Charities & Political Activities Update January 2019

CG-027, Public Policy dialogue and Development Activities by Charities

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has issued for consultation the draft guidance document CG-027, Public policy dialogue and development activities by charities. This document explains how the CRA expects to administer changes to the Income Tax Act that permit a charity to carry on unlimited public policy dialogue and development activities in furtherance of a stated charitable purpose. This includes guidelines on what is direct and indirect support or opposition to a political party or candidate for public office.

The publication of the guidance follows Parliament passing legislation that changes the rules governing charities’ political activities. These changes were included in Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2, which received Royal Assent on December 13, 2018.

The CRA is accepting comments on the guidance document until April 23, 2019. All feedback received will be considered to inform the publication of a final version of the guidance.

Bill C-86 Public Policy Dialogue and Political Activities by Charities

On August 15, 2018, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, and the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, issued a joint statement on the Government of Canada’s commitment to clarify the rules governing the political activities of charities by amending the Income Tax Act to implement changes consistent with Recommendation no. 3 of the Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities.

To move forward with its commitment, the Government released draft legislative proposals for consultation on September 14, 2018. On October 29, 2018, taking into account feedback the Government received from stakeholders in response to the consultation process, the Government introduced revised legislation in Bill C-86 that allows a charity to devote up to 100% of its total resources to public policy dialogue and development activities. Under the revised measures, which received Royal Assent on December 13, 2018, charities are still required to have exclusively charitable purposes and are still prohibited from undertaking activities that support or oppose a political party or candidate for public office.

Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) Deadline February 8, 2019

Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) Deadline February 8, 2019
Summer 2019 is right around the corner. Why not give your workforce a boost by hiring a STEP student? Providing a student with meaningful work experience helps bridge the gap between education and the workplace, and sets them up for success in the future. If you are eligible, STEP offers a wage subsidy of $7 per hour. In 2019, all STEP applications must be submitted via the Labour Workforce Grants Portal. This online application is an easier and more efficient way for employers to apply to STEP.  Applications are being accepted now. The application deadline for STEP 2019 is Friday, cc. For further details, visit

Non-Profit Energy Efficiency Transition Program Update

The Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (ECVO), in collaboration with Energy Efficiency Alberta is pleased to inform you about the opportunity to identify and accomplish energy saving projects in facilities held by local nonprofit organizations. The application process [Expression of Interest] is quite simple and straightforward but you have to act by December 31st.
Here’s the really good news!
Project funding will be available in the first quarter of 2019 ~and~ ECVO, with financial support from Energy Efficiency Alberta, has hired an Energy Manager to coordinate an energy audit of your building, prepare recommended energy saving project proposals and assist in preparing grant funding applications.
The first crucial step is to complete the online Expression of Interest on the Energy Efficiency Alberta web site. Here’s the link to the Expression of Interest form:
If your buildings and facilities are older or were built before more energy efficient products were available, this is definitely an opportunity you don’t want to miss. This funding can help you get some work done that will save you money — funds you can use in other important ways.
Nonprofit organizations are known to be innovators, leaders and change-makers so this is also a way for your organization to be an energy efficiency leader and demonstrate how to successfully reduce energy costs.
If you believe there are improvements that would make your building or facility more energy efficient, I urge you to take full advantage of this opportunity.
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact John MacInnis, ECVO’s Energy Manager at 587-635-0277.

ALIGN & Sector Alberta Human Services Updates Dec 7, 2018

This newsletter for Alberta Human Service Agencies is packed with news and resources on Indigenous initiative, Alberta Government news and updates, Surveys, Reports, Training and more!

Christmas Bureau Seeking Volunteers with Data Entry Experience/Social Work Background

Have  data entry experience a social work background ? We are looking for volunteer intake workers and data entry people to help with our Walk-In Days Dec 20 & 21.

Whether you’re a student, retired social worker or working in the field we need you!

If you can lend a hand and help us bring JOY to our Edmonton neighbors please contact Lee @ 780.414.7682 for more information.

Extension on Senate Study of Charitable Sector

Extension on Senate Study of Charitable Sector (Excerpt from Imagine Canada December 2018 Early Alerts)
The Senate has adopted a motion to extend the Senate study of the charitable sector until September 30, 2019. This means that the Special Committee Studying the Charitable Sector will have more time to take into consideration the proposed changes in regards to charities’ political activities in Bill C-86, the recently announced measures included in the Fall Economic Statement, and to examine the results of their recent online survey to provide comprehensive recommendations in their final report.

Imagine Canada pleased with Fall Economic Statement Commitments

Highlights from Imagine Canada Regarding Fall Economic Statement Commitments
The Minister of Finance has announced the creation of a permanent Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector. The Advisory Committee will include stakeholders from the sector and provide advice to the government on important issues facing the sector, including administrative and legislative reforms.

The Fall Economic Statement also included a commitment of up to $755 million over the next ten years to establish a Social Finance Fund, and $50 million over the next two years for an Investment and Readiness stream aimed at building capacity in organizations wanting to explore social finance opportunities. The Economic Statement specifically cited the role of charities and nonprofits in social innovation, and the intent for them to benefit from the Social Finance Fund. These measures respond to recommendations made by the SISF Steering Group

The Economic Statement also committed the federal government to exploring action on other recommendations made by the Steering Group. Among these recommendations are legal and regulatory reform to remove barriers that charities and nonprofits face in diversifying their income-generating activities, comprehensive economic data about the social purpose sector, and reform to how federal grant and contribution programs are administered.

