dispersed as requested, before the third party is paid for its work. The third party would have to be an organization that is set up to do the work you require. Before doing this, ensure that you check with Revenue Canada that you have met all the requirements before engaging in this.

Please note the Archdiocese is bound by these rules also. So any funds sent to us would most likely be sent to the Red Cross.

Please pass this on to your treasurers.

Father Rodion Luciuk
Treasurer, Archdiocese of Canada