Canada 150 Profiles: Patrick Johnston

As part of our celebration of Canada’s 150th, The Philanthropist is profiling Canadians from across the non-profit sector and putting a face to 150 individuals who work or volunteer in Canada’s social sector.   Name: Patrick Johnston Profession (current role in the sector): Philanthropic consultant and volunteer board director  Years working and/or volunteering in the…

Uncomfortable Advocacy

The Philanthropist published the Moral Imperative for Policy Advocacy by Dr. Roger Gibbins of the Max Bell Foundation on February 16, 2016. This is the first of three articles on policy advocacy and it presents a cogent case on the obligation of charities to engage in political activities. The second looks at alternative strategies for…

Public Policy Advocacy—a Teachable Art?

Challenge and opportunity for nonprofits doing public policy advocacy It is a treat that this edition of The Philanthropist is dedicated to public policy. The creation, evolution, and adoption of public policy affect every person in this country in ways large and small. Whether we are driving our cars, choosing how to heat our homes,…

What’s The Law: Charities And Politics

Charities are subject to real limits on political activity. However, these limits do not prevent thoughtful and careful policy advocacy related to charitable purposes. Notwithstanding current political pressure on environmental charities, the CRA policy on advocacy by charities is actually quite broad.1 The Income Tax Act distinguishes between charitable purposes and charitable activities. What qualifies…

Advocacy And Lobbying For Policy Change In Zimbabwe: Women’s Lobbying For A Gender-sensitive Constitution

Summary this article describes a lobbying campaign by women in zimbabwe to ensure gender sensitivity in a new constitution—a campaign being conducted in very difficult circumstances. The description of this campaign is a further illustration of how rights set out in international agreements can be applied in domestic public policy processes. While the ultimate goal…

What’s The Law: The Evolution Of Advocacy And Political Activities By Charities In Canada: An Overview

Introduction Advocacy has been defined as the act of speaking or of disseminating information intended to influence individual behaviour or opinion, corporate conduct, or public policy and law.2 Many people believe that the act of advocacy as a form of free speech is an essential part of democracy.3 While many registered charities in Canada believe…