The Fall Economic Statement also proposes a new Qualified Donee status for certain nonprofit media organizations. Details on how this will work are to follow in 2019.

View their full post


Federal Finance Minister released the Fall Economic Statement 2018

Federal Finance Minister released the Fall Economic Statement 2018


Better Public Policy Through Cooperation
To make the most of what charities have to offer, Canada needs a regulatory environment that respects and encourages the full participation of charities in public policy dialogue and development.

A Stronger Role for Charities in Developing Public Policy
Recognizing the important contributions that charities make to public life and public policy in Canada, the Government has committed to allow charities to do their work on behalf of Canadians free from political harassment, with clearer rules governing political activity. To this end, the Government announced in August 2018 that it would amend the Income Tax Act to remove the limits on political activities, allowing charities to participate fully in public policy development. Canadians provided feedback on draft legislative proposals, and legislation to implement these measures was introduced on October 29, 2018 as part of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2.

A Permanent Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector
The Government is committed to engaging in a meaningful dialogue with charities, and ensuring that the regulatory environment in which they operate is appropriate and supports the important work they do. In response to the recommendations of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities, as well as the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group, the Government is establishing a permanent Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector. Led by the Canada Revenue Agency, the Advisory Committee will be made up of stakeholders from the charitable sector, and will provide advice to the Government on important issues facing charities on an ongoing basis. The Government is providing $4.6 million in new funding over the 2018–19 to 2023–24 period for the Advisory Committee to strengthen the relationship between government and this important sector.

A New Tool to Help Solve Big Challenges: The Social Finance Fund
Though Canada is a prosperous country, many of our communities still face persistent and complex social challenges that make it difficult for some individuals—including Indigenous Peoples, seniors, youth, immigrants, persons with disabilities, members of LGBTQ2+ communities and women fleeing violence—to succeed and reach their full potential…

New Government Report Released: Profiling the Nonprofit Sector in Alberta

Profiling the Nonprofit/Voluntary Sector in Alberta | An Alberta Non-profit/Voluntary Sector Initiative Discussion Paper On the Value and Contributions of the Nonprofit/Voluntary Sector October 2018
This paper provides a high-level summary of the Nonprofit/Voluntary Sector (NPVS) in Alberta, how it does its work, and the impact its work has on the cultural, economic, social and political fabric of the province. This paper is meant to be a starting point for conversations about the role of the NPVS in Alberta, and examines the relationship between government and sector, now and in the future…Read the full report →

Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector Survey Deadline November 16, 2018

The Senate Special Committee on the Charitable Sector has developed a questionnaire that is designed to help the committee better understand the challenges faced by the sector. There are 18 questions which will take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. The committee’s final report will include key results from the survey and will be made available on the committee’s website.

Any questions about this electronic consultation should be directed to the committee’s clerk, Mr. Kevin Pittman at Take the survey here, before 11:59 PM on Friday, November 16.

CPJ released Poverty Trends 2018

CPJ released Poverty Trends 2018, our annual report on poverty in Canada, a day ahead of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. It reports that a staggering 5.8 million people in Canada (or 16.8%) live in poverty. The report uses several low-income indicators, including the Low-Income Measure (LIM), the Census Family Low Income Measure (CFLIM) and the Market Basket Measure (MBM). Each measure of low income provides different information on poverty using different methodologies to calculate rates of poverty…

Nonprofit Municipal Policy Priorities Survey (Calgary) Deadline December 15, 2018

This survey is an opportunity for you to share information that will provide CCVO with meaningful data about Calgary’s nonprofit sector. Please take a few minutes of your time to help us understand your policy priorities and challenges. The survey should take less than 15 minutes to complete and primarily asks you questions about your organization’s position on important policy issues in the City of Calgary

To complete the survey, please visit here, before December 15.

An Update on the Political Activities Saga

Federal Government has finally tabled legislation in Parliament to allow charities to engage more fully in ‘Political Activities’. In a previous article on this topic Political Activities…Revisited … Again we explored the history of the issue up to the release of proposed legislation in September 2018, since then there has been a consultation period and now the Government’s proposed legislation is being considered in Parliament…

Highlights – Imagine Canada Early Alerts November 2018

Included in Bill C-86, which would implement portions of the 2018 federal budget, are provisions that would significantly change how charities’ public policy and advocacy activities are regulated. These changes — including the removal of the 10% limit on “political activities” — are in line with recommendations made by Imagine Canada and other sector organizations

The Department of Finance has highlighted the fact that charities play a valuable role in society and announced how the proposed legislation will enable charities to reach their full potential and pursue their charitable purposes, as well as help to inform public debate and the creation of public policy.Proposed Income Tax Act amendments

Pay Equity LegislationNew legislation has been introduced for equal pay. A number of other key measures are included in this legislation that aim to advance gender equality like the new pay equity legislation, additional weeks of parental benefits in a new Employment Insurance Parental Sharing Benefit, legislation to promote gender budgeting and establishment of the Department for Women and Gender Equality.

The Senate Special Committee studying the charitable sector is scheduled to meet again on Monday, November 5.

The Aboriginal Peoples Committee continues its study on the new relationship between Canada and First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

Public Safety Canada released the Correctional Investigator’s 2017-18 Annual Report that includes recommendations to improve education, access to information, more transparency, and to meet Indigenous needs in correctional services.

The Finance Committee began its review of Bill C-86, the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2. The committee discussed how the proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act will affect charities, the confusion around the definition of non-partisan political activities, what constitutes direct or indirect support, and how organizations today are fearful that advocacy work could cause them to lose their charitable status..You can watch the full meeting here. The next meeting to review this legislation is scheduled for Monday, November 5 at 3:30pm.

