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Proposed 'Do-Not-Call' List Exempts Registered Charities

(June 20, 2005) Advocacy by AFP and its members has resulted in the exemption of registered charities from a proposed national 'do-not-call' list currently being considered by Parliament, but additional work remains to be done.

Over the last several weeks, the Committee on Industry, Natural Resources, Science and Technology has been reviewing Bill C-37, legislation that would allow individuals to place their names on a 'do-not-call' list. Under the original proposal, organizations, including charities, wishing to contact individuals via telephone would have to scrub their calling lists of all the names on the 'do-not-call' list before they could begin making calls.

Concerned about the impact such a list would have on the ability of charities to raise funds, AFP began an initiative to educate committee members about the importance of telemarketing to the charitable sector. Research studies by AFP and the Direct Marking Association have shown that telemarketing is a critical method that many charities use to not only generate funds, but raise public awareness about important community issues.

The education efforts, including phone calls from AFP members across the country to Parliament, resulted in the inclusion of an amendment that exempted registered charities from the list.

Work Not Yet Done

Despite this victory, nonprofits that are not registered charities must still abide by the 'do-not-call' list. AFP is now working to have these organizations, which include women's advocacy groups, community associations and kids' sports leagues, to be exempted as well.

Several members of Parliament have expressed interest in further amending Bill C-37 to exempt these organization from the requirements of the list. While the bill has been referred from the committee, several opportunities still exist to see such changes made, whether in the House of Commons or in the Senate.

'I want to thank all of our members who responded to our email blast about Bill C-37,' said Tad Brown, finance and development counsel for the University of Toronto and chair of the AFP Canadian Government Relations Committee. 'Your calls and letters had a significant impact, and it really shows what the profession and the sector can do when we work together.'

AFP will continue to inform members of developments on this issue and distribute additional legislative alerts if necessary.

A copy of AFP's comments to the committee regarding Bill C-37 are available on the AFP website.

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