If I live in Alberta, what do I need to know about the Alberta Fundraising Act (AFA)?

The AFA is a piece of legislation that governs fundraising activities within the province of Alberta. This act was developed with the commendable intent of increasing transparency and accountability on the part of charities soliciting donations in Alberta and protecting Albertans from fraudulent or misleading solicitation materials. The AFA requires that Albertans must be provided with specific information about the charitable organization at the time a donation is being solicited, so an informed giving decision can be made. The required information is:
  1.     Our charitable purpose for which the contributions will be used.
  2.     Our current fiscal year revenue budget AND fundraising expense budget (the AFA prescribes providing budget information specifically)
  3.     Our physical address.
  4.     A contact person and a phone number where inquires can be directed.
  5.     Where we are incorporated.
  6.     Our Canada Revenue Agency charitable registration number.
We have put together a statement from the Foundation that provides all required information. This paragraph is found below and must be provided either verbally or in writing at the time a donation is being solicited. The Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) works with community-level organizations which are turning the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa by providing care and support to women, orphaned children, grandmothers and people living with HIV and AIDS. Since 2003, we have funded over 1,400 initiatives, partnering with more than 300 community-based organizations in the 15 African countries hardest hit by the pandemic. In F2016/2017 the Stephen Lewis Foundation is planning to raise $10,900,000 through all of our fundraising campaigns. It will cost our organization an estimated $1,100,000 to raise this. For further information, please contact Esther Vise, Director of Finance, or Margaret Wright, Director of Operations at 1 888 203 9990. Our address is 260 Spadina Avenue, Suite 501, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2E4. The Stephen Lewis Foundation is incorporated in the Province of British Columbia and is also registered extra-provincially in the Province of Ontario. The SLF Charitable Registration number with the Canada Revenue Agency is 896354008 RR0001. This paragraph should be posted at events, sales tables and included on pledge forms. If you have any questions about how to ensure compliance with the Alberta Fundraising Act, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

How much of a donation goes to Africa?

90% of every donation made to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign will go to the grassroots organizations with whom we work. We work very hard to keep our administrative costs as low as possible. For more information, please click here to read a letter from Stephen Lewis as well as an accompanying explanation of how we calculate our administrative costs and how to understand our Canada Revenue Agency reports.

We’d love to have Stephen Lewis or someone else from the Foundation come and speak at our event. How do we arrange that?

Stephen’s schedule is extremely busy and, as much as he'd like to be, he is rarely available to speak at an event. However, we do have some terrific speakers available from the Stephen Lewis Foundation. If you would like to request that one of our staff speak at your event, please  contact us at and provide us with as much information as possible about your event when you get in touch.

Our group is holding a lottery/raffle/draw at our church/community centre to raise funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Can the ticket buyers get a tax receipt?

It is against the law to organize a lottery/raffle/draw to raise funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Such an event requires a lottery licence, and you cannot obtain one if the money raised is being used for work overseas. Consider holding a silent or live auction instead. Auctions do not require a lottery licence.

I’m a member of a grandmothers group and I decided to ask friends to donate to the Foundation in lieu of a gift for my birthday/anniversary. Can you provide me with a list of the people who donated?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. Due to privacy laws, we are not permitted to release any donor’s personal information unless the donor gives express consent at the time of making the donation. Encourage your friends to donate online and select the In Honour option and they will be given the opportunity to send you an eCard or a card by mail, which can include their name and a personal message.

Our group is holding an information session at a booth in our local mall. The mall requires that we get insurance for the day(s). Does the SLF have insurance to cover this?

No, the SLF has no insurance to cover third-party events. You should check with your own insurance company or ask the mall to put you in touch with their insurance company and get some estimates.

Can the Foundation tell us how much money our event raised?

In order to provide you with this information, we will need to know about your event in advance so that we can track the donations. If you register your event online, we’ll know about it and we can enter it into our data base and start tracking the donations. In addition, you always have access to the donation envelopes which has the ID# of your group and allows us to track events that way. If you are not collecting all the donations at the event itself, please be sure to tell your supporters to include your name or the name of your event with their donation, so that we can keep track of all the money raised.