See Full Newsletter Here

Rules of Engagement for Nonprofit Policy Advocacy By Lina Khatib, CCVO Policy Analyst Nov 2018

Rules of Engagement for Nonprofit Policy Advocacy By Lina Khatib, CCVO Policy Analyst
Before, during, and after election periods, nonprofits can help spread knowledge about voting rights and how relevant issues impact both communities and individuals. By providing a platform for public policy dialogue, more voices can be heard, and our democratic process is strengthened. Before your organization engages in public policy advocacy, make sure to understand the rules and regulations around what you can and cannot do, so you can engage with clarity and confidence. Read more →

Charities and Nonprofits: Alberta Election 2019 News & Resources

Includes news, reports, resources and training related to nonprofits/charities and political activities. Be prepared for 2019 Alberta Election and view ALIGN Key Message and Political Tool Kit.

Government of Canada Resources for Charities about Political Activities

The information released by the Government on October 25, 2018, proposes new measures which will allow a charity to carry out unlimited “public policy dialogue and development activities” in support of its stated charitable purposes. Consequently, the Canada Revenue Agency will release updated questions and answers and information for charities on the administration of the new rules by the end of the calendar year.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has developed a series of webpages to help charities that undertake political activities to understand and comply with the rules regarding these activities. These pages explain and highlight key elements from Policy statement CPS-022, Political activities. For information on the political activities audit program and its results See Links Here

Video series: Charities and their participation in political activities

A Political Activities PowerPoint Presentation is available upon request. If you would like a copy to share with your organization, email Issues Management, Communications and Outreach.

ALIGN Directory – Election 2019 Alberta Nonprofit/Charities and Election News, Tool Kits & Resources Re Political Activity

ACEE on Charities and Political Activity

ACEE overview of political, charitable and prohibited activities for Alberta charities

Political activities
A charity may take part in political activities provided that these activities are non-partisan and connected and subordinate to the charity’s purpose. Charities must restrict such activities to no more than 10% of their ‘effort.’ These activities would include:

  • An explicit call to political action (encouraging the public to contact elected officials).
  • Communication to the public that the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country should be retained, opposed, or changed.
  • Any activity or materials that seek to put pressure on an elected representative or public official to retain, oppose or change law, policy or decisions of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country.

Charitable activities

  • Direct representation to public or elected officials. This includes meetings to which those officials have been invited, even if they are not present. The representation can advocate that the law or policy be changed but IT MUST relate to an issue that is connected to the charity’s purposes, be well-reasoned, and not contain false, inaccurate or misleading information.
  • Posting complete text of these representations is considered to be a charitable activity if there is no call to political action.
  • General public awareness activities must be fact-based and well-reasoned, and cannot promote a point of view as the sole main activity.
  • Advertisements need to include contact information.

Prohibited activities charity may NOT take part in an illegal activity or a partisan political activity.

ALIGN Directory – Election 2019 Alberta Nonprofit/Charities and Election News, Tool Kits & Resources Re Political Activity

CCVO Report Released State of the Alberta Nonprofit Sector 2018

The report explores the state of the nonprofit sector, looks to the year ahead, and shares priorities of nonprofits for the upcoming provincial election – and some suggestions for collective action.

HIGHLIGHTS– a sample of what we heard from nonprofits across Alberta:

1. There is a cautious optimism among sector leaders – despite the lingering impacts of the economic downturn on funding availability.

2. There is uncertainty about the impact of the next provincial election around potential changing priorities and available funding.

3. There are three main issues that the sector would like to see addressed by political parties in the upcoming provincial election:

  • Clearer communications between the government and the sector.
  • Recognition of the contributions that the nonprofit sector makes both socially and economically.
  • More sustainable, predictable, and flexible funding.

Visit CCVO Site for Details and Report CCVO State of the Alberta Nonprofit Sector 2018

ALIGN Directory – Election 2019 Alberta Nonprofit/Charities and Election News, Tool Kits & Resources Re Political Activity

Live-streamed keynote sessions: CSAE Conference in Ottawa October 24 & 25, 2018

Can’t make it to this year’s CSAE Conference in Ottawa? They are offering opportunities to participate in some of it — from wherever you are. (Yes, for free!)

Tune in to live-streamed keynote sessions:  

The Coup: How to Lead and Create Disruption Within Organizations & Industries  with  Ron Tite
Wednesday, October 24
9 AM to 10:30 AM EST

Keynote Panel with Nora Young
Thursday, October 25
8 AM to 10 AM EST

Panelists include:
Maya Roy, CEO, YWCA Canada
Abdullah Snobar, Executive Director, DMZ
Ahmad Zbib, CEO, Canadian Rheumatology Association

The Power of Principle: Fearless (as Possible) on the Rocky Road to Ethical Leadership with Denise Donlon
Friday, October 26
12:45 PM to 1:30 PM EST

To participate, simply click on this link at the time noted above for your desired session:

Imagine Canada Re: Data Collection on Charitable and Nonprofit Sector

Imagine Canada Re: Data Collection on Charitable and Nonprofit Sector

Statistics Canada is conducting consultations during the week of October 15-19, in an effort to modernize the way they collect, use and disseminate data, as well as to gather input on information needs, what data is collected and how its used.

Statistics Canada historically collected and disseminated data about the size, scope, financing, and human resources of the charitable and nonprofit sector through the Satellite Account of Non-Profit Institutions and Volunteering. The Satellite Account was discontinued in 2008.

