AFP Seeks to Exempt Charities From Do-Not-Call List Fees
(May 12, 2008) The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) joined with Imagine Canada in filing a petition on April 28, to the Governor in Council to seek relief for all registered charities from unfair fees proposed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
Responsible for the implementation of the national do-not-call list, the CRTC would require all charities to register and pay fees to support the list’s operation. However, Parliament specifically exempted charities from the do-not-call list, and even the CRTC acknowledges that calls made by or on behalf of charities are not subject to the list and its accompanying regulations.
“It simply makes no sense that charities, which are nonprofit and provide critically needed services to millions of Canadians every day, must pay to support a list from which they are exempt,” said Paulette Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “The CRTC’s argument that the financing of the list and the operation of the list are unrelated simply does not hold water and is unfair to charities, especially smaller organizations with limited budgets.”
In their joint submission, AFP and Imagine Canada point out that the proposed fees and registrations also place a regulatory burden that is double the amount for-profit telemarketers will be required to pay. Charities are already required to operate their own specific do-not-call lists—if a donor asks to not be contacted by a charity, then the charity must place the individual’s name on an organizational do-not-call list and never call that person again. For-profit organizations do not have such a requirement.
While asking the Governor in Council to intervene in a regulatory body’s decision making is an exceptional remedy, AFP and Imagine Canada believe such action is warranted given the substantial evidence against the CRTC’s proposal.
“The CRTC’s decision goes against the clearly-stated will of Parliament and places an unfair and unnecessary fee on more than 81,000 charities,” stated Georgina Steinsky-Schwartz, president and CEO of Imagine Canada. “We urge the Governor in Council to affirm that charities do not need to register with nor pay fees to the national do-not-call list operator.”
AFP and Imagine Canada continues to work with the CRTC and Parliament on this issue, and AFP will report back to members when an official response to the petition is released.
A copy of the petition to the Governor in Council is available as an attachment below.