Glossary: P

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  • Partisan political activities

    Political activities are partisan if they directly or indirectly support or oppose a political party or candidate for public office.

  • Partisan political activities - examples

    In the following hypothetical examples, the charity is called Healthy Retirement and was formed to promote the health of seniors in Canada. It has received a lot of media attention on its recently released, well-reasoned position on the hazards for seniors of using marked crosswalks. It concludes from its findings that a senior is four times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident with a car at a marked crosswalk than at an intersection with a stop sign or a light.

    Example 1 — Supporting an election candidate in the charity's newsletter

    Healthy Retirement sends a newsletter to all its members that contains an editorial from the managing director of the charity conveying his views on the main issues it is currently facing. Just before an election, the director uses the column to give his personal support to the re-election of a candidate who happens to endorse a policy that the charity also supports. The director uses his personal funds to pay for that edition of the newsletter. In this case, the charity is engaging in a prohibited partisan political activity because although the director paid for that edition of the newsletter, it is an official publication of the charity and is being used to promote a candidate for an election.

    Example 2 — Distributing leaflets highlighting lack of government support for charity goals

    Healthy Retirement decides to distribute leaflets to members of the public during a federal election campaign. The leaflets highlight its research findings that drivers do not respect the pedestrian right-of-way at marked crosswalks. It also states that a private members bill that proposed to increase the penalties imposed on drivers failing to give the right-of-way to pedestrians at marked crosswalks did not become law because government-side Members of Parliament voted against it. In this case, the distribution of the leaflets is a prohibited partisan political activity because it could mobilize public opinion against the current government for failing to enact the private members bill.

    Whatever the issue, a charity is not permitted to directly or indirectly support or oppose any political party or candidate for public office, at any level of government.

    Had the charity merely published a leaflet that showed how all the Members of Parliament voted on the private members bill, CRA would not have viewed this as a partisan political activity.

    Example 3 — Preparing dinner for campaign organizers of a political party

    During a provincial election campaign, Healthy Retirement invites, to one of its monthly "heart smart" dinners, all those involved in organizing the campaign for a political party that promotes policies targeted at increasing health spending on respite care for seniors. The campaign team is treated to a delicious three-course meal that is low in fat and salt, and they receive information about the charity's programs. This is a prohibited partisan political activity because the charity is providing direct support, by way of a free meal, to campaign organizers of a political party.

    Example 4 — Inviting competing election candidates to speak at separate events

    Healthy Retirement invites a candidate in a municipal election, who is in favour of increasing the money available to deliver hot meals to seniors in poor health, to talk about a particular issue on the candidate's electoral platform that is consistent with the charity's goals at its well-attended annual fundraising dinner. At a later date, it invites another candidate in the election to speak at its poorly attended annual general meeting. The charity does not endorse either candidate at either meeting and no political fundraising occurs. Nevertheless, as the charity is not giving an equal opportunity for candidates seeking the same office to speak, it is possible to infer that the charity is indirectly supporting a particular candidate for public office and is therefore engaged in a prohibited partisan political activity. To avoid this assumption, a charity must ensure that in such circumstances, it invites all the candidates in an election to speak at the same time. Furthermore, the charity must give the candidates an equal amount of time to speak on their general platform.

  • Personal use property

    Personal use property refers to items that you own primarily for the personal use or enjoyment of your family and yourself. It includes all personal and household items, such as furniture, automobiles, boats, a cottage, and other similar properties. It also includes listed personal property.

  • Planned giving

    Planned giving is a fundraising program that involves arranging donations to serve the interests of the registered charity and that suits the personal, financial, and tax situation of the individual donor. Through a planned-giving program, a registered charity seeks to attract significant gifts by identifying potential donors and helping them with information and advice.

    Examples of planned giving include bequests, annuities, life insurance policies, and residual interests or charitable remainder trusts.

    (CRA : Charities Glossary)

  • Pledges

    A pledge is a promise to make a donation in the future. It is not a gift until the charity actually receives the donation. Therefore, no receipt can be issued until the donor has fulfilled the pledge by making a donation.

    See also 'Pledges' (CRA, 2011)

  • Private foundation

    • is established as a corporation or a trust;
    • has exclusively charitable purposes;
    • carries on its own charitable activities and/or funds other qualified donees, (e.g., registered charities);
    • may have 50% or more of its governing officials not at arm's lengthwith each other;
    • generally receives the majority of its funding from a donor or a group of donors that are not at arm's length; and
    • its income cannot be used for the personal benefit of any of its members, shareholders, or governing officials.

    (CRA : Charities Glossary)

  • Public foundation

    • is established as a corporation or a trust;
    • has exclusively charitable purposes;
    • generally gives more than 50% of its income annually to other qualified donees, (e.g., registered charities), but it may carry out some of its own charitable activities;
    • more than 50% of its governing officials must be at arm's length with each other;
    • generally receives its funding from a variety of arm's length donors; and
    • its income cannot be used for the personal benefit of any of its members, shareholders, or governing officials.

    (CRA : Charities Glossary)

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