Currently we don’t have up-to-date data to accurately describe the extent of the sector’s contribution. It is critical that we have up-to-date data in order to understand our contribution, advocate for improved operating environments and influence public policy, especially given the sector’s role in helping the government achieve its policy objectives around inclusive innovation and economic growth.

You can help by taking part in the consultations and urge Statistics Canada to collect and analyze data on the social purpose sector. Email Statistics Canada if you would like to participate in the consultation activities or for more information.

Click here to learn more about our sector-wide data strategy and read our letter that was sent to Minister Bains in August requesting support in obtaining important data on the charitable and nonproft sector.

Are You An Organization Lobbyist? Drache Aptowitzer LLP October 22, 2018

Are You An Organization Lobbyist? October 22, 2018
Much has been written about the recent court case and the subsequent proposed Income Tax Act amendments concerning political activities of registered charities.  Organizations that are not registered charities but just non-profit organizations, may have not given the issue much thought as all, except perhaps, pause to consider if the perceived relaxation of political activities for charities might open the door for charitable registration to non-profit organizations that would not have qualified before.  The answer to this may be a bit murky right now. However, what is clear is that any organization, whether it is a charity or not, needs to pay attention to and keep up with lobbying legislation in case the organization needs to do something about those rules…

ALIGN Directory – Election 2019 Alberta Nonprofit/Charities and Election News, Tool Kits & Resources Re Political Activity

Finance Canada Commences 30-Day Consultation on Income Tax Act Amendments

Finance Canada has released a 30-day consultation on the draft legislative proposals to the Income Tax Act. The Government of Canada is following through on the August 15th announcement to amend the Act. These changes are intended to be consistent with Recommendation 3 of the Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities, and acts as a response to the recent judicial ruling.

The draft legislative proposals would remove the quantitative limits (often referred to as the “10% rule”) on political activities under the Act. Under the draft legislative proposals, charities would still be required to operate for exclusively charitable purposes and the restrictions against partisan political activities would remain.

Canada Revenue Agency will soon release administrative guidance to the charitable sector on how it would implement the legislative proposals. The government intends to introduce legislation following the consultation period.

Have your say! Send your comments on the draft legislative proposal to by October 13, 2018.

CCVO will continue to provide updates on any legislative changes to the Act.

Political Activities…Revisited … Again Drache Aptowitzer LLP

Political Activities…Revisited … Again Drache Aptowitzer LLP October 2018
The issue of charities engaging in political activities has been a hot item since 2012. In that year the Harper Government gave $8 million to the CRA Charities Directorate to begin what has been termed the “political activity audits”. Budget 2012 also tightened up the political activity rules which were already in place.
It is important to remember that this discussion begins with the Scarborough Legal Services case in 1985 which held that activities intended to influence public policy did not qualify as charitable. Shortly after that case the Federal Government passed a relieving provision intended to ameliorate the Scarborough decision by allowing charities to use up to 10% of their resources to engage in political activities. The thinking was that charities are often on the .

Canada Revenue Agency

The mailing address for the Registered Charity Information Return (T3010) will be changing on October 8, 2018.

The new address is:
Charities Directorate
Canada Revenue Agency
105 – 275 Pope Road
Summerside PE C1N 6E8

Please note that this change applies only to the annual return. All other correspondence should be sent to:

Charities Directorate
Canada Revenue Agency
Ottawa ON K1A 0L5

They ask that you mail your returns to the new address if you are filing the T3010 on or after October 8th. Before this date, all returns should be directed to the Ottawa address.

Imagine Canada Early Alerts October 2018


Parliamentary Committee Work
The Senate Special Committee studying the charitable sector will meet again on September 24 at 6:30 pm. You can watch the meeting here.

LEGISLATION Debates, Bills, and Motions
Second reading debate began on September 19 in the House of Commons for Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act. This bill would require organizations under federal jurisdiction to identify, remove, and prevent barriers to accessibility, including those related to the built environment, employment, information and communications technology, the procurement of goods and services, the delivery of programs, and transportation.

Initiatives to Support Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous Services Canada has announced $68 million to support First-Nations led health transformation by identifying and designing service delivery solutions tailored to First Nations community’s needs.

Senate Special Committee
The Senate Special Committee studying the sector kicked off the fall with two solid days of hearings on September 17 and 18. A broad range of sector organizations, including Imagine Canada, testified on issues like fundraising and philanthropy, social innovation and finance, and grant and contribution reform. Transcripts of the sessions are not yet available, but both sessions are available to watch. (Click here for September 17, and here for September 18.) Imagine Canada submitted a written brief to the Special Committee as well. We will share that once it’s available in both official languages.

Alberta to fund green upgrades for non-profits Sarah Rieger CBC News Sep 26, 2018

Alberta to fund green upgrades for non-profits Sarah Rieger · CBC News · Posted: Sep 26, 2018 4:40 PM MT | Last Updated: September 26 Non-Profit Energy Efficiency Transition (NEET)
Environment Minister Shannon Phillips announced the latest step in the Non-Profit Energy Efficiency Transition (NEET) Programat the single-day Alberta Climate Summit Currently through NEET — which is overseen by provincial agency Energy Efficiency Alberta — non-profits can receive audits to identify opportunities to save on energy costs.The next step in the program will see the government working with contractors to purchase and install the needed upgrades, which could be everything from LED light bulbs to new furnaces or solar energy systems. …

CRA loses court challenge to its political-activity audits of charities CBC News

CRA loses court challenge to its political-activity audits of charities CBC News July 2018
Ontario judge’s ruling wipes out section of Income Tax Act limiting political activity by charities
Monday’s ruling immediately quashes a longstanding rule limiting to 10 per cent the resources any Canadian charity is permitted to devote to political activities….

