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Legislation Formally Recognizing National Philanthropy Day Introduced in the Senate of Canada

November 4, 2005

AFP Press Release: For Immediate Release

Ottawa, Canada (November 3, 2005) - Today, Senator Jerahmiel S. Grafstein (Liberal, Metro Toronto), chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, introduced legislation that would create the first permanent government-recognized National Philanthropy Day (NPD) in the world.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) applauds Senator Grafstein's act that would formally acknowledge a special day to recognize and pay tribute to the great contributions that philanthropy - and those people active in the philanthropic community - have made to our lives, our communities, our nation and our world.

Senator Terry M. Mercer, CFRE (Liberal, Nova Scotia-Northend Halifax), also the Chair of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy-Canada, seconded the legislation. 'In a country where philanthropy represents 6.8 percent of the GDP, it is vitally important that we pay tribute to the selfless efforts of those who devote their valuable time and resources to the voluntary sector,' said Mercer. 'I am grateful for Senator Grafstein's leadership on this matter. Given that this year marks the 20th anniversary of National Philanthropy Day, I cannot think of a better time to introduce this legislation.'

Introduction of this legislation follows an effort by AFP and others this past Tuesday to meet with Members of Parliament and their staffs to encourage MP's and Senators to support a government-recognized NPD.

NPD acknowledges the entire spectrum of support provided by the voluntary sector and recognizes the profound impact that philanthropy has on the fabric of society. More than 50,000 people at over 125 events across North America participated in NPD events and celebrations in 2004. In Canada, NPD events are held in every province and annually involve thousands of people on November 15.

During National Philanthropy Day and throughout the month of November, Canadian AFP chapters honor exemplary local philanthropists, volunteer fundraisers, corporations, foundations, media outlets, children and young adults, and fundraisers at every level for their outstanding work in and contributions to the community. They also use this special occasion as a chance to educate the public about the importance of informed charitable giving and meaningful volunteerism.

More and more Canadians are coming to rely on programs and services provided by nonprofits, and the voluntary sector has an indelible impact on all of Canadian society. There are more than 81,000 registered nonprofits in Canada that receive approximately $10 billion in contributions annually, according to Statistics Canada. The recent Cornerstones of Community: Highlights of the National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations study found that the sector posted $112 billion in revenues in 2003 and employed more than 2 million people. In addition, these organizations draw on 2 billion volunteer hours, the equivalent of 1 million full-time jobs.

Given these remarkable figures, National Philanthropy Day provides an appropriate opportunity to thank nonprofits for their work and remind all Canadians about the importance of philanthropy.



Walter Sczudlo Executive Vice President (800) 666-3863, ext. 455

Joyce O'Brien Vice President, Communications and Marketing (800) 666-3863, ext. 457

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The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents nearly 27,000 members, with over 2,700 members in Canada, in over 176 chapters around the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs. The Association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession. Visit AFP on the web at

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