Third Party Fundraising Events:
Frequently Asked Questions
MS Society of Canada, Ontario Division
Overview & Guidelines
Issuing Tax Receipts
Thank you for your interest in hosting a third party event on behalf of the MS Society of
Canada. Your contribution will help the MS Society of Canada further our mission: To
be a leader in finding a cure for multiple sclerosis and enabling people affected by MS
to enhance their quality of life. We are most grateful for your support.
The MS Society is the only national voluntary organization in Canada that supports both
MS research and services for people living with MS and their families. We are
governed by a National Board of Directors comprised of 14 volunteer members who are
elected annually. The seven regional divisions and close to 120 chapters are also
governed by volunteers who are elected to Boards of Directors.
Eighty-three per cent (83%) of MS Society net revenue is invested in our programs and
services: MS research, services for people living with MS, MS clinics, social action,
public education and chapter development.
Eighty-eight per cent (88%) of MS Society funds are raised through donations and
special events. The remaining 12% of funds are received from grants, the United Way,
investment income and membership fees.
Overview and Guidelines
Thank you for joining the fight to end MS by choosing to host a third party event. The
MS Society of Canada defines third party fundraising as “an external fundraising activity
run by outside supporters whose proceeds are directed to the MS Society of Canada”.
Please review our guidelines below before planning your event.
Third Party Organizers Must:
Register for this event by completing the Third Party Event Proposal Form and
submit to MS Society of Canada prior to planning the event
Consult the MS Society regarding eligibility of tax receipts for donors
Provide proof of insurance to the MS Society, if requested
Provide proof of necessary licenses or permits, if requested
Submit all event materials containing MS logo to MS Society for approval before
Be responsible for funding or reimbursement of event expenses
Make the event or activity accessible to persons with disabilities, where possible
The MS Society of Canada may be able to provide the following:
Tax receipts for all eligible donations
Letter of approval, confirming your event is registered with the MS Society
General advice and guidance to help you plan and run a successful event
Listing of event on chapter or unit website
Materials, representatives or speakers
The MS Society of Canada cannot provide the following:
Funding or reimbursement for event expenses
Corporate sponsors for your event
Special event permits and licenses
NOTE: The MS Society will NOT be responsible for any legal or financial liability
howsoever caused before, during, or after a third party fundraiser.
What if I have event expenses to pay for?
Unfortunately, the MS Society of Canada does not have the resources to cover third-
party event expenses. The best way to cover event expenses is through event cover
charges, auction proceeds or sponsorships, as these are not considered charitable
donations. All general monetary donations made payable to the MS Society of Canada
cannot be used to cover expenses.
How can we ensure large amounts of cash are delivered safely to the MS office?
Please contact your local chapter or unit to discuss possible options. If you must send
the donation in by mail, please do not send cash. Instead, send a cheque to cover the
total amount along with complete contact info for all donors so eligible tax receipts may
Can I fundraise online?
For larger events, we are sometimes able to offer online fundraising as an option. We
cannot offer this option to all event organizers due to expenses associated with this
service. However we hope to offer this feature to more event organizers in the future.
Can I approach MS Society sponsors for support?
MS Society sponsors are already committed to helping us end MS through their current
agreements with us, and therefore we ask that you do not approach our major sponsors
with further requests. You may have better success securing sponsors by approaching
local businesses and using personal connections.
How do I get MS balloons, banners and pamphlets to distribute at my event?
Once we have received your third party event proposal form, we would be happy to
discuss sending you branded marketing materials that would be appropriate for your
event. Please contact the MS Society directly about the particular items you are looking
Are there audiovisual resources available to show at my event?
If your event space has internet access, you can access our Faces of MS video by
following the link below:
If you would like to borrow a DVD copy of the video for your event, please contact our
Ontario Division office at 1-800-268-7582 x 3102.
Can someone from the MS Society speak at my event?
Please contact your local chapter office to see if this is possible in your area. If we are
unable to send a representative, we will be happy to provide a letter of support that can
be distributed to your event participants, or read at your event on our behalf.
If I want to serve alcohol at my event, what do I need to know?
If you wish to serve alcohol at your event, the MS Society may ask your venue to supply
a liquor license number or a copy of the license. This license ensures servers are
Smart Serve certified and will therefore provide responsible service to guests. If you are
holding this event in your home, your homeowners insurance would apply.
The MS Society will not apply for liquor licenses or special occasion permits on your
behalf. In addition, alcohol cannot be served by MS Society staff, volunteers, members
Can you help me promote my event?
Your local chapter or unit may be able to help with the promotion of your event, perhaps
through a newsletter, on the website, or by displaying a poster in the local office. Once
you have submitted the Third-Party Event Proposal Form, please contact your local
chapter or unit to discuss the possibilities.
Can you send out press releases on our behalf?
The MS Society is able to provide some tips and suggestions on how to write releases
and get media attention. You will need to distribute your press releases to your local
media outlets. Please contact Ontario Division at 1-800-268-7582 x 3009 for more
What is the process I need to follow to use the MS Society logo?
Once your event has been approved, we can supply you with our “in support of” logo
which has been designed specifically for use on third-party event materials. We can
also supply you with guidelines on how to use this logo.
To ensure proper use of our name and logo, the MS Society must approve all materials
prior to printing. The approval process takes approximately two weeks. Please note
that we need to approve our name and logo each time they are used as both are
Issuing Tax Receipts
The MS Society’s tax receipting guidelines are based on the policies outlined by the
Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). The MS Society must comply with this legislation to
maintain its charitable status, hence the MS Society has control over the issuing of tax
receipts and reserves the right to review and approve all tax receipting matters prior to
issuing charitable receipts. Tax receipts can only be issued from MS Society offices
upon receipt of the donation. Please contact us before guaranteeing tax receipts to
anyone attending or contributing to your event.
Who is eligible?
Not all monetary donations are eligible for tax receipts. If a donor receives a right,
privilege, benefit, or advantage of any kind from a contribution to charity, the donor is
ineligible for a tax receipt. If a donor does not receive any benefit, a tax receipt may be
issued. It is our practice to automatically issue tax receipts for donations of $20 or
What info does the MS Society need to issue tax receipts?
Complete donor contact information is required to ensure receipts can be issued, i.e first
and last name, mailing address and donation amount. All cheques should be made
payable to the MS Society of Canada.
Can tax receipts be sent or given to someone else?
The CRA outlines that as a charity, we are only able to issue tax receipts to the person
making the donation. Tax receipts cannot be sent to someone other than the donor.
Are in-kind donations eligible for tax receipts?
While tax receipts can be issued for the fair market value (FMV) of donated product, it is
more advantageous for a company to deduct the original cost of the inventory as a
business (marketing) expense. The MS Society can issue a business receipt (not a tax
receipt) for this purpose, if requested.
Are corporate sponsorships eligible for tax receipts?
As sponsors receive a benefit for their contribution (promotion and advertising), they are
ineligible for tax receipts.
Are donated services eligible for tax receipts?
According the CRA, donated services are ineligible for tax receipts.
What about merchandise purchased in support of the MS Society or our event?
The purchase of merchandise (i.e. endMS car magnets or silent auction items), is not
eligible for tax receipts, as the purchaser is receiving something in return for their
Please direct all questions and send completed Third Party Event
Proposal Form to:
MS Society London/Middlesex Chapter
21 Grosvenor St. London, ON N6A 4V2