Response from CCVO July 2018
Freedom of Expression Rules the Day for Canadian Charities..

Burns Memorial Fund The Experience of the Collaborative Funders’ Table: A Learning Brief

Burns Memorial Fund The Experience of the Collaborative Funders’ Table: A Learning Brief
This learning brief is designed for grant-making and other funding organizations engaged in or thinking about participating in a funding collaborative. It describes the CFT funding model and processes, highlights lessons learned and challenges that arose along the way, and captures the impact and benefits of collaborative funding. The CFT members hope that sharing these experiences will help to inform other efforts to collectively increase the impact of investments in social change. To view the learning brief, please click on the image below.

The Standing Committee on Finance has launched its Pre-Budget Consultations Submissions Deadline August 3, 2018

The Standing Committee on Finance has launched its Pre-Budget Consultations in advance of the 2019 budget. Written submissions of no more than 2,000 words can be submitted to the Committee until Friday, August 3, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

Imagine Canada Early Alert May 2018

Report Released on the Federal Role in Social Finance
he report identified ways federal funding will allow social finance funds to indirectly support charities and non-profit organizations in expanding their programs, as well as assisting social enterprises, including those created by charities and non-profits, to address social needs with innovative solutions and financing from a range of investors… Read Report Here

Parliamentary Committee Work
The Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector met last Monday to look at the economic impact of charities and nonprofits, as well as the synergistic relationship between the economy and charities in Canada. The committee heard from Brian Emmett, Chief Economist for the Charitable and Nonprofit Sector, as well as Catherine Van Rompaey, the Director of National Economic Accounts Division of Statistics Canada. You can watch the full meeting here… Watch Full Meeting Here

View Imagine Canada Early Alerts May 2018 for Additional Updates

New From City of Lacombe: Online Volunteer Handbook

Due to the changing nature of volunteerism in Alberta, the City of Lacombe recognized the need to create an online volunteer handbook that provides resources for volunteers and resources for managing volunteers, as well as community information and trends. This online handbook provides links with answers to the many questions that may arise within volunteer positions and not-for-profit organizations, and provides resources for both new and experienced volunteers. Here you can also find community information, as well as recent Canadian and Albertan trends pertaining to volunteerism.

Charities and giving – What’s new

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has released two new educational products:

  • Find out whether you can issue official donation receipts for your charity’s annual golf tournament. Watch the new video in the Gifting and receipting series: Golf tournaments.
  • Learn how to calculate the amount to write on your donation receipts by reading the new graphic educational tool: Hosting a golf tournament?

NPQ: Study Looks at Funder Culpability in Nonprofit Failure

Excerpt Study Looks at Funder Culpability in Nonprofit Failure By Steve Dubb | April 23, 2018
Managing cash, of course, is a major challenge for all businesses—and certainly for nonprofits. This past week, Open Road released its Roadblock Analysis Report, which looks at all 102 groups from across the world that it has funded and asks an important question: “Why did the nonprofits we funded need cash flow assistance in the first place?”…

Alberta Non-profits Unaffected by New Lobbyists Amendment Act.

The Government of Alberta introduced legislation to amend the Lobbyist Act and strengthen rules and regulations around lobbying activity.
Edmonton and Alberta non-profits should take note that these proposed amendments will not affect the current exemption in place for public benefit non-profits.
Click here to read more of the announcement April 16, 2018 including where to direct inquiries

Drache Aptowitzer LLP – News from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

News from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) By:  Kara Johnson

In our January (2018) newsletter, we highlighted the importance of charities producing receipts for charitable donations that conform to the requirements of the law for proper receipting. Justice Campbell Miller reiterated the seriousness of a failure to comply with the Regulations of the Income Tax Act in Madamidola v. the Queen 2017 TCC 245.

One element that must be present on an official receipt is the name and website address of the Canada Revenue Agency. The website address ….

The Edmonton Volunteer Fair April 14, 2018

The Edmonton Volunteer Fair April 14, 2018 is an opportunity to not only raise awareness of your organization but to recruit new volunteers as well.

What We Heard Report

Last week, Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development announced the release of the What We Heard report which summarizes the diverse viewpoints of Canadians and ideas on what it will take to reduce poverty in Canada.

Open Government, Engagement and Policy-Making in Canada Calgary 6 March 2018 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM MST

Share your thoughts on how the Government of Canada can ensure open government and citizen engagements are meaningful, inclusive, and effective contributions to the policy-making process. In addition to the overview, and if there is enough interest, there may be  specific discussions on the Open Government Plan related to different sectors  Calgary 6 March 2018 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM MST

Drache Aptowitzer LLP on Risks and Liabilities

Do Your Subcontracting Agreements Adequately Allocate Risk? By: Sylvie Lalonde February 2018
When average Canadian taxpayers pay attention to the receipts issued to them by Canadian charities to which they have donated, it is probably for two reasons…

Directors’ Liability for Source Deductions By: Arthur Drache February 2018
The recent melt-down of the world-wide equity markets may have a negative impact on charities which are (were?) fortunate enough to have substantial investments, particularly where income from those investments is used to fund the charitable activities on an ongoing basis. But if there is a cash squeeze, directors should be aware that the…