Our group is holding an event to raise money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. We’re making a poster and printing tickets. Can you please send us the logo?

Please send us any promotional material in advance of printing it. As you probably know, we like to see anything that has the SLF and/or Grandmothers Campaign logo on it; we’ll look over the material carefully and suggest any changes we think might be helpful and send you the password to access the online logo gallery.

Where can I get the most up-to-date information about the pandemic for distribution at our event?

Please visit the News & Resources section for the most up-to-date information about HIV/AIDS in Africa. We have a fact sheet and other materials that you can use. Contact us and we can mail you additional materials for your event.

I am organizing an event. Would it make things simpler for the Foundation if I bought a receipt book and made out receipts on the spot?

Under the Income Tax Act only the Stephen Lewis Foundation is authorized to provide tax receipts to donors.

We’re selling tickets/charging a minimum donation to our event. Can we tell people that they will get a tax receipt for the cost of the ticket/minimum donation? Or a partial receipt?

The Stephen Lewis Foundation cannot issue official donation receipts for the cost of a ticket, the partial cost of a ticket, or a suggested minimum donation to an event. According to the Income Tax Act, these contributions are not freely given (since they are required in order to attend the event) and are therefore not eligible for official donation receipts. However, the Foundation can issue official tax receipts for any freely-given donations of $20 or more received at the event. Please remember that we will need the donor’s name, address, phone number, and email address (if possible) to issue the receipt to them directly. If you have any questions pertaining to event tickets and official donation receipts, please call us at 416-533-9292 or 1-888-203-9990 ext. 0 or email us at

Someone is donating their time/equipment/catering/performance for free to our event. Can the SLF issue them a tax receipt for the equivalent cost of their services?

The Income Tax Act does not permit the Foundation to issue official donation receipts for services rendered or donated time.

We’ve received a lot of donations from artists and local businesses. Can the Foundation issue official tax receipts to people/businesses who have donated items?

The Stephen Lewis Foundation does not issue official donation receipts for donated items. The Canada Revenue Agency requirements are too onerous. Event organizers have told us that, in their experience, many businesses are happy to deduct the donation as a business expense, without requiring an official donation receipt. They were delighted to know that their contribution would go to a worthy cause.

We held a very successful silent and live auction. Can the Foundation issue official tax receipts to people who bought the items?

The Foundation cannot issue a tax receipt to any donor who has received a product or service in return for their donation. For example, someone who has purchased an auction or sales item where the proceeds are being donated to the Foundation, is not eligible for an official tax receipt.

People at my event will likely want to donate cash but I don’t want to send cash through the mail. How can I get you the money, and donors their tax receipts?

There are several parts to your question, so bear with us:
  1. Provide donor forms and envelopes for all your potential donors. That way, they can fill out their own contact information and insert the form with their cheque/credit card number into the envelope. For cash donations, have them give you the cash and fill out the donor form. People who donate a small amount, want to donate anonymously, or don’t care about a tax receipt, don’t have to fill in the donor form.
  2. Collect all the cash and turn it into a money order, or if your group has a bank account, deposit it into your group’s account and write us a cheque. That solves the problem of sending cash through the mail.
  3. Along with the cheque, be sure to send us the donor forms of those who made a cash donation of $20 or more. These forms must include all the contact information for those donors, including the amount they donated. We need their name, full address, phone number and, preferably, their e-mail address.
  4. The Stephen Lewis Foundation will issue tax receipts to your donors directly, within 6–8 weeks.

We are organizing a walk/bike/swim-a-thon in our community. Is it possible to provide a tax receipt to everyone who donates?

We would be pleased to provide an official donation receipt to every donor who makes a donation of $20 or more. In order to issue the receipt, we will need the full name, address (including postal code), phone number and email, if possible, and amount given by each donor. We have developed a Sponsorship Form and an Excel spreadsheet to track donations for this type of event. You can also set up an online fundraising page and encourage your friends and family to donate to your event. They’ll receive a tax receipt by email immediately after making their donation. Please email us or call us for more help or information.