AFP Members Take Action in Advance of the Federal Budget
One of the primary reasons AFP Canada was created was to ensure the voice of the fundraising community is heard by government. AFP has been advocating for these funding measures since the start of the pandemic alongside sector leading organizations such as Imagine Canada. In February, we were pleased to learn that the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance included the following three recommendations specific to our sector in its pre-budget consultation report:
- Recommendation 56: Eliminate the capital gains tax on donations of shares in private corporations or real property to charities.
- Recommendation 57: Establish a fund to provide bridge operating grants for up to 12 months to essential community service organizations. Funding should be flexible to allow organizations to maintain operations and respond to emerging needs. This support should be made available for a three to six-month period as organizations recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
- Recommendation 58: Review existing tax measures available to both individual and corporate donors and make appropriate amendments to encourage giving to, and supporting the recovery of, the health charities sector.
There was another sign of support on March 9 when the four federal opposition parties passed a motion encouraging the Liberal Government to include provisions for the charitable sector in Budget 2021.
Not wanting to lose momentum, AFP leaders sprung into action, reaching out to their members of parliament (MPs) to remind them of the importance of stimulus funding for our sector. The results have been encouraging.
Thanks to these meetings, we are hearing promising messages of support for our sector. We’ve learned about MPs who have been working behind the scenes to encourage their colleagues to support the charitable sector. Many have sent letters to the Minister of Finance reinforcing the important role our sector plays and the need for stimulus funding. Several have even commented that our sector will be pleased with the budget.
AFP Canada Government Relations Chair Juniper Locilento, MPNL, CFRE is thrilled with the response from government and energized by the work and commitment of AFP leaders. “I have been involved in government relations work for a number of years now and this has been one of the most encouraging efforts to date. We are seeing signs that our sector is being heard.”
Charities and nonprofits play a crucial role in helping vulnerable Canadians during the pandemic. Beyond providing essential services to millions, Canada’s nonprofit sector is a critical engine of economic growth and jobs, but charities and nonprofits are struggling to meet the needs of communities because of COVID-19. By including stimulus measures in Budget 2021, the federal government can ensure that this sector continues supporting Canadians.
“While we don’t know what April 19 will hold for our sector, we do know that there are many MPs who are supportive,” Juniper explained. “Equally important is the fact that when we call on AFP leaders for their help, they are enthusiastic and supportive. With over 3,000 members in Canada, AFP’s efforts make a difference.”