See all articles from February 2018 Charity Law Insights


New Article from Drache Aptowitzer LLP Voluntary Disclosure and the Difference Between Non-profit and Registered Charities

Voluntary Disclosure and the Difference Between Non-profit and Registered Charities
In the legal profession, we know what to do if we have made a mistake. Those that regulate us (Law Societies across the country) remind us about our professional obligations, how to control the damage and the importance of seeking help as soon as a mistake is discovered. So, what do we advise our non-profit and registered charity clients when they tell us they have made a mistake, or more commonly, when we have found through our review of their organization that they have made a mistake involving the provisions of the Income Tax Act ?…

Standford Social Innovation Review Winter 2018

Standford Social Innovation Review Winter 2018
Building a Canadian Social Finance Fund Government and its partners can achieve transformative change by taking a big leap By Stephen Huddart & Tim Draimin Winter 2018
Excerpt: A social finance fund in Canada would stimulate innovation in the public service and bring new dynamism to the social sector, renewing the relationship between government, philanthropy, and the private sector at a time when meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals demands an all-out effort. Transformative change will require not only collaboration within government and across sectors, but also new sources of capital, new approaches to managing risk, and new uses of data..

ALIGN Bulletin Human Service Agencies and Christmas Considerations December 2017

With the holidays come many considerations for human service agencies. Find out more about the legalities of office parties, staff mental wellness, the ethics around accepting gifts and more!

Imagine Canada – New 2017 Study

The study from Imagine Canada 2017 profiles data from 56 Imagine Canada Caring Companies and LBG Canada companies. In 2016, these leading businesses invested $468 million with an average contribution to charities of 2.5 per cent of pre-tax profits…

Government of Canada – Speech from Minister Jean-Yves Duclos at the 10th Social Finance Forum

November 10, 2017 “The Government of Canada is committed to developing a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy – not simply for Canadians, but with Canadians.” The minister hailed social finance and social innovation as ways to solve big problems and helping those most in need…

Alberta Findings – Vital Signs Reports October 2017

So far, twenty-two community foundations across Canada helped shed a light on local priorities  during Vital Signs week this October by getting word out about their Vital Signs reports. Meanwhile, even more foundations are hosting Vital Conversations to get communities talking about how to put this vital knowledge into action.As more and more communities join the Vital Signs movement, they collectively help paint an increasingly detailed picture of the strengths and challenges facing Canada today.

National report on belonging
Community reports across Canada


Poverty, stress and high prices worry Calgarians in Vital Signs report

Editorial: Building a stronger city


Nearly one-fifth of Edmontonians feel socially isolated: Report


Vital Signs takes pulse of city, area well-being

Northwestern Alberta

2017 NW Alberta’s Vital Signs report released

Crime still considered region’s top issue: Vital Signs

Canada Social Report – October 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors

Monitoring the daily policy announcements of Canadian federal and provincial/territorial governments provides both a searchable record of action and a dynamic view of the country’s social policy priorities. Now Available Canada Social Report – October 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors

2017 Alberta Nonprofit Survey

CCVO 2017 Alberta Nonprofit Survey  is the only source of province-wide “state of the sector” research that documents the ongoing experience and health of the nonprofit sector.The completed report is frequently used to help inform the decision-making of nonprofit leaders and boards, the Government of Alberta, foundations, and community stakeholders.

SAGE New Report “Law & Governance of Secondary Data Use: Obligations of Not-For-Profit Organizations in Alberta”

SAGE is excited to announce that, with the support of PolicyWise, Kiran Pohar Minhas has produced a report titled “Law & Governance of Secondary Data Use: Obligations of Not-For-Profit Organizations in Alberta”. This is a new and innovative area and the paper presents the legal and governance issues for, and the obligations of not-for-profits when sharing and re-using information beyond data collection for service delivery. The report aligns with SAGE’s vision of building data management capacity in the community services sector.

Stats Canada Online Chat Session to Discuss Latest 2016 Census Data

Stats Canada Online chat session to discuss the latest 2016 Census data! Friday, August 4, 2017 12:30 to 13:30
As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, Statistics Canada will publish the latest chapter in the story of our country and its people. The third series of results from the 2016 Census of Population will be released on August 2, 2017, on Statistics Canada’s website ( These results will focus on the language distribution of the Canadian population, as well as families, households, and marital status in 2016. Want to learn more? Join our chat session with Statistics Canada experts to discuss these findings!

Canada Revenue New Videos from Gifting and Receipting Video Series

As a part of the Canada Revenue Agency’s continued effort to clarify the rules and terms that commonly confuse charities, the Charities Directorate has recently made available  an educational series on “gifting and receipting”. This series is intended to help charities learn about the rules that relate to receipting and the types of donations in which registered charities can issue a donation receipt  Check out the latest videos!

Drache Aptowitzer LLP Newsletter July 2017

Drache Aptowitzer LLP Newsletter July 2017 has some great articles for charities! Here are just two

Powers and Limits of an Executive Committee July 2017
It’s a very common practice, especially in organizations with larger boards, to have a subgroup of the directors form an executive committee that makes core decisions. But some caution must be exercised when deciding which powers to delegate to an executive committee – or indeed, to any subgroup of directors. Depending on the law that an organization is formed under, there may be restrictions on which of the directors’ powers can be delegated rather than exercised as a full body…

Withholding July 2017
Charities spend a great deal of time and energy focusing on audits from the Charities Directorate. While this attention on the Directorate is justifiable it is important to recognize that charity regulation is only one function of the Canada Revenue Agency (the “CRA”) and that charities are answerable to the CRA for many of its activities. One particularly troublesome area seems to be the T4 habits of charities. Even where there is no issue with a specific expenditure on a particular individual for a charitable activity….

