Charities play a vital role in public policy issues, speaking up for communities and people that otherwise might not be heard. Use this section to learn about the importance of charities’ engagement in public policy, the difference between charitable activity, political activity, and lobbying as well as the rules, regulations, and best practices that affect your work.
Advocating for Canadians and Communities: Ensuring Charities’ Voices are Heard (Presentation by Imagine Canada, 2015)
The Charity Impact Brief illustrates that despite concerns over political activity audits, organizations continue to speak up on ideas that are critical to Canada’s social good.
A great deal of work charities do counts as charitable activity and is not restricted. However, some of it, particularly public appeals or encouraging grassroots action, is classified as political activity — meaning there are limits to how much of it a charity can do. Read more in this section:
- Advocacy, Political Activity and Foreign Funding (Imagine Canada Issue Alert, March 7, 2013)
- Charities’ Engagement in Public Policy (Imagine Canada Issue Alert, May 28, 2012)
- Resources for charities about political activities (CRA, 2015)
- Policy Statement: Political Activities (CPS-022)(CRA, 2015)
- Political activities self-assessment tool (CRA, 2015)
- Policy Statement: Political Party’s Use of Charity’s Premises (CPC-007) (CRA, 2015)
Review the regulations for lobbying outlined by the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada
The Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations's government relations toolkit provides a How To Guide to help with topics such as "How to address people of title" and "How to meet with individual politicians"
Public Policy Resources
Imagine Canada's Narrative Toolkit is a tool kit that helps you understand the size and impact of the sector and helps us rethink the use of ‘overhead’ as a measure of success. The Advocacy Fact Sheet provides insight into how to advocate on behalf of your organization as a charity or nonprofit.
The Philanthropist public policy issue (Volume 25, Issue 4, 2014) this particular journal issue highlights several areas of advocacy and public policy that impact Canada's charities.
Talking About Charities 2013 (published by The Muttart Foundation) presents the most recent data about the public's perception of trust in charities and our sector.