In January 2018, the federal government created a Senate Committee with the express purpose to examine the impact of the charitable and not-for-profit sector and the rules that govern it.
The committee is currently accepting written submissions and is also administering an electronic survey until November 2, 2018 at midnight.
We strongly encourage all not-for-profits and charities to provide feedback to the committee. The committee has a broad mandate, and is examining a whole range of topics related to not-for-profits and charitable organizations, including:
- A recognition that the funding landscape has changed – and the implications for not-for-profits and charities
- Canada Revenue Agency’s reporting requirements
- Legal and policy limits on political activity and/or advocacy
- The legal definition of “charity”, and charitable activities
- Provincial government reporting requirements
- Reporting requirements for direct federal and/or provincial government funding
- Restrictions on social finance and social entrepreneurship
- Tax treatment of charitable donations
The electronic survey also explores impediments and opportunities for collaboration in the sector, and explores the need for more data, information, and research on not-for-profits and charitable organizations.
In addition to filling out the survey, Vantage Point will be emphasizing the following in our written comments:
- The need for more data and information about not-for-profits and charities
- The need to examine the Income Tax Act and the regulation of charities and not-for-profits (ex., charitable purposes and activities, the list of qualified donees, restrictions on non-partisan public policy advocacy, etc.)
- The need to examine the multiple accountabilities of not-for-profits and charities, and the capacity challenges inherent in the financial models that are typical in the sector
When it comes to revising the Income Tax Act for organizations that are tax exempt, have a look at what the Ontario Nonprofit Network recommended here:
Be sure to provide your feedback and comments no later than November 2, 2018!
For questions please reach out to:
Director, Capacity Development
Mark Friesen is the Executive Director at Columbia College, Canada’s longest established International not-for-profit college. He currently facilitates a monthly peer network of leaders dedicated to reimagining governance in the non-profit sector, and currently serves as Interim Chair of the Our Place Inner City Assembly. Mark has served as a volunteer, association founder, and an executive director, and has led fundraising, strategic planning and program development efforts in the sector for over 20 years. During his time at Vantage Point, BC’s leading not-for-profit capacity builder, Mark shifted his focus to governance; working with groups to enhance or redefine organizational decision making. Working with the Crown Agency Board Resourcing Office of BC, Mark guided the province to shift the governance and training material of BC’s public sector organizations away from shareholder accountability and towards governance in the public interest.
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