Canada Social Report: September 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors

Canada Social Report:
A Compendium of Social Information

Originally inspired by the dismantling of the long-form Census in 2010, the Canada Social Report acts as a major hub for social information.  It is a resource for the entire social sector – to give all of us a strong voice and a powerful evidence base for informed policy conversations and the formulation of intelligent policy solutions.

See the September 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors, and the spring 2017 edition of the Municipal Monitor

CYDL Releases New Reports From the Longitudinal Study Experiences of Alberta Children and Youth Over Time, 2005-06 to 2010-11.

Four new reports have been released from the CYDL’s longitudinal study, Experiences of Alberta Children and Youth Over Time, 2005-06 to 2010-11. This longitudinal, cross-ministry study is an analysis of over two million Albertans and their use of government services over the span of six years.

Findings like those shown in the infographic above can be found in four new reports:

The longitudinal study is ground-breaking in it’s multi-year, cumulative approach to the service use of Albertan children and youth as studying experiences over several years of development adds a valuable level of richness.

All current deliverables from this project can be accessed here.

Imagine Canada -Special Senate Committee on Charities and Nonprofits Proposed

Imagine Canada – Special Senate Committee on charities and nonprofits proposed
As previously reported, Senator Terry Mercer has introduced a motion that, if approved, would see a Special Committee formed in the Senate with a mandate to carry out a wide-ranging study on the future of the charitable and nonprofit sector. On June 2, Senator Mercer kicked off the debate on this motion, outlining the kind of issues he hopes would be considered, including the future of philanthropy, the legal and regulatory framework, financial sustainability, labour force development, and volunteerism. The Committee would hold hearings over an 18-month period and present a report in late 2018.

In the coming days, Imagine Canada plans to write to all Senators encouraging them to support the motion. They encourage you to reach out to Senators in your region to express your support for this initiative.


Senate Motion Introduced to Review Impact of Charitable Sector on Canada – AFP May 27, 2017
Senator Terry Mercer, CFRE, has introduced a motion to appoint a Special Committee that would examine the impact of laws and policies governing charities, and to review the impact of the entire sector on Canada.

The Special Committee would be created specifically to “examine the impact of federal and provincial laws and policies governing charities, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and other similar groups; and to examine the impact of the voluntary sector in Canada.”

Imagine Canada Survey – How Can the Canada Summer Jobs Program Be Improved for Nonprofits?

This brief survey serves to understand your organization’s experiences with the Canada Summer Jobs program. Please ensure that the best suited person at the organization (someone with experience in applying to the program—CFO, CEO, HR lead, or Program Director) answers the survey.

CRA Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities

CRA Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities March 31, 2017
A Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities was appointed by the Minister of National Revenue in September 2016. This report presents the Panel’s recommendations which are designed to clarify and broaden the ability of charity’s to engage in political activities for charitable purposes while remaining absolutely nonpartisan…

Alberta Gets a “C” on Social Performance

The Conference Board of Canada on Canada’s Social Performance
Canada is a “B” performer and places 10th overall on our society report card, but poor rankings relative to peer countries on income inequality and poverty highlight the scope for improvement. Ten indicators were used to evaluate the overall social performance of Canada and 15 peer countries. Canada is a middle-of-the-pack performer on most of the indicators—it gets two “A”s, five “B”s, and three “C”s…

Share Your HR Strategy Story

Share your story on innovative HR strategies being used successfully by nonprofit organizations across Canada for a chance to win up to $500 in team-based professional development for your nonprofit organization. They’ll also be turning the best stories into a range of video, audio and social media content, giving you and your organization national exposure.

The 2017 Alberta Nonprofit Survey is Now Open!

CCVO 2017 Alberta Nonprofit Survey
The Alberta Nonprofit Survey is conducted annually by the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations. It is the only source of province-wide “state of the sector” research that documents the ongoing experience, evolution, and health of the nonprofit and charitable sector. The final report is frequently used to help inform the decision-making of nonprofit leaders and boards, the Government of Alberta, foundations, and community stakeholders. This year’s survey includes questions provided by the Government of Alberta.

Newly Released 2017 Canadian Nonprofit Sector Salary & Benefits Report

Charity Village – Newly released 2017 Canadian Nonprofit Sector Salary & Benefits Report reveals current compensation trends
Compensation at nonprofits across the country continues to rise slowly for some nonprofit professionals, according to the new 2017 Canadian Nonprofit Sector Salary & Benefits Report. To better understand nonprofit compensation, we surveyed more than 1,000 participants who represented more than 14,000 individual employees from nonprofits across Canada. The results are gathered in our 2017 salary and benefits report, now available for online purchase.

CSAE Canadian Association Financial Operations Report

CSAE Canadian Association Financial Operations Report is designed to help your not-for-profit organization benchmark and confidently justify its expense allocations. This is an extraordinary comparative tool on financial operating ratios and expenses within Canada’s not-for-profit community. Based upon primary research, the report provides an in-depth look into key operating ratios within Canada’s association sector and serves as a reliable benchmarking tool on revenue sources and expenses. The report’s data is segmented by organizational type, size and geographic location.

