Later this year, Canadians will vote in the 43rd federal election. Many non-profit organizations, networks, and coalitions see elections as a critical opportunity to raise relevant public policy issues. Recently, the rules for charities engaging in public policy have become a prominent source of debate and discussion in government and the sector. As we countdown to the next election, The Philanthropist is asking non-profit leaders what public policy issues are top of mind for them.
Name and organization: Lisa Davey, Association of Fundraising Professionals Canada
What current election issues might impact your work?
Donations are essential to the charitable and non-profit sector’s ability to facilitate social change. Although Canadians give generously, the number of those who give is on the decline. If this trend continues, it has the potential to jeopardize our sector’s ability to address the gap between the rising need for services and the ability of society to pay for them. Incentivizing donations is one important way to help reduce this trend. Maintaining current tax incentives for donations and considering new incentives is an important issue for the more than 3,500 members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) in Canada. Eliminating the capital gains tax on charitable gifts of private company shares and real estate, as recommended by the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector in its report on our sector, would make an important contribution to the continued well-being of Canadians.
What issues would you like to bring more attention to in the election?
Mobilizing caring Canadians today is more important than ever before, and the government has an important role to play in creating policies that enable charities and non-profits to address critical issues facing our country. Most Canadians are not aware of the sector’s size and scope. Representing 8.5% of gross domestic product in our country, the charitable and non-profit sector employs 2.4 million Canadians. A significant part of our country’s economy is governed by a number of different departments and agencies depending on the particular issue. The Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector recognized the importance of the sector through its 42 recommendations to strengthen it. Incentivizing donations and volunteering, raising awareness and greater collaboration with the government will enable this sector to impact the challenges faced by communities across our country.
Where can we learn more about these issues?
Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector report: Catalyst for Change: A Roadmap to a Stronger Charitable Sector