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Contact Your Senator to Pass the NPD Bill

(April 28, 2008) Canada is on the verge of becoming the first country to enact a government-recognized National Philanthropy Day (NPD), but your help is needed.

On April 28, Bill S-204, an act to recognize Nov. 15 permanent as National Philanthropy Day, will be introduced for its Third Reading in the Senate. All Canadian AFP members are strongly urged to contact their Senator and encourage him or her to support the bill.

Members can find the list of Senators here.

When you reach your Senator's office, please use the following talking points:

  • Say that you are calling from the Senator's province.  Please tell them your hometown.
  • Mention that you are calling from [insert your organization's name], an organization that provides [insert services provided by your organization] services to [insert number of people served by your organization, if known] people.
  • Ask your Senator to support bill S-204 that would create the world's very first government-recognized National Philanthropy Day, also known as NPD.
  • Explain that NPD is a special day set aside on the fifteenth of November. The purpose of this day is to:
    • To increase public awareness of NPD as a time to say "thank you" to those who give throughout the year.
    • To focus public attention on major accomplishments made possible through philanthropic contributions.
    • To honor key local individuals and corporations for their philanthropic endeavors.
    • To recognize local fundraisers, thanking them for their time, talent, and dedication.
  • A government-recognized NPD is needed now more than ever.  In 2006, the number of donors shrunk by 1.4 percent to 5.8 million, according to new research by Statistics Canada. 
  • Yet, the demand for charities and the vital programs and services that they provide is exponentially growing.  In essence, charities are being asked to do more with less.  And if the charitable sector cannot meet the needs of the Canadian public, the federal government will bear the burden of filling the gap.
  • Note that philanthropy is a broad concept that covers all ethnicities, cultures and walks of life.  It is a misconception that only the very wealthy are philanthropists.  In fact, children and the impoverished have proven time and again that they can be leaders in philanthropy.
  • Also, explain that philanthropy represents giving on a variety of levels—the giving of money, the giving of one's time and the giving of one's talents.  In that sense, philanthropy is more inclusive than the notion of volunteering—the giving of one's time.
  • Remind the Senator that government recognition of National Philanthropy Day would not require any funding.  The government's recognition alone would create incentives for partnerships with the media and other organizations to further increase awareness of philanthropy and encourage Canadians to get involved. 
  • Thank the Senator (or their staff) for their time.

Please pass these talking points along to your colleagues in the charitable sector, including those who are not AFP members, and ask them to contact their Senator as well. This landmark legislation affects the entire sector, not just those associated with AFP. It is imperative that Senators see that this bill has broad support across the country and across all types of organizations, as well as from donors, CEO's, volunteers, fundraisers.

A copy of Bill S-204 can be found here. For more information about the bill or AFP’s work in pushing this legislation forward, click here or contact Jason Lee, director, government relations, at jlee@afpnet.org.

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