Imagine Canada Making Sure your Charity Reports Political Activity Correctly

The latest Sector Monitor survey (Dec 2016) found that far more charities are engaging in political activities than has commonly been believed. Fully 31% of charities responding to the survey indicated they had engaged in at least one political activity over the previous year. However, only about one in ten of them reported this political activity to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on their T3010 Information Return. To help charities avoid this pitfall, we look at reasons for this under-reporting and offer some practical tips to aid reporting.

Drache Aptowitzer LLP Charity Updates January 2017

Community Interest Corporations and Community Contribution Companies By: Sukhdeep Singh Sembi
As our readers know the new government has taken steps to revamp the restrictions on political activities by charities, by dismantling the political activities audit program and by promising a new approach following consultation with the public and members of the charities industry. It is important however to note that the changes may not only effect the charity realm…

Receipting Issuing and Donor Goodwill By: Arthur Drache, C.M., Q.C.
Each year in January and February we review our list of charitable donations made and start checking to see whether we have received receipts for the donations. Over the years we have found that inevitably there will be some problems though generally the issuing of receipts has become more expeditious with the advent of internet donations which usually generate fairly swift issuing of receipts by e-mail…

Charter Challenge to Political Activities of Charities By: Alexandra Tzannidakis
When the Liberals came into power last year, the new Minister of National Revenue announced that she was putting a halt to the “political activities” audit of charities that the previous administration had been conducting for the past few years. In practice, this meant that the charities in line to be audited under the program were given a reprieve, but those that were already in the course of being audited were not. One of the latter charities, Canada Without Poverty (“CWP”), is now bringing a constitutional challenge against the political activities law…

Head in the Cloud, and Books and Records on the Ground By: Kara Johnson
If someone asked you “where” your cloud storage is, would you know the answer? The “cloud” is the common term used when data is stored remotely but yet accessible (to your multiple devices) through the internet. Given that the data is now ‘remote’ we often receive questions from clients as to whether keeping books and records in this way meets their obligation under the Income Tax Act…

CRA’s Report on the Charities Program 2015-2016 is now available.

Report on the Charities Program
In a January 2016 news release, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, committed to sharing more information with the public and the charitable sector about the regulation of charities. The Canada Revenue Agency created the Report on the Charities Program to help fulfil the Government’s pledge to openness and transparency

Call to Action: Charities and Political Activities Nov. 2016

Call to Action: Charities and Political Activities
Imagine Canada has taken a lead role in developing a charitable sector position on this topic and has released a framework containing recommendations intended to add clarity to existing rules and CRA communications

Review CRA’s Online Consultation Download the Imagine Canada Framework from their resource page

Participate in  Webinar on Nov. 21, hosted in partnership with the Pembina Institute, Alberta Ecotrust, and Imagine Canada.

•Develop your own submission or use Imagine Canada’s template and send your comments to

The deadline for submissions is December 14,2016  (revised date)

New Canadian Charity Database Launched

The charity sector in Canada is vitally important. provides some information on registered charities as disclosed by those charities in their T3010 annual return. Canadian Charity Lawyer Mark Blumberg has launched Charitydata, a database that provides information from CRA T-3010 returns. This portal provides select financial and operational information on Canada’s 86,000 plus charities for up to ten years. This site provides quick, easy access to some ‘dashboard’ information which will be of interest to a variety of stakeholders. Of course we continue to encourage those wanting to learn more about a given charity to reach out to them for the full story.

Mark Blumberg’s article “CRA consultation on political activities – to submit or not to submit?” November 3, 2016

CRA New Educational Video Series “Gifting and Receipting”

CRA New Educational Video Series “Gifting and Receipting”
The Charities Directorate is pleased to announce that the first educational video of our new “Gifting and receipting” series is now available. Learn about the types of donations for which registered charities and other qualified donees can issue a tax receipt, and the various rules on receipting.

Watch the Gifting and receipting 101 video on the Videos and recorded webinars for charities and donors webpage, or on  YouTube  for a better resolution.

The Carbon Levy – Impacts for Non-profits and Charities 2016

CCVO info emailed July 29, 2016

Last month we informed you that the Ministry of Environment and Parks has committed to forming a working group tasked with understanding the impact of the carbon levy within Alberta’s nonprofit and charitable sector. This working group was to consist of representatives from the sector along with ministry personnel/subject matter experts. The non-profit charitable sector representation on the working group will consist entirely of front-line organizations that will be assembling this working group in the coming weeks. If you would like to connect to this group and/or provide feedback, please contact Ms. Karen Young, Executive Director, Engagement, with the Alberta Climate Change Office. Ms. Young can be reached at 780-644-5708 and at . Finally, in case you’ve missed it, the Alberta Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel has published a discussion document and is seeking input until September 30, 2016.   Submissions can be made via email to We have been advised that this channel also serves as a means of providing feedback on Alberta’s carbon levy.

CRA Releases Infograph to Assist Charities with Annual Filings 2016

CRA Releases Infograph to Assist Charities with Annual Filings
The continued effort to simplify correspondence to taxpayers from the CRA has recently resulted in the agency publishing an infograph to help charities understand when their annual filings are due. Charities must file the T3010 information return within six months of its fiscal year-end. The process is slightly more complicated when the charity’s fiscal year-end …..

Summary of Conversations on the Future of Policy Advocacy by Charities in Canada 2016

In May 2016, 73 charity sector leaders and experts gathered in Calgary to discuss the sector’s vision for how public policy advocacy by charities can be regulated by government. A summary of these leaders’ conversations was published this week in an article by Allan Northcott. CCVO participated in the event in May, and are currently on a working group convened by Imagine Canada on the topic of political activities.