|literacy.ca||Volume 5, No. 2, Winter 2003|
Non Profit Sector Resources and Advocacy
New Guidelines on Charities and Advocacy
The Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) drafted new guidelines for political activity by charities. You can find them at http://www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca/tax/charities/consultations/political_activities-e.html. CCRA is welcoming feedback until March 31, 2003.
Under the current Tax Act, a registered charity has to devote all its resources to charitable purposes and activities with a modest amount of political activity. Many in the voluntary sector felt that the current interpretation of the provisions of the Tax Act was unduly restrictive and did not allow a registered charity to inform the public about issues of concern or to participate adequately in the public policy development process. The CCRA has listened to these views, reviewed recent case law, studied the provisions of the Act and has engaged in a number of discussions both within government and with people from the voluntary sector. The result is this draft document.
The guidelines propose that charities may advance their charitable purposes by engaging in some political activities, providing they are connected and subordinate to those purposes. The intent is that this change in policy will enable charities to more effectively carry out their public awareness programmes.
Response has been swift from The Institute for Policy, Media and Civil Society (IMPACS) and the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy who believe that the new guidelines are still fundamentally flawed. To help you formulate your own response, view their feedback, and read the background reports such as Let Charities Speak: The Report of the Charities and Advocacy Dialogue from 2001, as well as a new discussion paper called Charities and Enhancing Democracy in Canada. For these items and much more information on this hot topic, go to www.impacs.org.
Canada Now Has a Minister Responsible for the Voluntary Sector
Canadian Heritage Minister, Sheila Copps was appointed to the new position of Minister Responsible for the Voluntary Sector last fall to lead the federal governments efforts to strengthen the relationship with the voluntary sector. For a complete and thorough update on the many efforts to build a stronger voluntary sector, contact the Voluntary Sector Initiative at tel: 1-800-821-8814 or 613-238-9300 or visit www.vsi-isbc.ca.
Manual Helps Determine Economic Value of Volunteer Contributions
Researchers at the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy have published a manual designed to help voluntary organizations understand and appreciate the economic value that volunteering contributes to their organization. Assigning Economic Value to Volunteer Activity: Eight Tools for Efficient Program Management, demonstrates methods of calculating the value of volunteering, and how to use this information to help manage and evaluate volunteer programs and to educate the organization, its funders, and the public about the value of volunteer activity. For more information or to download the manual, visit: www.nonprofitscan.ca (look under Reports, then International Year of Volunteers Research Publications.)
|PREVIOUS||TABLE OF CONTENTS||NEXT|