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New Charity Platform/Fact Sheet Available for Chapters, Members to Highlight Sector

AFP has developed a new fact sheet to go along with the federal charity platform that was developed earlier this year so that members and chapters can talk to elected officials and policy makers about the importance of philanthropy during the election season.

The new fact sheet contains information about the impact of the sector, along with a shorter summary of the charity platform (full document can be found here in English and French).

“During an election is the perfect time to talk to elected officials about the importance of philanthropy and the impact of Canada’s charities and nonprofits,” said Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of AFP.  “Obviously charities cannot support or oppose candidates, but we can—and should—communicate with all candidates about our successes and what we need in the future to continue to serve Canada as effectively as we can.”

The Canada Revenue Agency allows charities to undertake some advocacy and political activities to further their charitable purposes. It has created three categories of activities: unrestricted, limited and prohibited. (More information on these can be found here.)

AFP is asking members and chapters to send the platform to elected officials and candidates in their area. Members are also encouraged to distribute this platform widely with their organization, including board members, volunteers, supporters and other stakeholders. Both of these activities are allowable under CRA rules.

The talking points are meant to serve as additional information they can include in letters or emails about why the platform was created. Members can indicate that they want the candidate to understand the importance of the sector and why it needs to be supported through legislation and regulations.

“The federal charity platform is such an important document because the sector has never come together like this before to highlight our policy priorities,” said Andrea McManus, CFRE, chair of the Canadian Government Relations Committee. “There are some very important proposals in the platform—such as naming a Minister to be responsible for the charitable and nonprofit sector and designating a federal department to have economic policy responsibility for charities and nonprofits—that candidates need to understand now, not after the election.”

The platform was developed by AFP, along with CanadaHelps, the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP), the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network (CEGN), Community Foundations of Canada, Imagine Canada, MaRS Discovery District, the United Way – Centraide, and Volunteer Canada.

“Some of our elected officials understand the sector, but plenty more only have an idea of what’s happening and how the economy has been affecting our ability to help Canadians,” said McManus. “Public education is an ongoing process, but we should not pass up this opportunity to let our official and candidates know of our impact.”

Questions about the fact sheet or the policy platform can be directed to Jason Lee, AFP’s general counsel, at jlee@afpnet.org



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